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The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the largest departments within Virginia Tech, awarding approximately 400 undergraduate, 47 Master of Science, and 20 Doctoral degrees annually. Despite its large enrollment, the average graduate class size in the department is fewer than 30 students and the department offers many opportunities for graduate students beyond the typical classroom educational experience. The ME department at Virginia Tech has one of the largest and most active ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) student sections in the United States. In addition, the department offers opportunities for students to attend professional conferences and internships, as well as attend professional development courses offered through the VT Graduate School’s Transformative Graduate Education program. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings have the Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering program listed as the No. 13 ranked undergraduate program, and the 16th ranked graduate program in the nation.

Student Groups

Being part of a student group on campus is a great way to learn how to work on a team, bring together different points of view, and put your classroom skills to work on projects. There are more than 900 student groups on campus, but these are a few that mechanical engineering students have particularly benefitted from. 

The goal of the organization is to learn and explore various acoustical applications.  Each semester, we strive to generate a final semester project pertaining to acoustics that is constructive, challenging, and can be used for various demonstrations upon completion.  While completing the project, we practice skills such as problem-solving, inquiry, and teamwork which are intended to enhance our productivity and knowledge in the field of acoustics.  Depending on the semester project, we also expand into similar fields such as audio, electronics, and signal processing.  The organization encourages attendance to ASA conferences where we can learn about different projects that other ASA chapters are involved in, seek opportunities for collaboration with other chapters and industry, and present our own demonstrations.  We aim to recruit members from various majors such as engineering, architecture, and anyone interested in acoustics.

The Omicron Chapter of Alpha Sigma Kappa at Virginia Tech is a sorority focused on uniting women pursuing technical majors. Our goal is to encourage sisterhood and academic achievement in women in Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and the Sciences. While women have an ever-growing presence in these fields, we remain a minority in collegiate and professional arenas which can prove challenging. As a sorority, we offer women the opportunity to develop leadership skills, friendships, a sense of belonging, and a network of support.

We are the student chapter of the American Foundry Society Piedmont Chapter. Our goal is to educate students in metalcasting and foundry practices. On the high school level we host Foundry-in-a-Box where a portable furnace is taken to high school classrooms and students can get hands-on demonstration in metalcasting. On the university level we hold monthly meetings where we discuss scholarships available, internships and co-op experiences, and have guest speakers from foundries. We also tour a local foundry at least once a semester. To introduce students to industry professionals we attends AFS meetings on the local, regional, and national level.

The Virginia Tech AIAA Student Branch has over 100 members ranging from freshman to graduate students and alumni. The organization is dedicated towards promoting resources, opportunities, and community for students to strengthen their technical and professional knowledge as students and future engineers in the aerospace field. The organization also works to strengthen student, faculty, and professional relationships within the university's aerospace department by encouraging active participation, communication, collaboration. Students are encouraged to submit papers to and particpate in AIAA student conferences.

American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) at Virginia Tech is a multi-disciplinary engineering club with a focus on railway technology.  The focus of this organization is to provide students and companies opportunities to develop networking connections.  Students will be given opportunities to underline knowledge in the railway industry through professional guest speakers, field trips to railway facilities, and networking/career development events.  

ASME, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, founded in 1880 is a not-for-profit professional organization promoting the art, science, and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences through the world. The ASME Student Section at Virginia Tech is dedicated to building the leadership, teamwork, and social skills of its members required to be a successful professional in today's work force.

Our Student Development Programs include:

  • Company Networking Events
  • Hands-on Workshops & Educational Seminars
  • Design Competitions
  • Student Design Team
  • Social Events
  • Access to Industry Leading Tools

The Virginia Tech Astrobotics team is one of 50 teams that competes regularly in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. With NASA's objective to sustain life on Mars, the primary goal is to find a source of water. It is believed that water can be found in the form of icy gravel beneath the Martian surface, and a mining system is required to retrieve the gravel. This team, comprised of student engineers from the computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering senior design programs as well as underclassmen from several different engineering majors, design and manufacture a robot capable of collecting artificial Martian soil in a competition-based environment. 

