Sep 29, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Record 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

School of Engineering and Applied Science: Facilities and Services

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The School of Engineering and Applied Science is located in a complex of buildings, the main one being Thornton Hall, named after the first dean of engineering. Thornton Hall houses the school’s administrative offices, the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Engineering and Society; and assorted research laboratories. South of Thornton Hall is Olsson Hall, which houses the Department of Systems and Information Engineering. The Department of Computer Science is located in our newest showcase building: Rice Hall. Adjacent to these buildings are three buildings housing the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. West of these is Wilsdorf Hall, housing nanotechnology research, which opened in 2006. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is located in MR-5, which is part of the Health Sciences Center. The Aerospace Research Laboratory is located on Mount Jefferson.

The Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library is located in Clark Hall. It includes books and bound journals, current scientific periodicals and technical serials, and files of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations. Reference service is available to all parts of the University, to other educational institutions, and to industry by the library staff and, occasionally, by others on the professional staff of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Close cooperation is maintained with the other University libraries, whose total resources of more than four million volumes are open to engineering students and faculty members.

The Center for Diversity in Engineering, established in the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1986, is available to help our diverse student body by providing academic support, motivational activities, and financial assistance. The office provides counseling and other special services for both undergraduate and graduate students.

The Center for Engineering Career Development is available to help engineering students establish their career goals and develop strategies to achieve those objectives. The office provides resource material on career fields, job search strategies, interviewing techniques, and employment opportunities. It also coordinates on-Grounds interviews in conjunction with University Career Services, manages the Co-operative Education Program, and develops a broad range of summer job opportunities.

Computers The University computing environment consists of resources funded and maintained by the University’s central information technology organization - Information Technology Services (ITS), the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the University Library System, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, individual departments, research labs and centers, and students.

The ITS organization focuses its efforts on key elements that are available to the University at large. They include the network backbone and telephone infrastructure, broadband cable and IP video, centralized data systems, high-performance research facilities, networked services including e-mail, central file storage, wired and wireless Internet access, web publishing, front-line Help Desk support.

SEAS resources include departmental computing labs and classrooms, the support of discipline specific software packages, school-wide and department computing support staff including full-time, part-time and graduate teaching assistants.

SEAS departments and research groups deploy workstations, peripherals such as high-speed printers, scanners and plotters, several clusters and workgroup servers featuring specialized, discipline-specific software. Access to this equipment and software is provided to students enrolled in the Engineering School’s courses and research programs. Our students use these facilities for a variety of computing activities including course work, projects, capstone design, and senior thesis and graduate-level research.

Some classrooms at SEAS have computers at students’ desks. These computers permit students to learn by working a problem in the classroom, individually or as part of a team, and facilitate interaction between faculty and students. There are over 100 computers located in classrooms of this type throughout the University, in addition to the training rooms, media labs, and other centers containing specialized equipment and services. U.Va. spaces including classrooms, labs, study rooms, and dormitories have wireless Ethernet coverage throughout. Also, a distributed set of high-speed, B&W and color printers with page print charges are also available that can be wirelessly accessed.

Direct support of students, faculty and research professionals in engineering and science for education, outreach, specialized consulting and curriculum development is provided through the U.Va. Advanced Computing Services and Engagement (U.Va.CSE) and the U.Va. Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI)

The goals of U.Va. CSE include changing the culture of computation, empowering researchers to model ever larger and more complex systems, and foster a multi-disciplinary ethos. U.Va. CSE enables for-credit courses in computational science, short courses, high-performance computing (HPC) bootcamps, and the staffing of ‘tiger teams’ that work with researchers and their existing codes to address optimization, parallelization, workflow, checkpointing, and data management issues. SHANTI promotes innovation in the humanities, social sciences and arts through supporting the application of advanced technologies in research, teaching, publication and engagement across the entire community.

Specialized facilities include the Scholars’ Lab which supports the digital research and scholarly analysis needs of faculty and advanced students in humanities and social sciences and the Robertson Media Center and Digital Media Lab which focus on the creation of digital media, digital imaging, audiovisual production and post-production, physical interactivity, 2D/3D animation, mobile technologies, visualization and the delivery of media content. Each of these facilities have expert support staff.

Centralized Linux clusters and mounted software are available on a shared-access basis. The specifications for the systems are available at: Research groups can also acquire dedicated nodes on these systems. Large storage is available on a yearly lease basis for use with these clusters as well as with individual researcher systems. U.Va. also licenses and distributes a host of research software packages.  For researchers who need more HPC resources, assistance with getting started using the national supercomputing centers is available through U.Va. CSE.

More general information on computers for new students is available at: and the Responsible Computing Handbook is at:

An ‘on-demand’ service, also known as virtual labs and at U.Va. called the HIVE, is the method that students access specialty, site-licensed software from their own laptops. Please see: Students are able to obtain the Microsoft Office suite to install directly on their own laptops through U.Va.’s agreements such as the Microsoft Campus Agreement for free or a nominal fee. Students are also provisioned with other centralized services, including e-mail, disk storage and web publishing.

Students also have on-grounds access to an authorized repair center for leading brands of computers and printers through U.Va.’s computer reseller, Cavalier Computers

The U.Va. Help Desk is available 24x7 and provides support by telephone (434-924-4357 or toll-free at 866-469-4866) and by e-mail ( It can be also be reached on the web at:

For more information about computing facilities and services, please visit

Research and Development The School of Engineering and Applied Science currently conducts a thriving and diversified $50 million annual research program under the sponsorship of various federal agencies and private companies. Over 450 active research projects support faculty, professional researchers, and students. These projects span a variety of engineering disciplines and include biotechnology and nanotechnology microelectronics, advanced materials, biomedical engineering, information technology and environmental engineering. These programs provide an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate training. More information on specific research activities can be found by browsing through the web sites of the engineering school (, its departments, and its individual faculty members.