Twelve highly accomplished Virginia Tech faculty experts in computer science and computer engineering have formally affiliated with the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria. This first cohort of Innovation Campus faculty will play a vital role in shaping the new campus by helping to establish key research themes, enhancing the project-based curriculum, and developing the campus governance structure.

“The strength of the university’s faculty — in both teaching and research — is a great asset to the Innovation Campus, and I’m eager to work with each one of them,” said Lance Collins, vice president and executive director of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. “I’m confident this high-achieving faculty cohort will propel us to attract additional top talent from around the country to join in building a campus culture that is outward-facing, connected to the technology ecosystem, and impactful in identifying technology solutions to societal problems.”

In addition to the new cohort of affiliated faculty, the Innovation Campus has initiated national searches for faculty positions. By 2024, the campus plans to have more than 20 faculty members, and at full build out in 2028-29, that number will be 50.

This first cohort of faculty come from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science within the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. Some are currently based in Blacksburg, while others are already serving the Northern Virginia area. Innovation Campus faculty will maintain their tenured appointments within the College of Engineering.

“Virginia Tech has a long history of graduate education in computer science and computer engineering both in Blacksburg and in the D.C. region,” said Julie Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering. “We are proud to collaborate with the Innovation Campus team to define a new chapter of graduate education in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area and to help the state meet its goal of doubling the technology workforce.”

With expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, human-computer interaction, applied machine learning, 5G/6G networks, and energy efficient systems, among other areas, the Innovation Campus faculty bring a combined 121 years of experience on the Virginia Tech faculty. Four are current program directors and one is an associate department head.

Virginia Tech Innovation Campus affiliate faculty

  • Paul K. Ampadu, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Research interests include: reliable/secure/energy-efficient systems on chip (SoC), low-power VLSI, loT reliability and security.
  • Kirk Cameron, professor of computer science; associate department head. Research interests include: green computing, power-performance modeling, computer science education, and entrepreneurship.
  • Sara Hooshangi, collegiate associate professor; director, Master of Engineering in Computer Science. Research interests include: computer science digital education, broadening participation in computer science, and data visualization.
  • Vassilios Kovanis, collegiate professor, director, Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering, Northern Virginia. Research interests include: quantum engineering applied nonlinear dynamics, tunable photonic oscillators, and photonic clocks.
  • Lingjia Liu, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Research interests include: 6G networks, machine learning for wireless, Open RAN, and dynamic spectrum access/sharing.
  • Chang-Tien Lu, professor of computer science; director, computer science program, Northern Virginia; Research interests include: data analytics, urban computing, spatial information, machine learning, and natural language processing.
  • Kurt Luther, associate professor of computer science and (by courtesy) history. Research interests include: human-computer interaction, human-AI collaboration, crowdsourcing, social computing, digital humanities.
  • Naren Ramakrishnan, Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering; director, Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. Research interests include: data science, machine learning, computational epidemiology, recommender systems, and urban analytics.
  • Walid Saad, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Research interests include: wireless networks, 5G/6G systems, machine learning, game theory, drones, cyber-physical systems, and cybersecurity.
  • Angelos Stavrou, professor of electrical and computer engineering; founder, Kryptowire Inc., a venture capital-funded mobile security startup. Research interests include: large systems security and survivability, intrusion detection systems, and privacy preserving technologies.
  • Yaling Yang, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Research interests include: network modeling, analysis and simulation, network security, and media access control.
  • Yang "Cindy" Yi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Research interests include: integrated circuits and systems, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and neuromorphic computing.

Among the affiliate appointments are designations for several “lead” positions within the Innovation Campus. Cameron is the first faculty lead and will represent the faculty to the senior administration of the Innovation Campus.  Ampadu will serve as diversity lead, Lu as curriculum lead, Ramakrishnan as AI/ML lead, Stavrou as entrepreneurship lead, and Walid Saad as Next G lead. Read more about the faculty structure in the strategic plan.

“We will work closely with the incoming faculty on a shared governance structure that will help carry us through the campus opening and beyond.” Collins said. “This faculty will bring new ideas and a forward-thinking approach to their work as we look to solidify our connections to the community and the Northern Virginia tech industries. It is an exciting time to be part of the Innovation Campus.”

Virginia Tech’s presence in the D.C. area is growing — bolstered by the Innovation Campus. The Innovation Campus will make its home on 3.5 acres in the first phase of a mixed-use development and innovation district JGB Smith is developing near the future Potomac Yard-VT Metrorail Station, just south of Reagan National Airport.

The Innovation Campus’ first building, an 11-story, 300,000-square-foot structure, is on track to open to students in 2024. Innovation Campus students currently take classes based at Virginia Tech’s Falls Church location. By 2030, the campus expects to enroll 750 master’s degree candidates.

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