AUVSI is the world's largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotics technologies. This chapter serves as a sister organization to the AUVSI Ridge and Valley chapter, and is the first student chapter of the organization. Typical meetings include unmanned vehicle demonstrations, professional speakers, and building workshops.

Bioactivity is a highly interdisciplinary biomedical engineering design team. We identify medical problems around the world and solve them with an engineering approach. We don't just design according to a competition's specifications; we identify a need, design a solution around it, and we create a plan for implementing it (as a business, a publication, or other impactful method). This isn't to say that we don't compete, though: each year our projects have won awards in design and entrepreneurial competitions. 

The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) club is a joint BMES chapter for graduate students that was founded to help bridge the gap between the two campuses, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University, and foster communication and collaboration among various research groups. Our mission is to encourage the development, dissemination, integration, and utilization of knowledge in biomedical engineering, as well as to enhance interaction within the scientific community. Our chapter offers unique ways for students to become involved in outreach projects, research collaborations, and social events with other biomedical engineering students, faculty, staff, and industry. We are involved in many service and outreach projects within the local community, and we participate annually at the BMES National Meeting.

EWB is a group of design teams where students work on water access and sanitation, construction, and energy projects with a professional mentor. Students travel internationally to assess needs in a community, then follow up with implementation of a system to address these needs. EWB is committed to long term relationships with the communities they work with, and return to monitor and maintain the systems after installation. EWB is made of three international design teams in Uganda, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

The purpose of Entrepreneurship Club is simple: we create a community of individuals who are comfortable and confident in starting projects and building ideas.

We provide connections, knowledge, and inspiration for students to get started. Connections to other like minded-students, plus local and visiting entrepreneurs.  Knowledge about entrepreneurship and business principles. Inspiration and encouragement that it can be done!

Environmental Innovation, a NEW organization at VT, looking for team members and leaders.

In order to protect our planet, we need stop worrying and start acting by innovating.

This club is great for anybody in environmental studies, policy, engineering, business, marketing, or anyone who thinks they can contribute towards implementing ideas.

The primary focus of this organization is to make project ideas realities and gain a better understanding of our environment. At early meetings, will be brainstorm of how we can make a meaningful impact to protecting the environment. The best project ideas will be chosen and planned out to make it a reality. The number of projects will be chosen depending on how many team members we have and their interests.

The Global Engineering Ambassadors are a selective group of enthusiastic, dedicated and motivated undergraduate and graduate engineering students who help the Global Engineering office (GEER) with its outreach and marketing activities in support of global experiences and initiatives for Virginia Tech’s engineering students. Ambassadors will help with those efforts by volunteering for approximately 10 hours of support every semester.

The Human Powered Submarine (HPS) Team is one of many student-run engineering design teams that are the pride of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. Our team's mission is to design, build, and race submarines that are propelled and controlled entirely by a human pilot. To complete such a project requires the knowledge of various engineering and liberal arts disciplines. In order to build a functional submarine and be competitive at our biennial competition, the International Submarine Races requires the teamwork of students who understand topics including hydrodynamics, electronics, composite materials, physics, machining, and administration. Participation on the team gives students a practical application of engineering and allows them to see the design progress from concept, to plan, to the functional boat, as well as experience the thrill of competition. 

We are a club dedicated to creating and building to improve the talents and skills of engineers. The Maker Club will host fun workshops on miscellaneous engineering skills/industry fields and work with various labs on campus to expose our members to additional opportunities. While we hope to share knowledge through workshops, it is our firm belief that the best way to sharpen problem solving skills is to apply engineering knowledge in the real world. This semester we will be hosting a Hovercraft Design Challenge where members will be able to race a hovercraft that they themselves will design and build during weekly club meetings. We hope that such activities will challenge and inspire better engineers at Virginia Tech.

