Timothy D. Sands
Those of us who have spent time in American higher education know that there's something slightly different, dare I say special, about land-grant universities. Advancing the boundaries of knowledge while closely wedded to job-creating initiatives, universities like Virginia Tech are at the center of the 21st-century "innovation ecosystem."
Although we are generally considered Virginia's leading economic development university, we have the potential to do still more. Our challenges here are not dissimilar from those of other land-grant universities, but I think we are in a better position to resolve them.
Corporate America sometimes is frustrated, rightfully in my opinion, with higher education's penchant to argue over intellectual property (IP) rights. Universities should and must engage in commercialization and entrepreneurship, and Virginia Tech is playing its part well. However, we must alter our approach.
Building Bellwether »
Associate Professor Andrew Patton McCoy (M.S. construction science and management '07, Ph.D. environmental design and planning '08) is the Preston and Catharine White Fellow and assistant director of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, and the director of the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech. Students awarded him the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Exemplary Faculty Award for the Department of Building Construction, and he was named to the Engineering News-Record's 2014 "Top 20 Under 40" list in the mid-Atlantic region.
Discovery Engine »
Now in his 31st year at Tech, Wing Ng, the Christopher C. Kraft Endowed Professor in Engineering, received the 2014 William E. Wine Award, which "completely overwhelmed" him, he said. "It's a career achievement. It made me feel that all the effort and extra time that goes into preparing the lectures and making the classes interesting is paying dividends because the students and the university really appreciate that extra effort." Ng, who specializes in gas turbine engines, practices the mantra "work hard, play hard" with hobbies like fishing, golfing, rock climbing, and scuba diving.