At Virginia Tech, there are many engineering related clubs possible to join, called design teams. All of these design teams work on projects in the Ware Labs on campus. There are so many different clubs that there is one for almost everything including, land, air, water and even space. Some of these clubs include Astrobotics, Autonomous Sailboat (SailBOT), Autonomous Surface Vehicle Team (ASVT), Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team (AUVT), Baja SAE (BAJA), Battery Operated Land Transport (BOLT), Design Build Fly! (DBF), VT Rally (Rally), Formula SAE (FSAE), Human Powered Submarine (HPS), Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT), ASCE Concrete Cane, Solar Decathlon, AISC Steel Bridge and SAE Aero Design.
The Astrobotics team competes in an annual completion which involves students building a robot that can mine on a planet in space. SailBOT is the newest addition to the ware lab. Students working on this project design and build a 2 meter long sailing vessel that can maneuver in rough water. The ASVT is built by both undergraduate and graduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department who design a fully autonomous boat for a competition. The AUVT designs a submarine that can complete an underwater course. BAJA, BOLT, Rally and FSAE all design vehicles that are raced in a competition at the end of the year. The Design Build Fly! Team designs a radio controlled aircraft. The HPS team builds a submarine that is completely human powered. HEVT is currently reengineering a car to minimize energy consumption. ASCE Concrete Canoe constructs a boat that can hold up to four people. The Solar Decathlon is a contest where students design an energy efficient solar-powered house. The AISC Steel Bridge team constructs a 20 foot steel bridge. Lastly, the SAE Aero Design team builds aircrafts that will fit into the three classes of competition- regular, advance and micro.
All of these design teams work many long hours throughout the semester to complete their project on time. Anyone can join a team. It is usually the upperclassmen who do most of the building and test driving, while the underclassmen are just volunteers who help out wherever help is needed. However, if you ever want to be able to help build a design later on, you have to start somewhere. Put in the hours now so that you know what is going on and can help the team as best as you possibly can in the future. And finally, after every project is completed, they all go to competition. They compete against schools all across the country. When they get back from competition. They look at what they could have done better and start to get ready for the next year. So which team will you join?