With with more than 30,000 members, The National Society of Black Engineers is one of the largest student-managed organizations in the country. NSBE is comprised of more than 233 chapters on college and university campuses, 65 Alumni Extension chapters nationwide and 89 Pre-College chapters. These chapters are geographically divided into six regions. Virginia Tech's NSBE chapter resides in Region 2, along with other eastern coast collegiate chapters.

A multi-disciplinary student association on a result-oriented mission to solve distinct problems and improve the quality of life of community members and those who have served through life-changing innovation in prostheses, medical devices and assistive technologies.

Each member gets an opportunity to know the challengers in the community, work on the design and fabrication of the projects, learn new skills through organised workshops, as well as get to know fellow Hokies who share a desire to serve others.

Partnership with QL+: https://qlplus.org/associations/virginia-tech

Our team members are from different disciplines and have a variety of backgrounds. Most of the current team members have hands-on work experience from different labs and competitions. The goal is to have 30 registered team members, with at least 10 junior level students. Thus, we will have enough students to form parallel prototyping sub-teams. We are also focused on hiring more female team members to maintain the diversity of our team. 

Students will learn and apply knowledge and hands-on skills of programming in competition, networking, designing, and developing sensors by building robots. This is an international competition. So we are able to learn experiences from other teams.

The Rocketry at Virginia Tech is an affiliate of the Virginia Tech Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, and New River Valley Rocketry. The aim of the club will be to create an environment for students to learn and work together building, launching, and experimenting with high power rockets; the club will also serve to connect students with local rocketry clubs, and chapters of both Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), and aid those who wish to pursue high power certification.

SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize their fullest potential and impacts the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development.

Vision
SHPE's vision is a world where Hispanics are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

Conferences

National Conference. Your choice from a list of quality workshops that will help in strengthening your leadership, academic, career and personal goals. They also prepare members for the career expo. Executive lunches available most days, giving members an opportunity to network with other students and company representatives. The biggest event at the SHPE Conference is the Career Expo. More than 300 of the nation's top employers attend and are looking to employ YOU.

The mission of the student chapter will be aligned with the national chapter which is to develop skills of the future engineers interested in the manufacturing sector and build a strong network with the manufacturing industries using the resources provided by SME. The goals of the SME will be focusing on:

  1. Increase membership from different majors.
  2. Organize seminars, technical talks, plant visits (if the social distancing rules are lifted), otherwise online training in a manufacturing related skill.

SWE at VT contributes to the campus, the community, and its members through weekly professional development, social and outreach activities. SWE participates in many service projects aimed at encouraging young women to consider a career in engineering as well as projects that help the environment and the New River Valley community. SWE creates a network of women engineers throughout Virginia Tech and throughout industry and academia and demonstrates the value of diversity with STEM. SWE also offers scholarships, career advice and opportunities, networking, mentoring, and professional, social, and service opportunities for its members.

TEK Robotics is a competitive design team that welcomes students of all majors and experience levels.  We design, build, and program robots to be used in VexU competitions.  We aim to teach and reinforce the engineering design process as well as the fundamentals of engineering and programming.  Additionally, we teach advanced robotics concepts to our members, and develop techniques to apply these concepts in our robots.

Military connected based organization that helps to aide the transition of veterans from their time in service and assist dependents. Registered Student Veterans of America chapter. We are a diverse and vibrant student group comprised of members from every branch and other military connected students. Membership is available for any student who has, or is serving, in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard, Reserve Components or Coast Guard and dependents of all branches. 

Our primary goal is to make the maximum amount of educational aids available to student veterans and dependents. To this end our meetings are focused on finding scholarship information, classroom, materials and tutoring available to our members.

The Wind Turbine Team at Virginia Tech works to design and build a functioning, small-scale wind turbine and develop a mock Wind Farm. The goal of this organization is to provide its members with the opportunity to acquire skills in wind energy and earn first place in the Collegiate Wind Competition. This competition requires the team to build, market, and select a mock implementation location for a wind turbine. Therefore, this organization is open to all majors with a focus on Engineering and Business Majors. Our team facilitates individual members to gain hands-on experience and leadership skills.