The ISE Department was one of the departmental co-sponsors of the inaugural HBCU Research Summit on October 9-10, 2016, where students and faculty from historically black colleges and universities were invited to visit Virginia Tech to explore research and graduate school opportunities. The summit was hosted by the College of Engineering and the Graduate School. More than 80 participants, mostly students, from Morgan State University, Virginia State University, Morehouse College, Risk University, and North Carolina A&T State University attended the summit. The interest of students and faculty included Computer Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Industrial and Systems Engineering. One goal of the summit was to establish collaborative research relationships between VT faculty and faculty from HBCU partners. Another goal was to introduce undergraduate students from HBCUs to opportunities for graduate school and summer undergraduate research experiences in engineering at VT, with the aim of increasing the diversity of our graduate applicants and ultimately, our graduate student population.
During the summit, student participants attended a track encompassing workshops on preparing for graduate school and the application process, while faculty participants had meetings with various engineering departments. In ISE, we hosted Dr. Amir Javaheri from Virginia State University. Student attendees interested in ISE came from the Manufacturing Engineering program at Virginia State University and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at NC A&T State University.
All summit participants were able to tour several ISE labs: the Harris Manufacturing Processes Lab, Cognitive Engineering for Novel Technologies (COGENT) Lab, Virginia Cognitive System Engineering (VACSE) Lab, and the Center for Innovation-based Manufacturing (CIbM). Thanks to Hannah Parks for all of the logistics support for this summit and to Dr. Joe Gabbard, Andwele Grant, Scott Lancaster, Dr. Nathan Lau, Steven Roesch, and Missie Smith for the lab tours. ISE's sponsorship in the summit was made possible by the ISE Excellence Fund. We look forward to participating in this summit again in 2017!