Archive of Innovation Spotlights

Good vibrations

Could your car’s shock absorbers create energy that increases its fuel efficiency?

Once smitten

Bat studies enamor Virginia Tech scientists and engineers with promises of elusive secrets.

Virginia Tech helps cider industry sparkle

Research grants and Virginia Cooperative Extension expertise address the needs of apple growers and cideries.

Let’s build the house of tomorrow

FutureHAUS is an applied research project from Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research.

This vest that can save lives

Engineers are working on a safety vest that can warn construction workers of potential collisions with vehicles.

Researchers act out

Acting lessons teach graduate students to talk about science and connect with people outside their fields.

4-H Maker Program inspires young inventors

Virginia 4-H maker coaches encourage creativity as children work on problems.

Water for the future

A new undergraduate degree program will address the complex issues surrounding this precious resource.

How change grows

Virginia Tech students' award-winning project offers hope for Haitian farmers.

Regenerative medicine

The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center leverages the body’s own capacity for healing.

Experience art, 140 characters at a time

The Tweet Seats Master Class provides students and their instructors a new way to discover and discuss the arts.

Firefighting robot

Engineering students build a humanoid robot that one day could fight fires aboard U.S. Navy ships.

Could a vaccine help smokers quit?

Professor Mike Zhang received $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop the nicotine vaccine, to test it on mice, and bring it one step closer to the marketplace.

The big picture

The use of geospatial technologies skyrocketed in recent years for everything from national security to apps on your phone.

New studio anchors journalism program

A new Multimedia Center boasts the same broadcast equipment found in the country's top-50 newsrooms.

Visit campus virtually

Prospective students expect an interactive experience with the colleges and universities they are considering. Virginia Tech delivers.

Expect traffic

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers are developing a web-based app that one day will tell users when and where high levels of traffic are most likely to occur.

Do you eat with your emotions?

Food Science and Technology Professor Susan Duncan deciphers how we respond to our emotions through food.

A home away from home

Katie Russo helps students apply the life skills they learn abroad to their everyday lives.

Scientists seek an elusive particle

For years, Virginia Tech researchers have led the search for the sterile neutrino.

The art of form

Industrial design students create a traveling exhibition to showcase the sculptural elegance of form.

Signature experiment

Inside the Signature Engineering Building, researchers will track data related to building design and security, occupancy monitoring for emergency response, structural health monitoring, and more.

The battle against brain cancer

A neurologist reseraches new treatments for aggressive brain tumors in dogs and humans.

Virtually a campus

Virginia Tech architecture students learn away from the traditional classroom through an unusual collaboration with top architecture and design firms in Chicago.

Global citizens

The Presidential Global Scholars program at Virginia Tech aims to give students a "life-changing" study abroad experience.

Inspiration from the past

Women boast a proud history in the Corps of Cadets, and a new program aims to boost their achievements even more.

Jobs for Virginia

Students in an economic development class suggest how state leaders might lure in manufacturing jobs.

Functional solutions

A trip to Malawi gives students the insight to design a sustainable infant resuscitator to help newborns.

What the nose knows

A researcher uses electronic noses to empower grape growers and doctors in surprising ways.

Keep creating

Virginia Tech faculty find new ways to merge art and technology.

Leave the driving to us

From aerial drones to self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles are about to transform the roads, skies, and economy.

Less can be more

A marketing study from Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business says less is more when it comes to presenting information.

Help for winemakers

A Web-based application developed at Virginia Tech can help growers determine which grapes are best for their land.

Students think inside the box

Virginia Tech is one of a handful of U.S. institutions preparing undergraduates for careers in packaging science.

Start small

Technology revolutionizes chemical research in southern Virginia.

Fuel for the future

Forest researchers examine ways to make woody residues a viable energy alternative.

Color connections

Marketing researchers say colors on websites or in stores can influence consumer shopping behavior.

Immersed in the culture

Students earning a minor in 21st century studies spend five weeks in a nomadic study abroad experience.

Creative communication

The Corps of Cadets uses social media alongside face-to-face recruiting to get the word out about its opportunities.

Tougher turf

A turfgrass research project has created a better playing surface for Virginia Tech's recreational fields.

Community engagement

The VT Engage VISTA Network addresses critical needs in Blacksburg and surrounding communities.

An interdisciplinary approach

As Virginia Tech's integrated science curriculum enters its third year, word of its new teaching approach has spread through academic circles.

A modern approach to science

The Scieneering program offers undergraduates interdisciplinary coursework and research opportunities.

Collaboration benefits children

A Virginia Tech team helps out with paperwork so social workers can focus their attention on families in need.

Entomologist battles mealybugs

A Virginia Tech researcher helps to save the livelihoods of thousands of Asian farmers.

New horizons

The Olmstead travel program allows Virginia Tech cadets to experience life in foreign countries.

New minor puts down roots

Civic agriculture and food systems students learn to develop community-based food sources.

No glasses required

A group of mechanical engineering students has opened a 3-D printing lab for all to use.

