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History

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VCU established the VCU School of Engineering in response to the workforce and economic development needs of Richmond and Central Virginia. From the beginning, the development of the school has been a collaboration between the university and the industrial community. This is reflected in the school’s curricula, which include business courses, in the recruitment of faculty with industrial experience and in the opportunities for students themselves to gain industrial experience.

To date, approximately 50 companies have hired our graduates and almost 100 companies have offered internship placements for our students. In addition, the School of Engineering has been engaged in detailed technical exchanges with Infineon, Ethyl, Dominion Virginia Power, Macrosonics, Cyberclean and Motorola. Engineers from industry are also working with the school’s faculty to teach courses and engage in joint research projects.

Timeline

Fall 1996 VCU School of Engineering opens with a freshman class of 100 students. Initial courses are offered in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering.
Fall 1998 A new undergraduate major in biomedical engineering launches in response to the growing presence of biomedical companies in Virginia.
Fall 1998 The first two of the School of Engineering’s planned facilities — West Hall and the C. Kenneth and Diane Harris Wright Virginia Microelectronics Center — open. Together, they total 147,000 square feet at a cost of $42 million.
May 2000 M.S. and Ph.D. programs in engineering are created.
Fall 2001 VCU’s long-standing degree programs in computer science join the school.
Fall 2004 A new undergraduate major in computer engineering launches.
Fall 2005 Undergraduate enrollment surpasses 1,000.
Fall 2007 M.S. degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering is created.
Fall 2008 The school opens East Hall, a $76 million, 120,000-square-foot facility. The School of Engineering partners with the School of the Arts and the School of Business to establish the da Vinci Center for Innovation.
Fall 2008 An undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering with a nuclear engineering concentration launches.
March 2009 The Institute of Engineering and Medicine is completed. This 25,000-square-foot structure, one of the largest configurable research spaces in the U.S., provides a state-of-the-art collaborative research environment connecting multiple university programs.
Fall 2013 The Translational Research Innovation Projects (TRIP) Facility, a collaborative project and prototyping center is opened in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.
Fall 2013 The Dean’s Undergraduate Research Initiative (DURI) and the Dean’s Early Research Initiative (DERI) programs are founded, providing students with even more opportunities to gain lab experience.
Fall 2014 The Capstone Design program is re-structured to improve students’ research experiences by bringing industry and students together.
Fall 2014 VCU receives an in-kind grant of software with a commercial value of $230.9 million for the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management software from Siemens, USA.
Fall 2014 VCU joins the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), partnering with four universities and 21 international companies.
Fall 2014 The Department of Computer Science develops a new cyber security certificate for undergraduate and graduate students.