Discovery Domain: Sustainability

In a world with growing pressure on resources, the requirements of present and future generations are important. With sustainability in mind, Virginia Tech researchers developed formidable research strength in energy, materials, transportation, communication, natural resources, data-intensive computing, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, neuroscience, polymers, robotics, geographic-information systems, and visualization.


Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers have unveiled a life-like, autonomous robotic jellyfish the size and weight of a grown man, 5 foot 7 inches in length and weighing 170 pounds, as part of a U.S. Navy-funded project. The prototype robot, nicknamed Cyro, is a larger model of a robotic jellyfish the same team – headed by Shashank Priya, professor of mechanical engineering – unveiled in 2012. Both robots are part of a multi-university, nationwide $5 million project funded by U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research.

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A team of faculty members from Virginia Tech is building international bridges to share resources and knowledge to advance research in sustainable infrastructure. Ralph Hall and Shalini Misra, both assistant professors in urban affairs and planning in the School of Public and International Affairs, and Michael Garvin, an associate professor in construction engineering and management in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, won a grant from the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to create a new international program to promote collaborative research on sustainable infrastructure development.

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