Each UVA Engineering department has a strong and distinctive approach to education and research, although increasingly students and faculty are working collaboratively, across department boundaries, to tackle societal challenges that need an interdisciplinary perspective.
The last 30 years have witnessed an explosion in our knowledge of the human body and our ability to treat disease. Members of our Biomedical Engineering Department have made important contributions to this progress. Using our perspective as engineers, we are making groundbreaking discoveries in fields like systems biology and biomedical data sciences, medical imaging, and cellular and tissue engineering.
The Department of Chemical Engineering is developing solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges in areas like renewable energy and water purification, while pursuing exciting opportunities in biotechnology and biomolecular engineering that can improve medical treatments and save lives. This vision of chemical engineering in service to society makes the department an exciting place to study and conduct research.
Shelter, transportation, clean water: With our dual focus on infrastructure and the environment, the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department advances new approaches and new technology to better develop, monitor, maintain, and manage these essential building blocks of society. Through this work, our students and faculty make international contributions to a more sustainable future.
Computer science animates our world, driving innovation and discovery that touches every aspect of our lives, from communications devices to the latest medical technology. At UVA, computer science and computer engineering students and faculty are drawn to difficult technical problems, such as protecting computer systems from the world’s best cyber criminals and addressing complex technological barriers in the race to build ever-smaller, faster, and smarter computer processors. Our work has the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges of the next century.
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. Electrical engineers 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 Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering pursues better, more effective approaches to research and education to maximize our impact in this fast-changing world.
For the next generation of engineers to succeed in tackling the challenges we face as a global society, they will need to temper their technological analysis with a capacity for judgment that reflects their knowledge of ethical, political and economic forces. The Department of Engineering and Society is where UVA Engineering students learn to combine analysis and judgment.
The vast majority of the materials we encounter in the course of the day have been engineered to have specific properties that make the materials useful or valuable to us. As materials scientists and engineers, our goal is to understand how the arrangement of materials’ structures on a very fine scale translates into materials with properties that can benefit society.
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is proud to combine two strong engineering disciplines: mechanical engineering, a diverse field that seeks to address the design challenges of the future, ranging from small materials and devices to large-scale systems; and aerospace engineering, pushing the boundaries of air and space research. Each program is exceptional in its own right, partly because the cross-fertilization of ideas among our faculty produces new perspectives that drive innovation in research and education.
Many of the new technologies being introduced today hold the promise of substantial societal benefit, but only if we successfully move beyond the theoretical and apply the technologies to solve real-world problems, such as treating and curing diseases and protecting critical systems from cyberattacks. As researchers, our faculty members develop models and systems to apply technology to real life, while preparing our students to employ the techniques in their professional lives.