Working across schools and across colleges we have numerous cross-disciplinary research projects and learning opportunities including collaborations between art and computer science, architecture and engineering and biology, and more.
CAUS Research Centers
Our centers focus in three primary areas; funded research, scholarship, and community engagement.
- Virginia Center for Housing Research (HRC)
- Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG)
- Center for Innovation in Construction Safety, Health, and Well-being (IC-SAFE)
- Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC)
- Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech (MI)
- Center for Advanced Visual Media
- Center for High Performance Learning Environments
- Henry W. Wiss Center for Theory and History of Art and Architecture
- International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA)
The Research and Demonstration Facility
The Research + Demonstration facility, or RDF, is our primary laboratory for design/build, for robotics and rapid prototyping and a myriad of other successful engaging activities. It is unfortunately too small and we are unable to achieve additional research until we can expand it.
It’s where we built three award-winning solar decathlon houses including LumenHAUS, currently located behind Cowgill, which won the International Solar Decathlon and a 2012 AIA Honor Award for Architecture.
We are the only university in the mid-Atlantic with autonomous robotic systems as an active part of the curriculum. At RDF we have hosted a multi-university robotics seminar for faculty and students from several universities. Here we have a full scale ABB robot and two smaller training ones.
Research isn’t just for faculty
Undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to participate in research with faculty and develop their own research projects.
Third-year architecture student Emily Bell of Durham, North Carolina spent the 2014-15 academic year working on an undergraduate research project on vibration in architecture with professor Mehdi Setareh in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ Vibration Testing Laboratory.
The History of CAUS Research
Research has been a key focus of the college since its founding in 1964. 50 Years of CAUS Research provides an overview of some of the projects and people who shaped the history of research in the college.
Every other year, faculty from across the college come together to present their recent and ongoing research during the CAUS Faculty Research Symposium. This event creates an opportunity for faculty from differing disciplines within the college to come together to share their work and develop new ideas and potential collaborations for the future.
Learn more about the research presented during these events on their websites, which feature abstracts of the presentations:
Some of our faculty’s recent projects:
The Bat Project is in ongoing interdisciplinary research project with Dane Webster, Associate Professor, Animation & 3D Modeling, from the School of Visual Arts and mechanical engineering Associate Professsor Rolf Mueller and his graduate student Anupam Gupta.
Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS research proposes an alternative to conventional construction: a pre-fab delivery method for assembling medium and high density urban housing which can be less expensive, safer, energy-efficient and of the highest quality. Additionally, the advanced integrated electronics that we expect to have in our homes today can be immediately integrated into the construction and assembly process.
Ralph Buehler is an associate professor in Urban Affairs & Planning and a Faculty Fellow with the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center. His research has had a global impact on the field of transportation research — particularly in the area of cycling — and more locally, it has provided important insights into the infrastructure improvements that have worked elsewhere that can also be applied to the national capital region.
Thomas Tucker of the School of Visual Arts and Chip Clark from the School of Architecture + Design have been collaborating with faculty from the College of Engineering to explore participatory visual environments through projection mapping with robotic manipulators. Read more about the Robotic Project Mapping project.
A research team from Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Arts has started a 3-D catalog of canine body types as part of the project whose ultimate goal is to help identify medical issues in working dogs. This research project was sponsored by a Institute For Creativity, Arts, And Technology SEAD (Science, Engineering, Art, and Design) Major Initiative Program Grant.
Formed in 2013 and about to expand, the Glass Robotics Lab is an initiative of Nathan King, an assistant professor of architecture and steward of the Design Technology Initiative in the Center for Design Research at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design; and Stefanie Pender, a glass artist and faculty member in the Glass Program at the Rhode Island School of Design.