Educational Initiatives

Local teachers doing water research in Stroubles Creek

Local teachers wading in creek

Exposure to interdisciplinary research can spark interest in STEM fields, develop advanced technical knowledge alongside a broad, cross-cutting perspective, and create opportunities for students to make a difference in their local, national and global communities. ICTAS committed to providing experiential learning opportunities in interdisciplinary research for students and teachers at all levels.

For Undergraduates

ICTAS Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant program

This program was established in fall 2016 to engage more undergraduates in interdisciplinary research during the academic year and increase Virginia Tech's proposals to NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site program and International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program. In its first year, the program supported nine faculty teams across five colleges who worked with 24 undergraduate students.

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates

This NSF-REU site on Interdisciplinary Water Sciences and Engineering at Virginia Tech was established in 2007. As of summer 2016, 85 undergraduate researchers have participated, representing more than 55 institutions across the United States and Canada. Faculty members and graduate students from disciplines including Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Education, Geosciences, Biological Sciences, Industrial Design, Biological Systems Engineering, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, and Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences mentor the undergraduate REU fellows, who conduct independent research on interdisciplinary aspects of water sciences and engineering. 

Typically, applications are invited from qualified and motivated undergraduate students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors) from U.S. colleges/universities to participate in the 10-week program. U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will join an ongoing research project in interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering and conduct research under the supervision of Virginia Tech faculty and graduate students. Research projects may include fieldwork, laboratory simulations, literature review, and analysis of data.

NSF/REU Announcement

Past REU sites

Undergraduate research opportunities
We can help connect you with researchers working on a broad variety of high-impact interdisciplinary projects, including unmanned aircraft, sustainable water systems, and biomedical engineering. Contact Vinod Lohani.

ICTAS guest lecture series
We arrange guest lectures by ICTAS experts for students from various courses on cutting-edge topics of interest. The first series took place in spring 2017 and was attended by more than 1200 freshmen; it included presentations on applications and challenges for drone technology and the latest advances in wind energy. Contact Vinod Lohani. Upcoming lectures are listed in the sidebar.

For K-12 Students

Events at ICTAS allow K-12 students to learn about research on sustainable energy, helmet safety, unmanned aircraft, watershed science, bioinspired engineering, and other interdisciplinary topics in a variety of laboratory and field settings and through school-sponsored science events. For more information, contact Vinod Lohani

For Teachers

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Teachers
Virginia Tech is hosting an NSF RET site on water engineering, ecology, environment, and geosciences (Water ECubeG). The six-week program for high-school and community-college STEM faculty will integrate water research perspectives from across disciplines to provide a holistic understanding of environmental monitoring and water/watershed related issues. The teachers will participate in a research project and professional development activities, and develop learning modules for their students.

Contact Vinod Lohani