Boeing awards $125,000 grant to AOE department
By Liz Crumbley
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 31 - May 21, 1998
The Boeing Company has awarded a three-year, $125,000 grant to the Virginia Tech Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (AOE) for a program that gives undergraduates the opportunity to collaborate on design projects with their counterparts in other nations.
The College of Engineering's Multi-Disciplinary International Design Program is in its third year. Engineering undergraduates have traveled to France and England to work on aircraft design projects with European students, faculty members and industry representatives.
During this past school year, 20 Tech students from five departments--AOE, industrial and systems engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering--worked with students at Loughborough University in England. The Tech students traveled to England in November 1997 and Loughborough students visited Blacksburg in April 1998.
The students collaborated on an aircraft design project for the annual Federal Aviation Administration/National Aeronautics and Space Administration General Aviation Design Competition. In 1997 the Tech team won third place in the competition for their design of the VenTure, an amphibious sport-utility aircraft.
James Marchman, AOE assistant department head and coordinator of the design program, said that next year the Tech and Loughborough students will work on projects proposed by industries and technical societies in both the U.S. and England.
Marc Sheffler of Boeing, who acts as liaison between the company and Tech, described the program as "a pioneering effort in multi-national, multi-disciplinary teams" and noted that "the increased relevance of this program to the modern workplace impressed us so much at the Boeing Company that we awarded Dr. Marchman a $125,000 grant to continue the program. By combining the concepts of integrated design/build teams with engineering in a global environment, Dr. Marchman has taken aerospace education at Virginia Tech to a new level."
In addition to the cash grant, Boeing also will provide equipment and manufacturing samples to equip a new Aerospace Manufacturing Laboratory in the AOE department.
Boeing also sponsors two $3,000 scholarships each year for rising AOE seniors. Christian Gunther of Richmond, Virginia, and Kristin Makovac of Tom's River, New Jersey, have been chosen for the 1998-1999 scholarships. Marchman said the recipients are selected on the basis of their academic achievements.