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On Friday, Sept. 23, the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science and its partners at National Instruments unveiled a $1.4 million Engineering Discovery Laboratory designed to provide state-of-the-art education and hands-on experience to the next generation of engineering leaders. (Click here to see pictures from the event.)

“Young people do not become engineers by sitting in lectures,” said UVA Engineering Dean Craig Benson. “They are transformed by opportunities to solve real-life, technological problems. Our partners at National Instruments are committed to helping us provide these opportunities. This outstanding laboratory space, added to our Lacy Learning Lab and the Ann Warrick Lacy Experiential Center, make UVA an epicenter for educating the engineers who will solve the global challenges of the next century.”

U.S. President Barack Obama has identified engineering education as a priority for a nation that seeks to lead the world in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In response, the National Academy of Engineering and its partner universities committed in 2015 to educating 20,000 new engineers who are prepared to meet the Academy’s Grand Societal Challenges in such areas as healthcare, sustainable energy and cybersecurity.

UVA’s newest engineering laboratory will be part of the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, thanks to generous donations from: National Instruments; National Instruments’ co-founder, president and CEO James Truchard; National Instruments’ Senior Vice President and UVA Engineering alumnus Eric Starkloff; Barbara and Dudley White; and other UVA Engineering alumni. National Instruments also donated electrical equipment with which students can build and test components and devices.

“Electrical and computer systems are fundamental to modern life, from smart energy management to mission-critical defense systems, from wireless communications to life-saving healthcare devices,” said Professor and Department Chair John Lach. “Electrical and computer engineers continuously improve the technology and capabilities of almost every device and system that is of benefit to society today, or will be in the future. The new National Instruments Engineering Discovery Laboratory will help us pursue more effective approaches to education and research to maximize our impact in this fast-changing world.”

About National Instruments: For 40 years, National Instruments (NI) has worked with engineers and scientists to provide answers to the most challenging questions. Through these pursuits, NI customers have brought hundreds of thousands of products to market, overcome innumerable technological roadblocks, and engineered a better life for us all. If you can turn it on, connect it, drive it, or launch it, chances are NI technology helped make it happen.

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