Dear SEAS Alumni and Friends,
Engineering begins with a solid foundation in theory, but it draws its real power through practical application. Undergraduate engineering education at UVa has always focused on this essential truth, and we have achieved great distinction in large measure because we insist that our students move out of the classroom and into the hands-on world of “experiential learning.” It is at the core of how we teach each new generation of engineers.
Whether they are working on solar cars, weather satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, robots, or any number of other real-world applications, our students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to the design, building, testing and refinement of technologies that will improve our lives and change the world. There is simply no substitute for experience.
We feel very strongly about this, and we have taken great satisfaction in helping Engineering at UVa expand the range of experiential learning opportunities available to our students. The accompanying materials showcase some of our many successful experiential initiatives and the remarkable students who take part in them. It is our hope that you will be inspired to join us in supporting this visionary and extraordinarily effective approach to engineering education. Thank you.
Chip and Connie Lacy
Of course, we were well taught by Professor Baber in our Steel Design course. The next step in the learning process which demonstrates higher-order thinking — and learning — is an application of the content, or even better, a synthesis based upon the content, which is exactly what the Steel Bridge project requires ... This more involved — more "real" way of using structural reference manuals — was really the first time I had to do what I've since learned is the foundation of my career as a structural design consultant.