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March 1998


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Department Research Groups Joining College Engineering Institute in Alexandria

The College of Engineering is establishing an engineering research institute in the City of Alexandria that will focus on the development and deployment of information technology.

The Institute will be closely connected and networked to Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Graduate Center at Falls Church. ECE expects within the next two years to have 10 full-time faculty members at the Institute who would conduct research at the Institute and teach at the Graduate Center.

The Institute is being formed initially with 20 faculty members from electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, civil engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering and mining.

Several of the Department's large research centers will relocate a portion of their research activities to the Alexandria Institute. The Fiber & Electro-Optics Research Center (FEORC) will house a major portion of a five-year NRL grant there.

The Center for Energy and the Global Environment (CEAGE) will move all of its activities from Blacksburg to the Institute to take a leadership position in the development of international partnerships and programs. The Center for Wireless Communications (CWT) already has a faculty member in Northern Virginia and will expand operations at the Institute; and the Virginia Power Electronics Center (VPEC) and the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG) plan to move some activities to the Institute in the second and third years of operation.

"We are forming this center to better serve the information technology industry in the Northern Virginia Region," said Department Head Leonard Ferrari. "As Virginia's Land-Grant University and premier technology institution, it is highly desirable for Virginia Tech to establish graduate education and research facilities in strategic locations across the State," he explained.

"It has been shown that corporations that work closely with Research I universities can have productivity increases as high as 60 percent. Virginia's Information Technology industries are booming and have indicated a strong need for this kind of support from us."

The Center will be located in Alexandria because the College has on-site contracts and grants nearby, and because it is geographically near the large industry cluster in Arlington, Crystal City, and Washington D.C. The Institute also will be located near federal facilities such as DARPA, NSF, NRL and ONR.

It is expected that within the next few years, more than 100 researchers, students and staff could join the Institute, including full-time Tech faculty, international visitors and participants from other Virginia universities.

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, April 29, 1998
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