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University Partnerships

Research partnerships

  • The Center for Advanced Separation Technologies - The goal of the consortium is to develop advanced technologies that can be used to produce clean solid, liquid and gaseous fuels from domestic energy resources in an efficient and environmentally acceptable manner. Member institutions are Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, University of Kentucky, University of Utah and Montana Tech. CAST website.
  • Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance - A Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia partnership between nine major research universities, government, businesses, and investors to boost the region’s economic vitality. The universities include Virginia Tech, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University. CCIA website.
  • Collaborative Center on Multidisciplinary Sciences - Virginia Tech, Wright State University, and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base have formed the Collaborative Center on Multidisciplinary Sciences for the development of future aerospace vehicles (FAVs). The new center will be based at Virginia Tech. Rakesh K. Kapania, the Mitchell Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech and director of the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles, heads the MADFAV. CCMS website.
  • Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program - Based at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and lead by the Research Triangle Institute, the program includes researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Duke University, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Virginia Tech, University of South Carolina, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, Beaufort, NC, U. S. Geological Survey (Raleigh, NC, office), Atmospheric Research and Analysis, Inc., and Porter Scientific Inc. DC/ERP website.
  • DOE Energy Frontiers Research Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation - Pennsylvania State University is the lead institution with partners at North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech. The center is focused on developing a detailed understanding of lignocellulose, the main structural material in plants, from cellulose synthesis and fibril formation to a mature plant cell wall, forming a foundation for significant advancement in sustainable energy and materials. Website.
  • Forest Nutrition Cooperative - A multidisciplinary team from North Carolina State University, Virginia Tech, and Universidad de Concepción contribute expertise in silviculture, forest nutrition, ecophysiology, soils, plant community ecology, growth and yield modeling, remote sensing, spatial analysis and GIS, and statistics. FNC website.
  • Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory - As a consortium of 97 major Ph.D.–granting academic institutions, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) cultivates collaborative partnerships that enhance the scientific research and education enterprise. ORAU partners with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to provide members access to the world-class scientific facility. Virginia Tech has been a member since 1949 and the university's representative, Terry Herdman, is a member of the ORAU board of directors. And Virginia Tech is one of the eight universities that partners with UT-Battelle to manage ORNL. Website.
  • Wood-Based Composites Center - Virginia Tech partners with Mississippi State University, University of Maine, Oregon State University, University of Minnesota, and University of British Columbia to advance the science and technology of wood-based composite materials. Website.

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI)

  • Ionic Liquids in Electro-Active Devices MURI - Virginia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, and Drexel University are collaborating to develop electromechanical devices and high-performance membranes using ionic liquids, with funding from the Army Research Office. Virginia Tech chemistry professor Tim Long and University of Pennsylvania professor of materials science and engineering Karen I. Winey are co-directors. Website.
  • Energy Harvesting and Storage System for Future Air Force Vehicles MURI - The Center for Intelligent Materials Science and Structures, directed by Daniel Inman, the George R. Goodson Professor in Mechanical Engineering, is developing energy harvesting methods for powering small electronics. For example, they are creating several devices to convert and store ambient energy sources, such as vibrations, changing temperatures, and solar energy, into usable electrical energy. An important application is wireless sensors. The research is part of a multidisciplinary university research initiative with the University of Washington, University of California at Los Angeles, and University of Colorado at Boulder funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The research is also funded by the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Website.

National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation programs

  • Engineers and scientists at Virginia Tech, Harvard, and Drexel are studying the locomotion of fish in water. Co-PIs are Michael Philen, assistant professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, Harry Dorn, professor of chemistry, and Don Leo, associate dean of engineering, at Virginia Tech; George Lauder, professor of biology at Harvard; and James Tangorra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Drexel. Website.
  • Virginia Tech and Arizona State University researchers seek to understand how insects produce and control internal flows and to use this knowledge to create novel, highly efficient, bio-inspired fluid-transport systems such as medically implantable microdevices. Jake Socha, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, is the PI.



