Blacksburg is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is widely recognized by national rankings as a vibrant and desirable community with affordable living, world-class outdoor recreation, an active arts community, and a diverse international population. The Department of Mechanical Engineering (http://www.me.vt.edu/), which includes a Nuclear Engineering Program, has 59 faculty, research expenditures of over $16M, and a current enrollment of 340 graduate students with 180 students at doctoral level, and over 1100 undergraduate students. The Department is ranked 14th and 22nd out of all mechanical engineering departments in the nation in undergraduate and graduate education, respectively, by the 2017 U.S. News and World Report. The Department includes several research centers, and its faculty members are engaged in diverse multidisciplinary research activities. The mechanical engineering faculty also benefit from a number of university-wide institutes such as the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), the Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI); College-level centers such as the recently established Rolls-Royce University Technology Center (UTC) in advanced systems diagnostics, and the Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS); and state-level industry-academic research centers such as the such as the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (CCAPS) and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM). Virginia Tech is also a member of both the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and America Makes.

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