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Plan To Emphasize Intelligent Infrastructure Revealed
September 21, 2016

Virginia Tech will invest $75 million over five years to build teaching and research capacity in areas where it is already a national leader, including smart design and construction, and autonomous vehicles across land, air, and water, university officials said recently.

The initiative will provide learning opportunities for students and unite university and industry partners under the theme of “intelligent infrastructure for human-centered communities” — a critical domain that will fuel global development and enhance quality of life in a world teeming with challenges and opportunities because of changing trends in energy, transportation, and urbanization.

Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership team members Tyson LeRoy (left) and Matt Burton fly unmanned aircraft in Blacksburg, Virginia, earlier this year. The university will invest $75 million over five years to building teaching and research capacity in such fields as autonomous vehicles and smart design and construction.

“The commitment across campus to create a unique and valuable living-learning experience for our students is extraordinary,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “We expect more than 2,000 students to be involved in intelligent infrastructure study and research by 2022.”

More than 80 faculty members from multiple colleges and institutes are involved in the initiative, as the university ties new assets into existing programs and research facilities across the Blacksburg campus to create an unparalleled educational experience.

Faculty from established units working in intelligent infrastructure from the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science will form the core of the effort. Faculty and students in all colleges will have the opportunity to connect with the initiative, particularly in related policy, social science, business, cyber-security and agricultural/forestry industry areas.

The university will build upon an existing network of facilities across Blacksburg.

University sources, including the provost’s office, colleges, and institutes, will fund about half of the $75 million investment. The other half will come from external sources, including $25 million from private philanthropy, along with funding from industry and government partnerships.

This story can be found on the Virginia Tech News website.

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