Author Archives: Kyle Schutt

Welcome to our new inductees!

The IDR Honor Society Induction Ceremony was held on April 10, 2014. Thirteen new full and associate members from the fall and spring membership drives were inducted, and special guests including advisors and college deans were also present. IDR president Carol Johnson gave some history about the society and encourage the new members to continue to carry its success forward. Dean DePauw (our faculty advisor) also gave some remarks. Congratulations to everyone! And in a few days we will have the results of the officer elections

Check out a few photos from the ceremony!

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Tentative schedule released for IDR Day 2014!

Register here for IDR Day as a participant!

12:30-1:00 Registration
1:00-1:10 Opening Remarks
1:10-2:15 Keynote – Dr. Michelle Bennett (NIH)
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-3:15 Poster Session 1
3:15-4:00 Poster Session 2
4:00-4:10 Break
4:10-4:40 VT Speaker – Dr. Peter Vikesland (CEE, VT SuN IGEP)
4:40-5:10 VT Speaker 2 – Dr. Ben Knapp (ICAT)
5:10-5:30 Break
5:30-5:50 Intro to roundtable discussion
5:50. Roundtable starts
6:15-7:30 Dinner
7:45-8:15 Roundtable presentations
8:15. Closing

Interdisciplinary Research Day Call for Poster Abstracts! Last date of abstract submission extended till Wed, Jan 29.

Want to present your research to fellow students at Virginia Tech but don’t seem to “fit in” well with your department? Want to practice showcasing your research to a broad audience? We invite you to submit an abstract for the IDR DAY poster session!

Who: Graduate and Undergraduate Students at VT
What: Interdisciplinary Research Poster Session
Prizes: Yes!
Submission Deadline: January 29, 2014
Notification Date: February 8, 2014
IDR Day: February 27, 2014 (2 poster sessions in the afternoon)

For more information and submission guidelines:

To submit an abstract please fill out the form at:

Join us for IDR Day 2014!

Come join the Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society for it’s 4th Annual IDR Day! This year we are changing things up a bit and combining the best of our research symposium and roundtable problem-solving events into one, with something for everyone. We have an exciting lineup of speakers who will share their insights into working in interdisciplinary teams, interdisciplinary graduate education, and how to bridge science, technology and the arts. Graduate and undergraduate students will showcase their own IDR in poster sessions, and we’ll wrap up with a great buffet dinner and engaging roundtable discussions to try to solve some important regional problems in diverse teams.

IDR Day is FREE and open to anyone on campus! Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts… undergrads through faculty and staff, we welcome and strongly encourage all to participate in this unique event!

When: Thursday, February 27th, 2014, 1:00-8:30pm
Where: The Inn @ Virginia Tech

Abstract Submission (click here) : Jan. 25, 2014 (notification by Feb. 8th)
Register here for IDR Day as a participant!
Registration Deadline: Sunday, February 23rd
Cost: Free!

Keynote Speaker
Dr. L. Michelle Bennett, National Institutes of Health

michelle bennett NIH hi-resDr. Bennett is a Deputy Director of the Division of Intramural Research, a research program within the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (HFLB/NIH). She is responsible for strategic planning, programmatic integration, and supporting the research performed in the program. Accordingly, she has developed a Field Guide to Collaboration and Team Science. She has extensive background in promoting collaboration and team-based approaches by bringing together research scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise to solve complex scientific problems. Dr. Bennett earned her Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a certified executive coach, and supports individuals and teams in the attainment of their goals.

VT Speaker
Dr. R. Benjamin Knapp, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT)

knappDr. Knapp is the Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), and is a Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. ICAT seeks to promote research and education at the boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science. Dr. Knapp also leads the Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group, with researchers in the UK and the US, and is a PI of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) interdisciplinary graduate education program (IGEP). For more than 20 years, Dr. Knapp has been working to create meaningful links between human-computer interaction, universal design, and various forms of creativity. He holds twelve patents and is the co-inventor of the BioMuse system, which enables artists to use gesture, cognition, and emotional state to interact with audio and video media. He also has an impressive record in industry, co-founded BioControl Systems, served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, and has served as professor and department chair at San Jose State University.

VT Speaker
Dr. Peter Vikesland, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Peter J Vikesland, Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering.Dr. Vikesland is the Director of the Virginia Tech Sustainable Nanotechnology (VT SuN) interdisciplinary graduate education program (IGEP). He was recently promoted to full professor in the Environmental Water Resources division of the CEE department. His research intersects the boundaries of nanoscience, environmental chemistry, biology, and technology, and his group is an integral part of the multi-institution, highly interdisciplinary Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology. Dr. Vikesland gave a talk at the first TEDx-VT in 2013, on how nanotechnology will revolutionize water supply in the 21st century.

Additional Information
Note: Even though the event is free, there are a limited number of seats (~150) so please reserve your spot early! Also, we need to know how many people to feed. If you decide later you can’t attend, please let us know!

Contact Courtney Crist ( if you have any questions about registration.

An Interdisciplinary Technological Breakthrough to treat Brain Cancer

Come to know about one of the top 7 NASA certified technological breakthroughs of ’07 directly from the inventor!! Also, enjoy the talk with free food!


What:         November Speaker Spotlight
Speaker:   Dr. Rafael V. Davalos (
Topic:        Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) for the Treatment of Brain Cancer
Date:          Tuesday, November 19.
Time:         12 -1 pm
Venue:       Brush Mountain A at Squires Student Center.

IRE therapy uses small (1-2mm) surgical probes to deliver low-energy microsecond pulses for approximately 1 minute. These pulses permanently destabilize the lipid bilayers of the targeted tissue (tumor) thereby killing the cells.

Author Bio:
RAFAEL V. DAVALOS is an Associate Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. He also holds Adjunct Appointments in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department, the Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine. Prior to his career as a faculty member, Davalos was a Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. In 2012 he received the award for the Most Outstanding Dissertation Advisor at Virginia Tech. Dr. Davalos is the recipient of the 2006 HENAAC award for the Nation’s Most Promising Engineer, the NSF CAREER, and was named a Wallace H. Coulter Fellow.