BioBuild Faculty Member Implements Minecraft as Educational Tool

BioBuild Faculty Member Dr. Benjamin Chambers made the news recently through his contribution towards a unique approach in inspiring creativity in first-year engineering students. Dr. Chambers is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Engineering Education and Director of the school's Frith Lab. When Dr. Chambers works with first-year engineering students, one of his goals is to help them determine their eventual path of study in one of the many engineering disciplines offered at Virginia Tech.

Article of the Week

This week's recommended light read focuses upon the next generation's interest in nature-inspired design. The Biomimicry Institute holds a Youth Design Challenge every year where students across the world are challenged to find bioinspired solutions to global problems. This is the fourth year that this competition was held, where both Middle and High School students participate and ten winners are selected. Read more about this year's winners at the following link:

BioBuild Faculty Member Dr. Ignacio Moore Receives Award

Congratulations to long-time BioBuild faculty member Ignacio Moore for receiving the William E. Wine Award. Dr. Moore is an associate professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences and was nominated for this award by students, faculty, and alumni. As one of three recipients of the Wine Award, he will be inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Scientists Look to Mollusks for Inspiration in Solving the Plastic Problem

Drastically reducing and even eliminating our reliance on plastics is a challenge that humankind must face. Plastics offer convenience at the cost of environmental consequences. Luckily, bioinspired research is being conducted with the intention of revealing all-natural plastic replacements. The material is derived from cellulose nanofiber and mica, but its assembly is what makes it unique. Inspired by nacre, a composite material produced by some mollusks, researchers found an approach that made all-natural materials even stronger than plastics. Read more in the link below: