Virginia Tech®home

Thrust Areas

Mechanical Engineering is a broad field, and is one of the original areas of study at Virginia Tech since its opening in 1872. Today, the department puts its focus in five areas. Faculty have one primary and at least one secondary area of study within these areas. This interdisciplinary approach creates many unique intersections.

Thrust Areas

  • General Item
    Bio, Micro and Nano Systems
    Bio, Micro, and Nano Systems

    Uniting a diverse research portfolio with a wealth of interdisciplinary intersections. The biological systems research is interdisciplinary between mechanical engineering and biology. Research in the micro and nano area focuses on the properties of structures, surfaces, and transport phenomena at these very small scales. Some of this research looks across different scales to consider the nano as well as the micro scale.

  • General Item
    Energy Engineering and Science
    Energy Engineering & Science

    Focused on understanding, developing, and applying the basic principles of science and engineering to the very broad field of energy. Technologies are developed for the efficient and sustainable use and conversion of energy with the goal of meeting the challenges posed by dwindling resources, rising prices, and environmental impacts.

  • General Item
    Design, Materials and Manufacturing
    Design, Materials & Manufacturing

    Focused on all elements of engineering design and advanced manufacturing, spanning across areas of design methodology, design optimization, and advanced manufacturing and materials processing.

  • General Item
    Robotics, Autonomous & Dynamical Systems

    Organized based on very strong core competencies in dynamic systems and control, supplemented by knowledge of an array of topics, including robotics, mechatronics, automotive engineering, energy harvesting, and autonomous systems.

  • General Item
    Nuclear Engineering and Science
    Nuclear Engineering & Science

    Focused on research and education for advancement of nuclear engineering science and its application in power, security, medicine and policy.