Experiential Learning

Department of Engineering & Society


Experiential Learning
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Ben Franklin

Thanks to a generous gift from Linwood A. “Chip” Lacy Jr. (ChE ’67, Darden ’69) and his wife, Connie(Nurs ’66), students now have the space to build projects and have the funds to buy materials and pay for transportation and entrance fees for competitions.

Lacy Hall and the Ann Warrick Lacy Experiential Center facilitate hands-on learning and provide access to state-of-the-art tools and opportunities for students to collaborate with each other and with faculty and staff. The building was specifically designed for the needs of engineering projects like the Mini Baja, the solar car and the concrete canoe.

The gift for the building and center was made in honor of Mr. Lacy’s father, Linwood A. “Bub” Lacy, and his mother, Ann Warrick Lacy.


For information on getting involved in an experiential activity, contact George L. Cahen, Jr, Professor and Director of SEAS Experiential Programs, at glc@virginia.edu.


The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a national professional body, specifically an engineering society, focused on mechanical engineering. The local student group hosts events for it’s members and bands together to participate in design challenges. Find Out More.

The ChemE Car team at the University of Virginia is based from the student-led organization, AIChE, and is devoted towards the design and construction of a shoebox-sized car powered entirely by a chemical reaction. ChemE Car teams from universities across the nation enter their cars to compete in both regional and national competitions. Find Out More.

ecomod1ecoMOD is a research and educational project at the University of Virginia that involves students and faculty from the Engineering School and Architecture School, working together to create sustainable, prefab housing units in partnership with affordable housing organizations. Find Out More.

firstThis project involves serving as a mentor to Charlottesville/Albermarle Robotics, a competitive high school FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team. The students are offered help and guidance as they design, build, and troubleshoot large robots for yearly competitions. Find Out More.

globalAs part of the Volkswagen Global Ingenuity Program, 17 U.Va. Engineering students worked from the car company’s Wolfsburg/Braunschweig research and development facility to solve the design challenge. At the end of the program, they presented a design for a system that integrates a customized Internet application into vehicles. Find Out More.

rideforwardThis group was formed in 2009 to inspire sustainable automotive design through research relating to electric vehicle conversions, solar race cars, waste oil vehicles, photovoltaic chargers and ultra light vehicles. Find Out More.

aero“Hoos Flying” is an aerospace design team that competes in the annual SAE Aero Design Competition. Each year the team designs, builds, and flies a remote controlled airplane. Each team in the competition must use a standard engine and abide by a set of rules governing overall dimensions and materials used; beyond that, the planes are designed from scratch to carry as much weight as possible. Find Out More.

bajaVirginia Baja Racing SAE is a group of undergraduate students at the Engineering School who are passionate about automotive design and racing. The group forms yearly to design, build, and race an open-wheel off road racecar inspired by the Class 1 Buggies competing in the Baja 1000. The year culminates in multiple International Baja competitions sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Find Out More.

solarThe Solar Car Team exposes students to the challenges facing practicing professionals through the design, funding, and construction of a solar-powered vehicle. The interdisciplinary nature of this project provides students with a realistic look at engineering ventures from both a business and industry perspective. Find Out More.

vgem2The iGEM Team is a student-run synthetic biology research group that competes every year in MIT’s international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. Synthetic Biology is an emerging engineering discipline that involves the (re)design and construction of biological systems. Find Out More.

w4uvaThe Amateur Radio and RF Communications Club at the University of Virginia is a club dedicated to the advancement of Amateur Radio at the University, as well as public service, emergency communication, and fun activities for club members. Find Out More.

This information is also listed here.


For information on getting involved in an experiential activity, contact George L. Cahen, Jr, Professor and Director of SEAS Experiential Programs, at glc@virginia.edu.