Agencies | Governor

Virginia has one of the largest and most prestigious higher education systems in the country, and our residents are among the most educated individuals in the nation. Virginia's newest statewide initiative, known as the New Virginia Economy, is an ambitious mission to diversify and grow a multitude of industries with careful attention and support to the fields of science, technology, and engineering. By increasing the number of STEM degrees in our world-class public universities, we have created a massive young workforce that is ready to make Virginia the technology leader of the 21st century.

  • George Mason University
  • Hampton University
  • James Madison University
  • Liberty University
  • Mountain Empire Community College
  • National Institute of Aerospace
  • New River Community College
  • Old Dominion University
  • Thomas Nelson Community College
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Space Grant Consortium
  • Virginia Tech
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Hampton University's Department of Aviation, housed within its School of Engineering and Technology, offers programs in Air Traffic Control, Aviation Management, and Flight Education. According to the most recent figures from the school's registrar, 19 students were enrolled in the department as of Fall 2012. The department is the only one of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America with a FAA-approved Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative program.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Engineering and Technology

Centers and Institutes

Aeropropulsion Center

JMU's UAS Project in Fall 2015 brought together students from seven majors and four professors to use "collaborative learning, design thinking, social entrepreneurial skills, and a variety of technologies to develop prototype uses for six UASs that were custom-built by JMU students." The project was sponsored by 4-VA, and hosted in their X-Labs facility on the JMU campus. Entrepreneurs from NOVALabs participate throughout the course

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Computer Science
Engineering
Integrated Science and Technology

Liberty University currently has over 50 students that have declared the UAS program as their major and many more undeclared students that have mentioned UAS as a path of choice. They offer courses on UAS fundamentals, small UAS operations and medium UAS ground and flight courses which offer students the possibility of certification on the Aerosonde UAS with a partnership through Textron’s UAS division. Liberty is growing their program to include courses that will teach students how to apply professional aviation concepts to UAS flights as well as provide them with the knowledge of the systems common to all types of UAS.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Aeronautics: Unmanned Aerial Systems

Mountain Empire Community College began offering the region's only college credit course in UAS technology in the fall of 2015. The class covers the "principles of building, programming, and flying UASs," and students receive "hands-on training in quadcopter design and construction as well as learn to fly both assisted and unassisted FPV (First Person View) quadcopters."

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Computerized Manufacturing Technology - Electromechanical
Geographical Information Systems
3-D Design

NIA was formed by a consortium of leading research universities, including Hampton University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, the College of William & Mary and the AIAA Foundation. NIA serves as a strategic partner with NASA Langley Research Center and the aerospace community to enable research creativity and expand technology development opportunities. The Institute integrates research and graduate education while creating new government/academia/industry partnerships.

Centers and Institutes

Center for Aerospace Acoustics
Center for Aerospace Systems Engineering
Center for Small Satellite Systems and Technology for Observation and Exploration
Center for Photonics, Sensors, and Solar Energy
Center for Integrative STEM Education

Activities

Peninsula Technology Incubator
Provides office space and startup resources to a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs. With 3D printers, a wet chemistry lab, UAS testing facilities and more, if you can’t build the answer yourself, our community of experienced mentors and educational classes can show you how.

Laboratories

Photonics, Sensors, and Solar Energy Laboratory
Bruel & Kjaer Laboratory for Aerospace Vibration and Acoustics
Nanomaterials Laboratory
Rapid Prototyping Laboratory

New River Community College students have worked in conjunction with many companies and universities on industry projects, including concept designs of UAV, UCAV, and UGVs. This year's concept design projects, which include three NRCC transfer engineering students on each team, are a fifth generation Unmanned Air Superiority Fighter and a modular tactical, reconnaissance, and crowd control UGV.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Engineering Design Technology

Activities

Unmanned Systems Projects

ODU's College of Engineering & Technology features the Unmanned Autonoumous Systems and Robots (UAS) Cluster, a group of leading engineering researchers promoting research and developing curricula in umanned systems, autonomy, and robotics. The Unmanned and Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory was created in Fall 2015 "to support ongoing work in ground and flight based unmanned and autonomous vehicle design. The laboratory provides a work space and tools for two major undergraduate competitions, SAE Aero Design East and AUVSI RoboBoat. In addition, the laboratory is used for design and support of air and surface vehicles used for graduate research projects." ODU also features an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle club, "currently geared toward the development of a fully autonomous aerial vehicle for International Competition" and is open to all majors and grade levels at the university.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Electrical & Computer Engineering
Engineering Technology
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Modeling, Simulation & Visualization Engineering

Centers and Institutes

Center for Advanced Engineering Environments
Transportation Research Institute
Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (VMASC)<

Activities

Intelligent Systems
A new wave of embedded and real-time systems, comprising multimodal transportation, unoccupied autonomous systems, and cyber and cyber-physical system purposes.

Laboratories

Computational Intelligence & Machine Vision Laboratory

In November 2015, TNCC Workforce Development hosted the Peninsula Entrepreneurship Forum, featuring keynote speakers from DividedSky. The company specializes in aerial emergency response, agriculture, mapping, and videograophy with small unmanned aerial systems. TNCC also hosted the Hover Games in August 2015 for middle and high school students, "a rodeo style competition that highlighted the work of four teams that had the opportunity to build, program, and fly quadcopters throughout the week... David North, Aerospace Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center volunteered throughout the week to introduce flying terms, and the basics of the aircraft to campers."

