Question of the Month

Over the past five years, corporate support has doubled within the School, resulting in increased funding for research and improved recruitment of our students. What are your thoughts about the benefits and challenges in university/industry partnerships?

I look forward to hearing from you,     
Dean Jim Aylor      

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U.Va.’s Top Prize for Entrepreneurship Returns to the Engineering School

Four teams shared $40,000 in prize money in December at the sixth annual U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup competition. The $20,000 first-place prize went to a predominantly first-year Engineering School team of Ann Liu, Alexander Karmi and Melissa Pena and their fourth-year team leader, Kevin Eisenfrats. The team developed the idea for a gel-based contraceptive injection for male cats and dogs that could transform the way the animal population is controlled. (More)

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D.C. Policy Internship Broadens the Perspective of Engineering Students and Policymakers

For the past 15 years, a select group of students in the Engineering School has had an opportunity to put theory to practice in internships that are often life changing. The language students use to describe the experience is unequivocal. “I have never in my life had a more rewarding and enjoyable summer experience,” says Caitlin Lane (’16). Angela Liu (’16) calls it “one of the most meaningful experiences I've had since coming to U.Va.” Their glowing words refer to the Engineering School’s Science and Technology Policy Internship Program, a 10-week summer program that places students in policymaking offices in Washington, D.C. (More)

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U.Va. Engineer Developing Delivery Platform for Better Brain Cancer Treatment

Unfortunately, the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, is also one of the deadliest and most difficult to treat. The statistics are stark: It kills about 95 percent of its victims within five years of diagnosis. U.Va. Engineering School Biomedical Engineering Professor Richard Price and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University have developed a technique designed to open the blood-brain barrier at targeted locations in the body just far enough to allow the passage of drug-bearing nanoparticles. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health awarded the group a five-year, $3.3 million grant to put its ideas to the test. (More)

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Considering Other Viewpoints: Undergraduate Engineering Student Experiences the U.K.

The Tower of London. Canterbury Cathedral. Highclere Castle (the real-life location of TV’s Downton Abbey). One reason why people visit the United Kingdom is to tour its historical buildings. Sarah Hill (SIE ’15) went to England to help save them. As a summer intern at the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, she was part of an organization dedicated to working with communities to rescue and reuse buildings that otherwise may be lost to demolition or decay. “I’ve always been interested in architecture,” she says, “so the internship was perfect for me.” (More)

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Anticipating Your Next Question

Just 25 years ago, people researching a topic typically started with a visit to their library and a chat with the reference librarian. Today, with the help of an Internet search engine, they can get the answer to almost any question whenever it comes up — but only if they can find the right keyword. As any search engine user knows, finding that keyword can occasionally be frustrating. In his research Hongning Wang, newly appointed assistant professor of computer science, applies machine learning and ideas from the social sciences to generate more helpful, personalized search results. (More)

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U.Va. Students Who Designed Shield for Orion Spacecraft Attend Liftoff

First-year students Danny McNamara and Sajan Sheth visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they observed the launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which the agency plans to eventually use to carry astronauts to Mars. Sheth and McNamara are part of a team of young engineers who designed and built a radiation shield for the spacecraft. As students at the Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Hampton, Va., the U.Va. duo and their collaborators — called Team ARES — won a NASA-sponsored competition, the Orion Exploration Design Challenge, to build the component. They competed against high school teams from across the country, and their work was evaluated by NASA, Lockheed Martin and the National Institute of Aerospace. (More)