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.