Taking FLIGHT with GIS
Thirteen students from five Virginia Community Colleges can now add unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and NASA to their resumes thanks to their work on a sea level rise study for NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The students recently completed four-days of fieldwork at NASA Wallops in which they planned and conducted UAS missions, analyzed data, and prepared a report for NASA. The fieldwork was completed as part of a new pilot online course, Topics in Service Learning in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), offered by Thomas Nelson Community College in partnership with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) as part of the VSGC’s NASA-funded STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges project. Read Full Article

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Summer Camps

"U.Va’s System-Aware Cybersecurity concept and Secure Sentinel technology was part of a research project led by U.Va. engineers to detect and respond to cyber-attacks on unmanned aerial systems... U.Va. recently licensed the technology to Mission Secure Inc., which is in the process of commercializing its security solutions for the military, intelligence, and civil sectors." U.Va. professor David Sheffler has also developed a 3D-printed, hand-launchable, fully autonomous UAV called The Razor in partnership with the Mitre Corporation, and the U.Va. Vision Group conducts theoretical and experimental research on computer vision, image processing, autonomous robotics, and planning. U.Va.'s School of Engineering has also launched a multi-million dollar initiative in "cyber-physical systems," which will include an international search for eight additional faculty members

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Systems and Information Engineering

Laboratories

Robotics, Automation, and Dance Laboratory

VCU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering conducts research in nanoelectronics, controls and communication, and computer engineering, with one of its nine laboratories specifically focused on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. VCU students have participated in the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) Foundation's Small Unmanned Systems Competition since 2003.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Computer Science

Activities

Modern Heuristics Research Group
Focuses on theoretical as well as applied research in Computational Intelligence algorithms, such as Artificial Neural Networks, Fuzzy Logic Systems and Unsupervised Learning techniques. We are applying these methods in areas of Energy, Cyber Security, Human-Machine Interfacing,, Intelligent Control Systems, Software Defined Networks, Robotics, Visualizations and others.

Autonomous Vehicular Navigation

Collaborative UAV's

Laboratories

Senosry Intelligent Laboratory (SIL)
Mechatronics Laboratory, ME
Unmanned Systems Laboratory

VMI's Mechanical Engineering Department features the Cooperative Engineering Center, in which senior students are placed on teams and tasked with solving an engineering design problem submitted by local industrial clients. Students draft formal reports and present their findings to faculty and the client.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions representing diverse aerospace education and research. The VSGC acts as an umbrella organization, coordinating and developing aerospace-related and high technology educational and research efforts throughout the Commonwealth and connecting Virginia's effort to a national community of shared aerospace interests.
Virginia Tech's College of Engineering houses the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS), a research center facilitating interdisciplinary research in autonomous systems technology in water, land, air, and space. Its Kentland Experimental Aerial Systems (KEAS) Laboratory includes approximately 2000 sq ft of UAV hangar space and a 300 ft by 70 ft paved airstrip for small (R/C scale) aircraft. In August 2014, the FAA granted Virginia Tech authorization for its Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership's Unmanned Aircraft System test site program, headquartered within the school's Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science. VT's Unmanned Systems lab also operates under the Mechanical Engineering Department, and has worked with sponsors such as Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNL), Savannah River National Labs (SRNL), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), and AAI corp.

Academic Programs (credit or non-credit)

Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Program
Computer Science Program
Electrical and Computer Engineering Program
Materials Science and Engineering Program
Mechanical Engineering Program

Centers and Institutes

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
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. In all endeavors, the VTTI community is charged with finding solutions to the greatest transportation challenges facing not only the nation but the world. The faculty, staff, and students of VTTI are truly dedicating their lives to saving lives.

Virginia Smart Road is a unique, state-of-the-art, full-scale, closed test-bed research facility managed by VTTI and owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The Smart Road continues to play an important role in the overall success of the institute and its research endeavors. Transportation scientists and product developers have spent more than 20,000 hours conducting research on this high-tech highway since its opening.

Virginia Automated Corridors (VAC) is a new initiative that will provide an automation-friendly environment that government agencies, original equipment manufacturers, and suppliers can use to test and certify their systems, providing a system migration path from test-track to real-world operating environments. The VAC will leverage extensive experience in on-road safety research to provide efficient solutions to automated-vehicle testing

Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems
The Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS) is an ICTAS/College of Engineering research center which facilitates interdisciplinary research in autonomous systems technology. VaCAS hosts research activities spanning every application domain: water, land, air, and space. VaCAS member research activities range from fundamental control theory to vehicle development to applications for science, security, and commerce.

Activities

Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP)
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to establish a program to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) at 6 Test Sites. Virginia Tech is awarded to lead one of the six Test Sites, and the team includes Maryland and New Jersey.

Aerial Robotics Club
The purpose of the Aerial Robotics Club at Virginia Tech is for UAV enthusiasts to discuss and explore ideas for UAVs and their applications, and ultimately to build and fly them in real life.

Laboratories

Autonomous Systems and Controls Lab, ECE
Mechatronics Laboratory, ME
Unmanned Systems Laboratory