ICTAS: Insitute Scholarship Activity

Institute Scholarship Activity

ICTAS impacts personal growth and opportunity through support of interdisciplinary teaching, learning, research, and discovery in close alignment with the mission of Virginia Tech.

The Virginia Tech Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science (SBES) is a prime example of promulgation of education and research through affiliation. While SBES infrastructure is advanced through direct support from ICTAS, the school’s research is advanced through the utilization of emerging technologies and state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities. On the Virginia Tech campus, the school is located in the ICTAS headquarters building on Stanger Street.

ICTAS also creates and coordinates programs designed to expand personal and professional growth while nurturing creativity, intellectual exploration and expression in a collaborative team environment.

ICTAS Faculty Fellow Program
Designed after the prestigious Fellow Awards in Bell Labs and other institutions, this program will honor top notch faculty through recognition at a public ceremony and a financial award. It will be limited to 0.1% of the faculty per year with a lifetime cap of 1% This program is in the early stages of formulation and details will be announced as we sort through the resources to fund it.

I. Graduate Student Initiatives

ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program

The ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program, was established in 2007 to honor exceptional Ph.D. applicants with a Graduate Research Assistantship through the Ph.D. qualifying period. This program is a cooperative effort supported and coordinated primarily by ICTAS, with significant contributions from participating departments, colleges, and the graduate school. Successful candidates of the highest caliber will be selected for this honor. This award is an investment in the university intellectual talent, creativity, and productivity, and complements the mission and strategic plan of the university. The initial goal for the program is to recruit 10 scholars per year toward a steady number of 40 ICTAS scholars by 2011 ad infinitum.

National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Traineeship Program (NSF-IGERT)

ICTAS participates in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Traineeship (IGERT) program. The program, initiated by NSF in 1997, flourishes through coordinated efforts at more than 125 award sites nationwide, including Virginia Tech. The program was initiated to meet the challenges of educating U. S. Ph.D. scientists, engineers, and educators to be leaders and agents of change in their own career areas. Through this program, innovative new models for graduate education and training are emerging that contribute to a diverse and globally-engaged science and engineering workforce.

ICTAS participates in the NSF-IGERT program in a variety of ways including direct dollar investments, space allocation, and contribution of expertise to NSF-IGERT program initiatives either as advisory or programmatic leadership. Specific examples of these activities are as follows:

  • Chemistry Department, Principal Investigator Robert Moore. ICTAS pledged $30,000/yr. for 3 years=$90,000 in support of the proposed research effort.

  • Biology Department, Principal Investigator Jeff Kuhn. ICTAS pledged $30,000/yr. for 3 years=$90,000 in support of the proposed research effort; additionally, ICTAS offered space for NMR equipment in the ICTAS Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory located in one of the ICTAS on-campus buildings.

  • Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, Principal Investigator Shane Ross. ICTAS Director is co-Principal Investigator.

  • Materials Science and Engineering Department, Principal Investigator Shashank Priya. ICTAS Director pledged to serve as co-principal investigator of the Outreach and Education portion of the proposed effort.

  • Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Principal Investigator Tamim Younos. ICTAS Director pledged to serve as a member of the internal advisory panel as part of the proposed effort.

Seed Grants and Directed Investments

ICTAS provides direct support to graduate students through seed grants and directed investments. The following fiscal year totals reflect progressive growth in graduate student support by ICTAS. This growth is due, at least in part, to the ICTAS practice of requesting that responses to any call for proposals to be funded by ICTAS give particular emphasis to budget support of graduate students.

  • Fiscal Year '07 = 45 graduate students

  • Fiscal year '08 = 110 graduate students

  • Fiscal year '09 = 102 graduate students

  • Fiscal year '10 = 124 graduate students

  • Fiscal year '11 = 103 graduate students

Graduate Student Organization Sponsorships

In 2009, ICTAS contributed to the Graduate Student Appreciation Week through sponsorship of Doctoral Scholar participation in the Graduate Student Appreciation Luncheon.

In 2010, ICTAS offered support of $3,500 to the 26th Annual Graduate Student Assembly Research Symposium.

In 2010, ICTAS partnered with representatives of the Student Government Association to share and disseminate information about internship and undergraduate research opportunities.

University Graduate Student Recruitment

ICTAS participates in VT-sponsored tours of its Institutes, such as the tour done in conjunction with the College of Engineering Graduate Forum.

II. Undergraduate Student Initiatives

ICTAS routinely employs undergraduate students as building, administrative and fiscal support assistants.

NCFL Summer Internships - an opportunity for undergraduate students to assist with development of demos and samples in preparation for short courses.

ICTAS Academic Year Internships - an opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in software development and other activities related to highly specialized equipment and testing.

III. Courses and Seminar Offerings
  • Two (2) courses in nanoscale characterization offered by Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory faculty:

    • Materials Characterization Techniques: Fundamentals, instrumentation and practical application of characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectrometry, Rutherford backscatter spectrometry, focused ion beam tools, scanned probe microscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry. Training in practical aspects of theory and operation of materials characterization equipment to establish a base for further studies in materials characterization field. Pre: Graduate standing in Engineering or Science (3H, 1L, 4C)

    • Introduction to TEM: Interpretation of Transmission Electron Microscope data. Elementary theories of electron diffraction, imaging and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Overview of sample preparation techniques and instrumentation. Demonstrations of TEM applications and computer-based data analysis tools used to analyze images and spectra. This course is for students who intend to use transmission electron microscopy in their research. Pre: Graduate standing (3H, 3C)

    • Applied Materials Analysis: Integration of fundamental materials theory and materials characterization techniques, through demonstrations and lab exercises. Solution of materials problems through a holistic melding of data obtained from electron microscopy and spectroscopy instruments with theoretical models. (2H, 3L, 3C)

    • Analytical GeoBiology: Advanced analysis of one or more topics in paleontology using the most recent techniques, interpretations, and data. Can be taken up to three times provided the subject material is different. Consent required. Alternate years.. (2H, 2C)

  • Courses offered sporadically, upon request:

    • Short courses on general aspects of nanoscale characterization, short courses use of specific instruments available to industry and international exchanges.

  • Seminars:

    • The ICTAS Semester Seminar Series offers five to eight (5-8) technology seminars per semester, including a brief presentation and a forum for discussion of a wide array of technology advancement topics.

    • The Black Swan Seminar Series, launched Summer 2010, offers open discussion of the disruptive technologies of the future.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required

Contact Us

ICTAS (MC 0193)
Kelly Hall, Suite 410, Virginia Tech
325 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061


(540) 231-2597