The class hits the trail

Economic Development Studio students learn by doing real-world studies for a state park and a trail club.

Lessons learned

The faculty principals of the first residential college say they worked harder and accomplished more than expected.

On common ground

A Virginia Tech graduate develops a new way to help preserve turfgrass during large events.

A lab class for the future

Virginia Tech is one of the first universities in Virginia to offer an online human anatomy and physiology lab and lecture.

Common ground

Living-learning communities in Virginia Tech's residence halls help students find their niche.

A serpentine threat

A Virginia Tech researcher studies invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

Seeds of good will

A Virginia Tech doctoral student is at the root of an urban farming initiative in Lynchburg, Va.

Sweet miracles

Y.H. Percival Zhang is advocating and inventing new processes for creating hydrogen fuels from biomass.

Critical challenges

Researchers at Virginia Tech's Arlington Innovation Center: Health Research take on pressing health care issues.

'Ut Prosim' in action

The SERVE living-learning community aims to foster personal growth and civic responsibility among its students.

With honor

Through a unique program, cadets care for the U.S., Virginia, and Team Spirit flags before each football game.

A hands-on lab

At Virginia Tech’s structural engineering laboratory, students build and destroy configurations of concrete and steel.

Marketing for wineries

Pamplin Professor Ken McCleary teaches students about the business of wine and tourism.

Professors reach out online

Virginia Tech offers more than 800 online classes annually, and faculty are working together to enhance the experience.

A sense of community

Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture fosters a strong camaraderie among its students.

Real-world experience

FourDesign gives students the opportunity to do graphic design work for professional clients in Virginia and beyond.

Researchers tackle water issues

The College of Natural Resources and Environment has several water studies in progress.

Students provide support to potato research

Undergraduate students work with farmers in Ecuador and Bolivia to improve their farming and production.

An interactive experience

A new classroom used by the College of Science promotes teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills among students.

An urgent situation for tigers

Virginia Tech wildlife researchers work to help save tigers from extinction.

A virtual experience

Associate professor Dane Webster and two students created an animated fly through of the new Center for the Arts.

Help for job seekers

Students can learn to market themselves in ways that attract employers with Virginia Tech Career Services.

Careers that make a difference

Pamplin’s young alumni put their business skills to work in socially relevant careers at nonprofits.

A virtual 3-D community

Multidisciplinary researchers, experts, and students are creating a computer-generated model of Blacksburg, Va.

Uncommon success from a common flock

A Virginia Tech poultry scientist’s simple experiment with backyard chickens in 1957 leads to new discoveries today.

Leaders in training

The Rice Center for Leader Development provides lessons and hands-on experience at the helm for the corps of cadets.

Research sheds light on black holes

A physics professor is investigating the speed, temperature, and other details of winds emitting from black holes.

Supercomputer efficiency

Virginia Tech’s Green500 List ranks the world’s supercomputers by their energy efficiency.

A hunt for biofuel options

Virginia Water Resources Research Center scientist Sheila Christopher is studying the sustainability of forest biofuels.

Geometry shapes preschoolers at Virginia Tech

Researchers in education and human development are exploring how children use technology to play and talk about shapes.

VT EarthWorks nurtures family farmers

The effort, which includes a new Growers Academy series, is building land-based businesses from the ground up.

Project maps urban trees

The goal is to provide localities across Virginia with tools to assess and grow their tree canopy.

A healthy dose of imagination

Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science researchers meld science and technology to make a better tomorrow.

This boat will drive itself

Virginia Tech researchers are developing an autonomous boat with the U.S. Navy.

Lessons from the front line

Members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets conference often with corps alumni who serve in combat zones.

Lumenhaus glows in international competition

The Virginia Tech Lumenhaus won the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe competition.

Research finds clues to social media’s success

Pamplin faculty show how social-media businesses have blazed new trails in competitive strategies.

Study finds link between memory and emotions

Virginia Tech scientists participated in a study that shows memory may affect how parents treat their children.

Sustainable stewardship

From harvesting local crops to recycling efforts, Virginia Tech students encourage sustainable living.

Small steps a big deal for robot

CHARLI, a humanoid-sized robot, takes its first steps in a Virginia Tech laboratory.

Does clockwork hold the key?

A Virginia Tech researcher studies the impact of bodily rhythms on the way cancer develops.

Inside the box

The Quantum Matrix program created by Dennis Jones allows users to organize content into cubes.

Unraveling clues to genetic medicine

Virginia Tech researchers gain international attention for development of genetic therapies for cancer.

On the search for storms

An annual trip through the Great Plains gives Virginia Tech students a chance to witness severe weather firsthand.

Passenger rail on track for the future

Virginia Tech students offer new ways to consider passenger train travel.

From the inside out

Staff at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital use non-invasive imagery to guide treatment and research.

Tiny antenna could find its way into every home

The efficient compact ultra-wideband antenna could be used for home, automotive, medical, and military applications.

