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THIS MONTH'S FEATURE ARTICLE
Engineers will be called upon to find solutions for the challenges the world will face in the 21st century. These articles highlight the diversity of the work which continues in the search for those solutions.

Torc Self-Driving Car Welcomed Home From Cross-Country Trip
August 2017

After driving itself through 20 states on its maiden cross-country road trip, the Torc self-driving car recently gave a test ride to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson as they welcomed it home.

“I want to congratulate Torc on accomplishing this incredible feat,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am proud to see a home-grown engineering firm develop self-driving technology and introduce it to the rest of the country on a coast-to-coast drive. Entrepreneurial companies like Torc are critical to building the new Virginia economy and creating jobs of the 21st century.”


Virginia Governor McAuliffe greets Torc CEO Michael Fleming.

Torc, headquartered in Blacksburg, Va., began as a spin-off company from Virginia Tech. During the past 10 years, the firm developed a strong reputation for autonomous technology with defense and mining applications. The firm recently unveiled its self-driving car technology.

Soon after, the car and its test team began its round-trip cross-country journey in Washington, D.C., crossing 13 states on its westward drive. They arrived on July 12th in Seattle, Washington, and were greeted by Governor Jay Inslee’s office. Torc was congratulated for being the first company to register in Washington state’s newly created Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Program.

For its eastward trip home, the car took a more southern route and drove autonomously through seven additional states. The trip, with more than 4,300 autonomous miles, officially ended recently just steps away from the Virginia Executive Mansion.


Torc self-driving car arrives at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, VA.

“Torc’s accomplishment is a shining testament to the quality of innovation occurring everyday here in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Jackson. “Virginia has a wide array of autonomy related assets, that uniquely positions us to support the creation and growth of companies like Torc and to help them achieve their highest potential.”

Torc first established itself as a leader in autonomous vehicles in 2007, when its vehicle placed third in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge. For the past decade, Torc has continuously improved upon its technology—successfully applying it to a variety of commercial ground vehicles, from large mining trucks to military vehicles.

“Driving out to Seattle and back was an important testing milestone,” said Torc CEO Michael Fleming. “And finishing the trip here in Virginia with the Governor and Secretary of Technology is the best homecoming, especially on the 10-year anniversary of the DARPA Urban Challenge,” he said.

“We’re fortunate to be headquartered in an autonomous car-friendly state that supports our mission. It’s allowed us to create a winning team of engineers” said Fleming. “We’ll be announcing more impressive demonstrations, capabilities, and partnerships in the coming year.”

Feature Articles
Below are listed the 12 most recent Feature Articles.
To see the entire list of Feature Articles, visit the Feature Article Archive.
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Torc Self-Driving Car Welcomed Home From Cross-Country Trip
August 2017

After driving itself through 20 states on its maiden cross-country road trip, the Torc self-driving car recently gave a test ride to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson as they welcomed it home.

Retrofit Project in Waynesboro Brings City to Life
July 2017

To the naked eye, the detention basin that stretched across 10-acres in the City of Waynesboro didn’t look like much other than a large grassed field. However, to the stormwater specialists at Timmons Group and City staff, the underutilized basin was seen as the perfect opportunity to construct a thriving new wetland ecosystem.

2017 Global Grand Challenges Summit Announced
June 2017

The third Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS), jointly organized by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), will be held July 18-20, 2017…

RVBA Delivers Dark Fiber To RAMP On Budget and Ahead Of Schedule
May 2017

The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) has delivered dark fiber optic broadband connectivity to the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) on budget and ahead of schedule.

GORDON Paints Parking Spaces To Honor Wounded Veterans
April 2017

GORDON, a veteran-owned engineering and design firm, has established at its Chantilly Headquarters two parking spaces reserved for wounded military veterans.

Improving Public Health and Safety With Satellites
March 2017

Tracey Holloway leads a group of 13 researchers drawn together as NASA’s Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST) who are trying to step outside their community of atmospheric scientists and satellite experts to…

UX Design Center Created
February 2017

A partnership between the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering and Midlothian-based AMC Technology has computer science students building user experience (better known as UX) enhancements…

Improving The Path To More Sustainable Plastics Production
January 2017

The second most-produced organic chemical in the world, propene is a key component of plastics found in consumer goods such as electronics, clothing and food packaging.

Eclipse To Give Scientists Rare Glimpse Into Ionosphere
December 2016

On August 21, 2017, darkness will fall for about three minutes as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. It will be a busy three minutes for scientists, including George Mason University researchers…

Flexible Solar Panel Goes Where Silicon Cannot
November 2016

In the very near future, recycling light energy may be easier than recycling any other item in your house.

VCU Joins Elite Group To Represent U.S. In International Organization
October 2016

Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) da Vinci Center has been accepted as an official partner of the European Innovation Academy…

Native Americans Featured In New STEM Project
September 2016

Recently, a new project, Natives in STEM, unveiled a unique resource to encourage Native American youth to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).


Feature Article Archive
 
 
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