National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC)

  • The Center for Advanced Forestry Systems - The center bridges top forestry research programs with industry members to solve complex, industry-wide problems. University partners are Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, University of Florida, Purdue, University of Washington, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Maine. Website.
  • The Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems - The center brings together industries in a consortium to support research at Virginia Tech, Clemson University, and the University of Texas at Dallas in energy harvesting from various environmental sources such as light, temperature gradient, wind, and vibrations at nano and macro scales. Virginia Tech is the lead institution. Shashank Priya is the contact. Website
  • The Wood-Based Composites Center - The center conducts materials science research to advance the science and technology of wood-based composite materials, including manufacturing process and performance of wood-based composites and adhesives. Website

Research and Degree Program Partnerships

  • The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research was established in Danville to serve as a catalyst for economic and community transformation in southern Virginia. As part of its mission to transform the area’s economy, the Institute provides and/or co-sponsors a host of academic offerings through a variety of academic partners including New College Institute, the Southern Virginia Higher Ed Center and Danville Community College, all aimed at educating area residents for the new innovation economy. Outreach and education programs with partners like Averett University develop a future core-economy workforce while enhancing the preparedness of the existing labor market. Education and outreach efforts are targeted at science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines which support the research initiative. IALR’s research centers, affiliated with Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University, are also playing a key role in developing a new economy. University research faculty at the Institute support innovation programs that increase regional economic growth through sponsored research, product testing, and commercialization. Regional industry sectors targeted by IALR researchers range from motorsports and performance engineering to high value horticulture and forestry. IALR website.
  • National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)- Located in Hampton, Va., the consortium of universities performs research in a broad range of disciplines including air traffic systems, aviation safety, flight systems, materials and structures, space exploration, and atmospheric sciences. The institute offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the fields of engineering and science through its university partners: Georgia Tech, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, and the College of William & Mary. NIA website.
  • Virginia Space Grant Consortium - The coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions represents diverse aerospace education and research. VSGC website.
  • Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences - The school is a fully joint venture between Wake Forest University and Virginia Tech, which integrates the capabilities of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Master's and doctoral degrees and undergraduate opportunities are offered and 23 research labs address issues ranging from biomedical imaging to injury prevention and regenerative medicine. For example, the Mechanics of Soft Biological Systems Laboratory is studying knee ligament sprains at the micro-mechanical level. PI is Raffaella De Vita (, an assistant professor in the engineering science and mechanics department. The work is supported by a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant. SBES website.

Outreach Partnerships

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program - SANREM CRSP is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade Bureau and managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Virginia Tech. The objective is to support sustainable agriculture and natural resource management decision makers in developing countries by providing access to appropriate data, knowledge, tools, and methods of analysis; and by enhancing their capacity to make better decisions to improve livelihoods and the sustainability of natural resources. Partner universities are Cornell University, University of Indiana, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of Colorado, University of Connecticut, University of Georgia, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, Washington State University, and 14 host country universities: Universidad de la Cordillera, Bolivia; Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya; Makerere University, Uganda; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Económica y Social, Bolivia; Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia; Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Peru; Nong Lam University, Vietnam; Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia; University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Philippines; Don Bosco Technical College, Philippines; De La Salle University, Philippines; University of the Philippines Open University, Philippines; and Central Queensland University, Australia, on projects in Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia. Website.
  • The Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program - The IPM CRSP is one of nine CRSPs set up to leverage the expertise found at American land grant universities in developing countries around the world. IPM is a systems approach to reducing damage caused by pests to an acceptable level without harming the environment. IPM includes the adoption of pest-resistant varieties of crops; biological and physical control methods; environmental modification; biopesticides; and when absolutely necessary, non-residual, environmentally-friendly and low mammalian-toxic chemical pesticides. The IPM CRSP is managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Virginia Tech. Partner universities are Clemson University, Florida A&M, Fort Valley State University. Kansas State University, Michigan State University, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue, Tennessee State University, Texas A&M, University of Arizona, University of California at Davis, University of California at Riverside, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Virginia State University, and Washington State University. Website.