Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Association News
Fall 2008

Holtzman Alumni Center

Around the
Summer Around the Drillfield

Each summer, alumni and their families and friends come back to campus to immerse themselves in hands-on, interactive programs about the amazing research occurring at the university. Summer Around the Drillfield also allows participants to explore the campus and surrounding environs, such as the Cascades and New River McCoy Falls, either to see what has changed or to reminisce about their time in Blacksburg. Lodging for Summer Around the Drillfield is provided at the beautiful Inn at Virginia Tech and programs are held in the Skelton Conference Center and Holtzman Alumni Center. The evenings feature opportunities for continued social interaction and family fun.

Summer Around the Drillfield 2008 featured the College of Science with the theme "Energy and the Environment.” Some of the sessions were "Energy Conversions and Solar Energy," "A Particle Physicist's Adventures in Nuclear Power," "Sustainability: Ways of Motivating Environmentally Responsible Behavior," and "Chemistry's Magic Show and Solar Bags." Additionally, participants enjoyed a Friday night dinner in downtown Blacksburg and a concert featuring the sounds of the Key West Band.

From July 16-18, 2009, Summer Around the Drillfield will focus on the College of Engineering and the new Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Science (ICTAS), formed to continue advancing the university’s international research agenda, with the theme "Engineering Healthier Lives." [Go here to learn more about the institute.]

Summer Around the Drillfield

The first two of three ICTAS research buildings have been completed, and Summer Around the Drillfield 2009 will give participants of all ages a chance to explore many of the fascinating research projects taking place within its walls. Sessions may take a closer look at the following:

. A minimally invasive method of treating cancer using electric pulses.

. Autonomous vehicles capable of traveling a 60-mile course through traffic in less than six hours with no human intervention.

. DARwIn, a bipedal walking humanoid robot that plays soccer.

. Experimental testing with dummy and human surrogates to develop human impact injury criteria, such as analyzing football helmet impacts using wireless accelerometers as well as "black boxes" in automobiles.

. Injury prevention research that "trips" people to see how they fall and which muscles they use to catch themselves.

Please visit our website at to learn more about the 2008 and 2009 programs and to register.

also in this issue ...

. Tribute to a giant among Hokies: William E. Skelton '40 (1919-2008)

. Virginia Tech's legendary leadership team

. 2008 university and Alumni Association awards

. VTAA events

. Virginia Tech Alumni Association chapter awards

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