Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Water INTERface: Interdisciplinary Research Transcending Boundaries of Engineering, Science, and Human Health
Interdisciplinary Academic Programs
Located at the intersection of Duck Pond Drive and Washington Street, the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 is the first of four planned for the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Precinct, where faculty members and students from various departments within the college work together and further research, academic, and Extension efforts. In HABB1, scientists from the Department of Biological Systems Engineering develop new energy sources of energy to power the world, build water delivery systems that ensure people have clean water, find ways to combat addiction through novel new vaccines, and create new targeted drug delivery systems to fight diseases.
1230 Washington St., HABB1, Rm 402E Blacksburg VA 24061
Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1
Degree(s) Offered:
• IGEP
IGEP Degree in Water INTERface: Interdisciplinary Research Transcending Boundaries of Engineering, Science, and Human Health
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-5773
540/231-8643
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Aug 01
Spring: Feb 01
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Professors: Brenda Davy (Wallace Hall); Kevin Davy (Wallace Hall); Andrea Dietrich (Durham Hall); Susan Duncan (HABB1); Joseph Falkinham (Derring Hall); Daniel Gallagher (Durham Hall); Jason He (Durham Hall); Sean O'Keefe (HABB1); Amy Pruden-Bagchi (Durham Hall); Stephen Schoenholtz (Cheatham Hall); Elena Serrano (Wallace Hall)
Associate Professors: Curtis Friedel (Ag, Leadership & Community Education); David Kuhn (HABB1)
Assistant Professors: Valisa Hedrick (Wallace Hall); Haibo Huang (HABB1); Jacob Lahne (HABB1)
HNFE: Brenda Davy (Wallace Hall); Kevin Davy (Wallace Hall); Valisa Hedrick (Wallace Hall); Elena Serrano (Wallace Hall)
CEE: Andrea Dietrich (Durham Hall); Daniel Gallagher (Durham Hall); Jason He (Durham Hall); Amy Pruden-Bagchi (Durham Hall)
FST: Susan Duncan (HABB1); Haibo Huang (HABB1); David Kuhn (HABB1); Jacob Lahne (HABB1); Sean O'Keefe (HABB1)
BIOS: Joseph Falkinham (Derring Hall)
Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation: Stephen Schoenholtz (Cheatham Hall)

Water INTERface: Interdisciplinary Research Transcending Boundaries of Engineering, Science, and Human Health

Water INTERface: INTERdisciplinary Research Transcending Boundaries of Engineering Science, and Human Health

  • WHAT? WATER is EVERYWHERE, essential for LIFE, but not always supplied in the appropriate QUALITY and QUANTITY.
  • WHO? Scientists (physical, biological, health and social) and engineers to evaluate and implement cost-effective sustainable solutions to global water challenges with integration of health, safety, and public perception issues. 
  • WHY? Shortages of fresh water for drinking and agriculture are projected to occur around the world as illustrated by this quote: “….global water consumption is doubling every 20 years, and the United Nations expects demand to outstrip supply by more than 30% come 2040” (Newsweek, October 2010). Demand for usable water necessitates taking poor quality water -waste water (industrial, agricultural, municipal) or sea water- and processing it to meet higher and/or drinking water standards. Technical solutions exist to process water of low quality water into higher quality freshwater. Yet, changes in chemical, nutrient, microbial, and sensory characteristics will influence water use, safety, consumption, health benefits, and risks. In addition, public perception and acceptance of feasible engineering solutions for solving water shortages play important roles in societal adoption of technologies.  The “interfacial tensions” related to technological feasibility versus societal fears of water treatment options and regulatory standards versus public acceptance of water quality can be overcome with a new Water INTERface approach.
  • WHEN? NOW.
  • WHERE? Virginia Tech Graduate School and the Departments of
    • Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise
    • Food Science and Technology
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Biology

 

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Water INTERface IGEP Students include:

  • Involvement with Water INTERface IGEP community and activities.
  • Participation in blogging and research presentations.
  • Possibility of partial GRA and travel funding.
  • Earn a 9 credit Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science:
    • Ethics course: Grant Writing and Ethics (FST/CHEM/BMVS 5094) or Ethics in Engineering, Science and Public Policy (CEE 5804) or other ethics rich course with approval from program directors (3 credits)
    • Water for Health Seminar (GRAD 5414) (1 credit)
    • Interdisciplinary Research (GRAD 5134) (3 credits)
    • Independent Research Study (GRAD 5974) (2-3 credits)
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
  • GRE
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A 9 credit Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science:

•       Ethics in Engineering, Science and Public Policy (CEE 5804) (3 credits)

•       Water for Health Seminar (GRAD 5414) (1 credit)

•       Interdisciplinary Research (GRAD 5134) (3 credits)

•       Independent Research Study (GRAD 5974) (2 credits)

·         Involvement with Water INTERface IGEP community and activities.

·         Participation in blogging and research presentations.

Each Water INTERface graduate student must meet the requirements of their home academic department in addition to the overall Water INTERface requirements.


Water INTERface: Interdisciplinary Research Transcending Boundaries of Engineering, Science, and Human Health

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Water INTERface IGEP faculty and students have access to state of the art facilities are available for food processing, sensory testing, nutritional analyses, health screening, and chemical/microbial water quality analyses.

Water INTERface IGEP facilities

State of the art facilities are available for food processing, sensory testing, nutritional analyses, health screening, and chemical/microbial water quality analyses.

Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program at Virginia Tech maintains 20,000 ft2 of laboratory space in its Durham Hall and Hancock Hall Facilities. Two full time analytical chemists are on staff to train and assist researchers.

Analytical instrumentation in the Durham laboratories that are primarily used for both water and air quality analyses includes:

- six Hewlett Packard gas chromatographs with a range of detection systems (including FID, ECD, N/P, and H2) and other assemblies (autosamplers, purge and trap)

- Agilent Technologies GC 6890-MSD (GC-MS)

- Scientific Instrument Services Short Path Thermal Desorption Model TD-4

- three Dionex ion chromatographs; a Hewlett Packard HPLC with diode array detection;

- Beckman UV/visible spectrophotometer with sipper cell

- Thermo Electron X-Series inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)

- Schimadzu LC with Diode Array, Refractive Index and Mass Spectrometer Detectors

- Two field portable Hanna multi-probes, Model HI9828, for water quality analyses

- three constant temperature rooms (5 to 50 oC)

- table top equipment: muffle furnaces; ultrasonicators; shaker and mixing equlipment; rotary evaporators; microbalance; analytical balances

- gas analyzers for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone.

For Water Quality Analysis, there are two (1000 ft2 and 625 ft2) laboratories for setting up experiments. Routine equipment includes pH meters, conductance meters, table-top spectrophotometers (SPEC 20), balances, microscopes, extractors, glassware, autoclaves, hoods, ovens, stirrers, heaters, incubators, flowmeters, hygrometers, ISCO automatic samplers, swing psychrometers, thermohumidigraphs, personal sampling pumps. The laboratory space provides bench tops, hoods, sinks, temperature controlled rooms, walk-in refrigerators, centrifuges, and storage space necessary to perform experimental research.

For Air Quality Analysis, there is 400 ft2 of laboratory and computing space in Durham Hall and a shared 2500 ft2 laboratory dedicated to studies of Nanoscience and Technology of the Environment in the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science building. Table 1 lists the laboratory's equipment for the analysis of gases and particles, and the laboratory also has numerous filter holders, diffusion denuders, primary flow calibrators, mass flow controllers, and vacuum pumps.

University Facilities Available.

- Resources are available through fee facilities for machine, electrical, and glass blowing.

- ICTAS Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory for surface characterization which provides access to advanced equipment for electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and several spectroscopic techniques training for students and researchers in the use of the lab's instrumentation . This is a fee facility.

- Learning Technologies Digital Media Center and Innovation Space which is a multimedia computer lab open to the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech, as well as the local general public, with the mission of providing assistance through free and open access to software, hardware, and specially-trained staff. Includes access to still and video equipment, sound recording and processing, image and sound digital manipulation.

- Video Conferencing Facilities- 15 video conferencing sites available on & off campus.

- Conference room, office space/office equipment/computer facilities.

- Student office space in former dormitory; available for office or research.

Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources in Food Science & Technology

 

The Food Science and Technology program is housed in two buildings: Food Science and Technology Building (FST) and the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 (HABB1), which opened in 2014.  Additional research labs are located in the Integrated Life Sciences Building (ILSB) in the  Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC), the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton and the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter.  The 93,500 square foot LEED-certified HABB1 building is designed to incorporate open workspaces and communal areas for faculty, students and industry to work collaboratively.   Research areas include pilot plants, laboratories, support facilities and a sensory/flavor testing suite with camera-equipped individual sensory panel booths and conference rooms.  The pilot plants feature flexible high-bay equipment areas for use in the development of scale-up operations and process/packaging engineering systems.

Food Science Building (FST)

  • Administration and faculty, staff, and grad student offices
  • Classrooms and teaching laboratories
  • Packaging and processing pilot plant
  • Research laboratories
  • Product Development and sensory evaluation laboratory
  • Research winery and enology laboratory
  • Analytical Services Lab
  • High hydrostatic pressure processing laboratory
     

Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 (HABB1)

  • Faculty, staff, and graduate offices
  • Conference, team meeting, and seminar rooms
  • Research laboratories
  • Sensory evaluation suite
  • Food processing and packaging pilot plant
  • Food safety pilot plant (BSL2)

Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise

HNFE occupies space in Wallace Hall, War Memorial Hall, the Integrated Life Science Building at the Corporate Research Center, and VT Riverside in Roanoke. The Laboratory for Eating Behaviors and Weight Management, the Dietary Assessment Laboratory, the Metabolic Kitchen, and the Food and Nutrition Policy Laboratory reside in Wallace Hall. The Integrated Life Sciences Building houses researchers from diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, virology, biology, nutritional biochemistry, genetics, foods science, and behavioral science. The Molecular Nutrition, Muscle Function, and Muscle Metabolism laboratories can be found here as well as groups working on the molecular aspects of health, nutrition, and disease, including genetic determinants of obesity and the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. This research is performed in laboratories equipped with modern molecular and cell biology instruments and tools for cellular and animal research. The building also houses equipment for the metabolic phenotyping core that allows for determination of body composition, whole body energy metabolism, glucose and insulin tolerance, analysis of metabolites, and more. Furthermore, core facilities for quantitative real-time PCR, cell culture, radio-labeled substrate metabolism, mitochondrial function, histology, confocal microscopy, and flow cytometry are also located in the building.

The Human Integrative Physiology laboratory is located in War Memorial Hall and provides the infrastructure for clinical studies requiring measurements of cardiovascular structure and function, submaximal and maximal exercise performance, body composition (DEXA), resting and exercise energy expenditure and substrate metabolism, and collection and processing of tissue and blood samples.