Right on track with Virginia Tech's goal to be among the top 30 research institutions in the nation, the grand total of research dollars spent this year in the College of Engineering graduate program reached over $100 million. The graduate program came close to spending this amount last year, with research expenditures of $98 million. "The College of Engineering faculty members continue to be recognized for their excellent efforts in fundamental and applied research through positive growth in the success of their funded proposals. Some of our strongest efforts are in the areas of transportation, power electronics, materials, coal and energy, and wireless communications," reports Ed Henneke, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the college.

The graduate research spending total of the College of Engineering was just compiled for the annual report about graduate school activities to U.S. News and World Report, which uses such information to rank the best engineering schools in the nation. Currently, the engineering graduate program is ranked 23rd in the nation, according to the April 2002 U.S. News and World Report survey. The entire College was rated 15th in the nation by corporate recruiters and 18th by engineering school deans who also ranked five of the College's graduate programs among the top 25 in their fields.

Graduate research dollars are included in the annual survey because research activities reflect the impact the university is making by increasing the knowledge base. Conducting related research enhances the knowledge faculty can share with their students. Graduate students benefit directly, especially in the area of job preparation, from participating in various research projects.

The total graduate engineering research spending includes all direct and indirect expenditures on sponsored research, state expenditures through cost sharing, equipment, the portion of faculty time spent on research and gifts for research from the Virginia Tech Foundation. The College is anticipating even greater growth in the areas of biomedical engineering, aerospace, and new critical technologies. These growth areas are expected to be the result of a new partnership with the Medical College of Wake Forest University, a new partnership with five other universities and the NASA Langley Research Center in the National Institute for Aerospace and the new college initiative with the VT Institutes for Critical Technologies (VTICT), respectively.

The complete engineering Faculty Expertise resource guide is available under "publications" on the college website: http://eng.vt.edu. Find your area of interest along with the Virginia Tech faculty conducting related research in addition to contact information.

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