Prospective Students

The Technology Leaders Program (TLP), home to the Design Integration Minor, is an exciting, innovative program that develops valuable knowledge and skills by integrating systems level thinking and electrical, computer and mechanical engineering concepts.

By participating in the TLP and the Design Integration Minor, you will get a jump-start on developing abilities typically only acquired through years of experience after graduation; abilities such as being able to collaborate effectively with engineers from other majors and being able to both design and integrate components into systems. 

  • Who is TLP for?

    The TLP and the Design Integration Minor are geared towards students who self-identify as “makers” and who need help converting that passion for creating new devices into marketable skills for designing new systems... students who want to:

    • Design real-world, complex "smart" systems that generate, store, process, and act upon data.
    • Do design throughout their undergraduate education, not just during their capstone project or during their major design experience.
    • Connect and network with people from TLP internship partner companies.
    • Extend their learning beyond traditional departmental boundaries
    • Be part of a small, close-knit program where you get to know your peers and faculty better.
  • What majors can apply?

    Systems Engineering

    Systems Engineering students get to not only model data, but also build systems that generate and act upon that data.

    • You will stand out amongst your fellow Systems classmates by gaining depth of knowledge in technology-oriented fields (electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering)
    • You will gain experience designing systems that have both software and hardware - which will really differentiate you from your peers.
    • You may complete your application sequence (a required part of the Systems curriculum) through the TLP


    Electrical and Computer Engineering 

    Electrical and Computer Engineering students get to integrate your programming with the physical world and your circuits into actual products

    • You will differentiate yourself from your fellow ECE students by gaining integration skills and a deeper understanding of how to apply your domain-specific ECE knowledge to develop real systems.
    • You can satisfy technical and/or unrestricted electives through the Systems Engineering courses taken as part of the TLP curriculum!
    • You will take part in cool activities and projects pertaining to your major in combination with systems-level thinking.


    Mechanical Engineering 

    Mechanical Engineering students learn how to make your designs "smart"... with sensors, microcontrollers, and information systems.

    • You learn how to make your designs "smart"... with sensors, microcontrollers, and information systems
    • You will possess rare skills that integrate Systems-level design and ECE knowledge to enable you to develop complex electromechanical systems.
    • You will be able to satisfy technical electives in the MAE curriculum through courses in the TLP curriculum.
    • You'll get to take MAE 4710, Mechatronics, one semester earlier than your peers.
    • You will acquire the valuable ability to think big-picture, beyond the (admittedly interesting :) ) details of dynamics and fluid mechanics.


    Civil Engineering


  • Why should I join?

    Benefits of participating in the TLP

    • Improve your marketability – companies seek the knowledge and skills taught and emphasized in the TLP.
    • Work on cool projects... and with people who are passionate about design and making
    • Establish a closer working relationship with knowledgeable and well-connected professors.
    • Get to know a small group of students who share the same interests and goals as you!
    • While other students only go to 10, you go to 11.
  • Why be T-shaped?

    Integrating Component Level and System Level Design

    What exactly does this mean? One way to think of this is the "T-shaped" person, a concept adapted from Tim Brown of IDEO. As discussed in the TLP Video, the TLP prepares you to be two kinds of T-shaped people. 

    • a T-shaped person able to combine the knowledge and skills more focused on component design (e.g., mechanical, electrical or computer engineering) with those more focused on integration (e.g., systems engineering).
    • a T-shaped person with deep knowledge of their discipline who can work with people who have deep knowledge in other areas

    T-shaped people are much sought after by companies. 

    As you know from watching the video, the TLP is all about educating students to be T-shaped people -- both collaborating specialists from different majors and complementary partners working at both component and systems integration levels. 

UVA Technology Leaders Program

Reid Bailey, TLP Co-Director, offers introductory information about the program.