Centers generate research and job growth

Farmers in Southern Virginia and the regional nuclear industry reap the benefits of university research collaborations.

A new twist on Charles Darwin

An interactive, theatrical performance at Virginia Tech explores Darwin's theories and their impact today.

On display in New York City

The Virginia Tech Lumenhaus was featured in Times Square in New York City in early 2010.

Educating consumers to make better choices

Pamplin's marketing faculty research ways to enhance consumer well-being and quality of life.

Lessons in local government leadership

A Virginia Tech program helps address the projected shortage of qualified local government managers.

A more independent life

Virginia Tech engineering students help blind youth take the wheel.

Safer fruits and vegetables

Virginia Tech food scientists study ways to improve the safety of retail produce.

New varieties of soybeans, wheat, and barley

Virginia Tech’s Crop Genetics Group works to improve food security and reduce prices through plant breeding and genomics.

Journal showcases undergraduate research

A new student-published journal in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences rolled off the press in April 2009.

Students develop guide for digital businesses

Through a new guidebook business, Pamplin students do research, apply course concepts, and gain business experience.

On the search for a new dimension

Physics professor John Simonetti leads a team of researchers to explore the mysteries of space.

New life for Roanoke's 'Grand Old Lady'

Virginia Tech and Roanoke turned a revered landmark into a booming business.

On display to the world

Virginia Tech was the only U.S. university invited to attend a recent furniture fair in Germany.

A push for standard language

Associate Professor Steve Sheetz leads a research effort to encourage more businesses to adopt a standard computer language.

Opportunities to make a difference

Programs prepare students for leadership while helping the community.

Software to produce visualizations of seismic data

Students, professor work to create a software program to produce real-time visualizations of seismic simulation data.

CRC continues to drive economic engine

The success of Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center helps the region attract new industries and businesses.

Veterinary school rotation focuses on basic needs

Veterinary medicine students spend a portion of their final year providing basic animal care to the surrounding community.

Spotlight on Innovation

Collaboration yields custom-built mobile laboratory bound for Africa

Agricultural byproducts given new life by scientists

Researchers are developing new ways to use agricultural waste to create energy and improve on existing technologies.

Veterinary college battles infectious diseases

Research in infectious diseases has been a hallmark of excellence in the college for decades.

Creative technologies in the arts

New modes of expression challenging our imaginative students include animation, gaming, digital sound, and cinema.

Students design furniture of the future

A team of School of Architecture + Design students showcase their creativity and vision in Milan.

High-risk plant pathogens have a new foe

Plant pathologist David Schmale uses autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles to study potentially harmful microbes.

Student uses spatial technology for conservation

Wildlife student David Garst is using georeferenced data and research to help restore the timber rattlesnake population.

Uncovering corporate fraud through textual analysis

Pamplin researchers hope to use an old technique for parsing communications in a new way to help detect fraud.

Hokie Camp provides novel entry to college life

The first-year camp is Virginia Tech's latest addition to an extensive program to help new students make the transition.

Researchers explore the mysterious heart of the sun

In an underground cavern near the Blacksburg campus, Virginia Tech scientists are making new discoveries in particle physics.

Researchers probe mystery of mosquito immunity

The eyes of a genetically altered mosquito change color to signal the functional status of the mosquito’s immune system.

Project helps kids see reality in scientific concepts

Phoebe's Field is using global expertise to help students create real understanding of concepts like force fields.

Novel application promises cleaner waters

A new approach to controlling water pollutants offers to help qualify officials from having to play the guessing game.

Research connects emotion and cognition development

Researchers are discovering new details about how the brain becomes more specialized and efficient as it develops.

Giving a bird's-eye view of the state trail system

Researchers and graduate students are creating Virginia's first digital database of bike and pedestrian trails.

Finer global savvy at heart of international program

Virginia Tech is sending faculty and students abroad to work with European colleagues and extend international connections.

Civic-minded center blends service and scholastics

Students and faculty are helping immigrants transition to new lives and concurrently shaping a new way to teach and learn.

New housing community to raise diversity awareness

MOSAIC, a new intercultural residence hall living environment, embraces all aspects of diversity and social justice.

Researcher turns feathers into biodegradable plastics

This eco-friendly solution to a growing waste problem could lead to big savings for both the industry and the consumer.

Center tackles ongoing conservation challenges

key: spotlight, center, conservation challenges desc: This is the Conservation Management Institute Spotlight

Researchers turn feathers into biodegradable plastics

key: spotlight, plastic from feathers, barone, renewable materials research group desc: This is the Feather Plastics Spotlight

Wired for motion

Electronic fabric weaving in Virginia Tech labs could lead to a future in which we wear our computers.

The battle against deadly diseases gets personal

Researchers are using emerging research and new technology to individually tailor the fight against serious illnesses.

Partnering with community to foster better health

The School of Education offers useful services and the nation's first online master's program in Health Promotion.

Opportunity: When demand exceeds supply

Pamplin College has launched a fast-track program to address a business-Ph.D faculty shortage in finance and marketing.