Working across schools and across colleges we have numerous cross-disciplinary research projects and learning opportunities including collaborations between art and computer science, architecture and engineering and biology, and more.

The History of CAUS Research

The cover of a book about the history of research in the collegeResearch has been a key focus of the college since its founding in 1964. 50 Years of CAUS Research provides an overview of some of the projects and people who shaped the history of research in the college.

Research Symposia

Every other year, faculty from across the college come together to present their recent and ongoing research during the CAUS Faculty Research Symposium. This event creates an opportunity for faculty from differing disciplines within the college to come together to share their work and develop new ideas and potential collaborations for the future.

Learn more about the research presented during these events on their websites, which feature abstracts of the presentations:

Research isn't just for faculty

Undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to participate in research with faculty and develop their own research projects.

A female student stands on the vibration testing platform in a large warehouse like laboratory space.

Third-year architecture student Emily Bell of Durham, North Carolina spent the 2014-15 academic year working on an undergraduate research project on vibration in architecture with professor Mehdi Setareh in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ Vibration Testing Laboratory.

CAUS Research Centers

Research Facilities

Research + Demonstration Facility

The Research and Demonstration Facility before dawn.

The Research + Demonstration facility, or RDF, is our primary laboratory for design/build, for robotics and rapid prototyping and a myriad of other successful engaging activities. It is unfortunately too small and we are unable to achieve additional research until we can expand it.

It’s where we built three award-winning solar decathlon houses including LumenHAUS, currently located behind Cowgill, which won the International Solar Decathlon and a 2012 AIA Honor Award for Architecture.


a male student uses a remote control to control a six-foot industrial robotic arm as it cuts a styrofoam pillar.

We are the only university in the mid-Atlantic with autonomous robotic systems as an active part of the curriculum. At RDF we have hosted a multi-university robotics seminar for faculty and students from several universities. Here we have a full scale ABB robot and two smaller training ones.

Featured Research Projects

The Bat Project is in ongoing interdisciplinary research project with Dane Webster, Associate Professor, Animation & 3D Modeling, from the School of Visual Arts and mechanical engineering Associate Professsor Rolf Mueller and his graduate student Anupam Gupta.

Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS research proposes an alternative to conventional construction: a pre-fab delivery method for assembling medium and high density urban housing which can be less expensive, safer, energy-efficient and of the highest quality. Additionally, the advanced integrated electronics that we expect to have in our homes today can be immediately integrated into the construction and assembly process.

Thomas Tucker of the School of Visual Arts and Chip Clark from the School of Architecture + Design have been collaborating with faculty from the College of Engineering to explore participatory visual environments through projection mapping with robotic manipulators. Read more about the Robotic Project Mapping project.

Formed in 2013 and about to expand, the Glass Robotics Lab is an initiative of Nathan King, an assistant professor of architecture and steward of the Design Technology Initiative in the Center for Design Research at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design; and Stefanie Pender, a glass artist and faculty member in the Glass Program at the Rhode Island School of Design.