Co-curricular site visits are designed to enhance the academic components and provide opportunities for students to engage directly with a wide range of research institutes, businesses, and other facilities and industries in the region, as well as to experience the American culture more fully and intentionally. All students will be required to participate.

As a research institute of Virginia Tech, the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science enhances the university’s ability to address large-scale research opportunities by crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. ICTAS focuses on emerging technologies at the intersections of engineering, the humanities, and the physical, life, and social sciences. These technologies – including sustainable energy and water systems, applied autonomy, cognition and communication, renewable materials, and the nano-bio interface – have the potential to transform our lives and create a sustainable future. Through state-of-the-art facilities, seed funding, and administrative support, ICTAS is building a research ecosystem that fosters innovation in these and other interdisciplinary fields.

Where conceptual and technological constraints once forced researchers to examine living systems one small slice at a time, we can now find complex connections ranging from the basic building blocks of life to public policy. The Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech is at the forefront of this scientific evolution, applying a deeply contextual approach to answer some of the most pressing challenges to human health, habitat, and well-being. The Institute’s research is interdisciplinary to its core, integrating methods from the life, cognitive, and social sciences, as well environmental studies and infrastructural development. The Institute guides emergency response to epidemics, makes urban infrastructure more sustainable, and accelerates the discovery of treatments for chronic diseases.

The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), is university-level research institute positioned at the nexus of arts, design, engineering, and science. Uniquely partnered with the Moss Arts Center, ICAT is more than just a “media lab,” ICAT is a transdisciplinary living lab that is tightly integrated with educational, commercial, and arts communities.

The DREAMS Lab conducts research in the exciting field of additive manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing. Research in this mechanical engineering lab creates new processes, materials, and applications for 3D printing. In addition, the DREAMS Lab is the creator and curator of the “DreamVendor,” an interactive 3D printing vending machine that enables Virginia Tech students to quickly fabricate prototypes for their design projects.

Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s Technology Corridor and adjacent to the Virginia Tech (VT) campus, the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) is home to over 180 research, technology and support companies. Our 230-acre park is located in a beautiful mountain setting, with easy access to the metropolitan areas of northern Virginia and the nation’s capital. In collaboration with VT, VTCRC advances the research, educational, and technology transfer missions of the university. The VTCRC advances the research mission by helping to create research relationships between companies at the VTCRC and VT (e.g., a tenant company could sponsor research at VT as part of a SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract).

The VTCRC advances the educational mission by working with faculty to identify student projects that can be done at the VTCRC (e.g., MBA students create business plans for VTCRC companies). And the VTCRC advances the technology transfer mission by having a program called VT KnowledgeWorks that helps to create companies based on VT-developed technology licensed by Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) conducts research to save lives, time, and money and protect the environment. As one of seven premier research institutes created by Virginia Tech to answer national challenges, VTTI is continually advancing transportation through innovation and has impacted public policy on national and international levels. VTTI has grown from approximately 15 faculty, staff, and students to become the second largest university-level transportation institute in the U.S. with more than 475 employees. VTTI has effected significant change in public policies for driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety and is advancing the design of vehicles and infrastructure to increase safety and reduce environmental impacts.