History

Since its founding in 1996, the VCU School of Engineering has been bringing real-world education to Central Virginia. An innovation frontrunner in academics and research, our collaborative and multidisciplinary partnerships prepare undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students for leadership. Part of a premier research university, VCU Engineering enhances regional and global prosperity through cutting-edge development in tissue engineering and drug delivery, biotechnology, cybersecurity, mechanical systems and particle science.

We make it real by turning great ideas into breakthrough technologies. Our facilities are hubs of discovery, powered by an expanding student body and faculty committed to excellence. And we encourage partnering with industry and the community, bringing new collaborators into our projects. Our key research areas include: sustainability and energy engineering; micro and nano electronic systems; pharmaceutical engineering; mechanobiology and regenerative medicine; security and mining of big data; and device design and development. Here’s how we make it real at VCU Engineering, where the next big discovery is always just around the corner:

 Timeline

Fall 1996 VCU School of Engineering opens with a freshman class of 100 students. Initial courses are offered in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering.
Fall 1998 A new undergraduate major in biomedical engineering launches in response to the growing presence of biomedical companies in Virginia.
Fall 1998 The first two of the School of Engineering’s planned facilities — West Hall and the C. Kenneth and Diane Harris Wright Virginia Microelectronics Center — open. Together, they total 147,000 square feet at a cost of $42 million.
May 2000 The VCU School of Engineering creates its first M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
Fall 2001 VCU’s long-standing degree programs in computer science join the school.
Fall 2004 A new undergraduate major in computer engineering launches.
Fall 2005 Undergraduate enrollment surpasses 1,000.
Fall 2007 M.S. degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering is created.
Fall 2008 The school opens East Hall, a $76 million, 120,000-square-foot facility. The School of Engineering partners with the School of the Arts and the School of Business to establish the da Vinci Center for Innovation.
Fall 2008 An undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering with a nuclear engineering concentration launches.
March 2009 The Institute of Engineering and Medicine is completed. This 25,000-square-foot structure, one of the largest configurable research spaces in the U.S., provides a state-of-the-art collaborative research environment connecting multiple university programs.
Fall 2013 The Translational Research Innovation Projects (TRIP) Facility, a collaborative project and prototyping center is opened in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.
Fall 2013 The Dean’s Undergraduate Research Initiative (DURI) and the Dean’s Early Research Initiative (DERI) programs are founded, providing students with even more opportunities to gain lab experience.
Fall 2013 The first students enroll in VCU’s Ph.D. program in mechanical and nuclear engineering, the university’s newest doctorate and the nation’s only hybrid mechanical/nuclear Ph.D.
Fall 2014 The Capstone Design program is re-structured to improve students’ research experiences by bringing industry and students together.
Fall 2014 VCU receives an in-kind grant of software with a commercial value of $230.9 million for the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management software from Siemens, USA.
Fall 2014 VCU joins the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), partnering with four universities and 21 international companies.
Fall 2014 The Department of Computer Science develops a new cyber security certificate for undergraduate and graduate students.
Fall 2015 VCU becomes one of just 20 universities nationwide - and the only school in Virginia - to join the prestigious Vertically Integrated Projects Consortium, placing undergraduate engineering students alongside faculty and graduate students to conduct large-scale research projects.
Fall 2016 VCU Engineering expands in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park with new labs for Medicines for All and Pharmacy on Demand, two projects that are transforming the design and production of pharmaceuticals and offering greater access to lifesaving medication.