News & Events

BioBuild Program Outreach at the Mary Draper Ingles Festival

In the BioBuild Program's most recent outreach event, affiliated faculty and students provided bioinclusive projects for the next generation. The Mary Draper Ingels Festival takes place annually in Radford at the Glencoe Mansion in honor of Mary Draper's courageous voyage. Learn more about the event and her story here:

VT BioBuild Program | International Living Future Institute Partnership Announced Today

Bullitt Center, ILFI Partnerships, VT BioBuild


Exciting new partnership announced between the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and VT BioBuild Program. This partnership will benefit BioBuild students in earning their Living Future Accreditation (LFA)

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:


BioBuild Director Inducted as Honorary Member of Iota Delta Rho Honor Society

BioBuild Program Director Dr. Annie Pearce was recently chosen as one of three honorary faculty members of the Iota Delta Rho (IDR) Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society. Virginia Tech Graduate students established IDR in 2011, with the intention of promoting and recognizing the importance of interdisciplinary research. Congratulations Dr. Pearce! You can read more about this honor society in the link below:

BioBuild Candidate Receives Award

Congratulations to BioBuild Fellow and PhD Candidate Zachary Gould for his exceptional 2020 school year. Most recently, during Virginia Tech's Graduate Education Week, Zach was named one of the most outstanding doctoral students, representing the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP). Zach and his wife Erin are in the picture above. Erin is also a PhD student at Virginia Tech and a BioBuild Fellow in the IGEP Program.



Zero Net-Energy Neighborhood Built Through 3D Printing Technology

Southern California will be home to the first neighborhood built in the U.S. that uses 3D Printing Technology. This eco-community consisting of 15 homes will be constructed in the Coachella Valley, which is located near Palm Springs, California. The 3D printing strategy offers a sustainable building process through less generated waste. Moreover, sustainable energy will be harvested through the sun in the form of solar power. Read more about this cutting edge sustainable building technology in the link to the article below:

Featured Article

The growing field of bio-inspired research is revealing stronger and more sustainable building materials at an astonishing rate. This week’s light read entails a look at the deep-water marine sponge and a counterintuitive building application that may surprise you. Scientists at Harvard have learned that the diagonal skeletal structure of the sponge is far superior to conventional lattice designs that have been incorporated into buildings and bridges for more than a century.