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Dean Ross speaking at a podium.

Building strength from the inside out

In the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, we spend quite a bit of time thinking and talking about community. What does it mean to belong here, maybe as Hokies, or as faculty or students? As engineers? Where do the boundaries of our college and university community begin to blur into those of global citizenship, as people intent on improving the world – and other communities – around us?

Service is a core component of the Hokie ethos, but it’s also critical to the foundation of the engineering discipline. Our work exists because there are problems to solve, people to help, and a changing landscape that requires an agile response and an engineering skill set. We incorporate hard work and innovation as integral parts of that response, but collaboration, empathy, and self-reflection also matter. Current circumstances in society as well as in our classrooms, labs, and homes help illustrate the importance of this approach.

In this issue of the Virginia Tech Engineer, you’ll see evidence of the Hokie engineering community in action, a community engaged in building strength from the inside to help expand an outward reach.

Highlights include a glimpse into several of the many college’s projects focused on green engineering and changing the approach to sustainable systems thinking, as well as a student-organized volleyball tournament that helped aspiring engineers reconnect after a period of prolonged disruption. You’ll also see how some of our graduates and current students have leaned into their personal and professional communities to find encouragement, mentorship, and opportunities for growth.

As always, our alumni community continues to be a constant source of inspiration, feedback, and support for Virginia Tech Engineering. We’re so grateful for your partnership, and we look forward to changing the world for good – together. 

Julia M. Ross Signature

Julia M. Ross
Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering

If you want to have an impact on our students and faculty like those featured in this magazine, go here to support the College of Engineering. For more information, call (540) 231-3628.