Gift supports engineering education
By Terry McGuire
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 14 - December 4, 1997
Lockheed Martin Corporation has made a $200,000 commitment to Virginia Tech's College of Engineering that will help the college better prepare its students for life in the business world. The gift, which will be fulfilled over three years, will make it possible for more students to become part of multi-disciplinary project teams and will support the use of "virtual corporation" models designed to introduce students to the organizational and operational aspects of industry.
A portion of the gift will help fund the development of a Student Project Learning Center, a facility in which undergraduate engineering students and those from other colleges will work in multi-disciplinary teams on projects aimed at expanding students' skills beyond their own field of study. The gift will also support the Practical Engineering Laboratory, where first- and second-year engineering students will have the opportunity to tackle hands-on projects and apply the knowledge gained in preliminary course work.
Part of the gift will also go toward the development of an educational model that will allow students to gain an understanding of the many inter-related facets of a business enterprise--from market research and strategic planning to product design and production. The "virtual corporation' model will simulate the workplace, with student teams operating within actual markets to develop commercially viable products, systems, and technologies.
Lockheed Martin's gift continues the company's long-time support of research and engineering at Virginia Tech. "This very generous gift will provide the college with invaluable and practical educational resources," said F. William Stephenson, dean of the College of Engineering. "These are resources that will be instrumental in preparing our graduates for the constant changes and challenges of the global marketplace,"
"Lockheed Martin and Virginia Tech have had a successful partnership for many years," emphasized Harrison Jones, controller of Lockheed Martin Federal Systems Manassas and Lockheed Martin Corp. Campus Executive for VPI, who presented the college with the first gift installment of $70,000. "The company has a firm commitment to support educational programs and initiatives that will help produce the most capable graduates in every field of engineering."