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A Virginia Tech cross-disciplinary and cross-sector mentoring initiative for Collaborate Technology Innovation

Studio+ aims to enhance Virginia Tech’s leadership role in transdisciplinary and trans-sector education in collaborative technology innovation for societal impact.  Studio+ will initially focus on two interrelated areas of trans-sector technological and societal innovation that are also emerging as distinguishing strengths of Virginia Tech: advanced manufacturing for Industry 4.0 and Collective Autonomy.  Studio+ will focus on transdisciplinary pedagogy aspects of these themes and will prepare interested students across all disciplines to join faculty and industry partners in specialized course work as well as research and development related to these themes.

Within this transdisciplinary project, Industry 4.0 relates to smart factories that take advantage of the Internet of Things while also advancing inclusive and equitable growth of human capital.  Collective Autonomy is an aspirational techno-social process that leverages smart infrastructure and high dimensional data to promote adaptive actualization of people and communities.

Studio+ is a collaboration of the Calhoun Discovery Program and the Honors College with the College of Engineering, Pamplin College of Business, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the Center for Humanities, ICAT, LINK and the office of the Vice Provost of Learning Systems Innovation and Effectiveness.  The Calhoun Discovery Program industry partners will be core participants of Studio+.

Students accepted into Studio+ program will form transdisciplinary teams and in collaboration with faculty and industry partners, will develop a prototype hardware, software, process or service outcome related to one of the major themes. Mentoring will focus on team development and management, client interaction and understanding, requirements decomposition, concept refinement, and design and implementation review and critiques. Working with the industry mentors, the faculty mentors will offer specialty expertise including training in the transdisciplinary analysis of discovery areas (feasibility, viability, desirability and sustainability), the introduction of business plan features such as value propositions, value chains and cost models, and the iterative design and evaluation of technological systems and processes at varying levels of product fidelity.

The Studio+ mentoring mechanism will be anchored by a 3-credit collaborative studio course offered each Spring (UH 4984: Special Study: Studio+). In Spring 2020, this UH course will accept students with class standing of Sophomore and above and will focus on the exploration of cross-sector workforce development partnerships for VT in these two areas. Acceptance to the course is through interview with the instructors.  Please click here to learn more about the interview process and sign up for an interview.

Upon successful completion of the course students will have the opportunity to continue their Studio+ mentoring experience through variable undergraduate research credit related to cross-sector, transdisciplinary team efforts in one of the central themes. Such efforts may range from participation in national competitions (e.g. the Boeing Innovation Competition) to developing original concepts and prototypes. Upon completion of a full year in the Studio+ professional mentoring program, selected students can continue in the program as peer mentors. Peer mentors will enroll in UH 4104: Honors Peer Educator Practicum each semester they engage in this work to both supervise their efforts and provide them with academic credit for their work.

Lead faculty of Studio+ for Spring 2020 include:

Information Session at Honors College Discovery Studio

More information sessions coming soon!

Deadlines, and other dates:

Nov. 15th: Deadline for students to sign up (

Please note the class request deadline of Oct. 29th does not apply to Studio+ and selected students will be added by instructors.

For more information, email the course instructors: