The CAER and Virginia Commonwealth University Sign Master Research Agreement


December 1, 2014

Lynchburg, Virginia – The Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) this week established a five-year master research agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to sustain and improve the growth of targeted industry clusters in Virginia’s Region 2000.

Under the terms of the agreement, VCU and the CAER agree to work together in the development of research and educational projects in the targeted area of nuclear energy and in identifying resources needed to implement these plans. The university will provide personnel and expertise to the CAER for administrative, research and educational support services that will benefit the region’s high-tech companies. The CAER will provide funding through federal, state and industry sources and assist in managing the research projects with the university.

“With this new agreement we continue to build research capacity and expertise in our target technology sectors,” says Bob Bailey, executive director of the CAER. “Having Virginia Commonwealth University join our team only strengthens our region’s assets.”

“CAER is very unique facility in the world of Nuclear Energy. From a broad perspective CAER is trying to understand the impact modern computer based technology may have on Nuclear Power Generation. The introduction of new computer and graphical display technology into Nuclear Power Plant control rooms can be very beneficial toward improving plant reliability and safety, but new technology may also be a source of confusion and create lapses of situational awareness if Human System Interactions are not well thought-out,” says Carl Elks, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at VCU. “To my knowledge it’s only one of two research facilities in the United States where these types of studies can be done to a high level of fidelity. VCU is very interested in working with CAER and other partners such as Dominion Power to study modernization strategies for nuclear and conventional power generation facilities.”

The CAER has similar partnerships with the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, University of Akron, and Liberty University’s School of Engineering & Computational Sciences (SECS).


As a member of Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership, the CAER is dedicated to building an industry-based research presence in the region, in support of area companies. The CAER creates working relationships between high-tech industries, major R&D centers and universities, and facilitates professional development opportunities for scientists and engineers in the region. Its 30,000 square-foot research and education facility, located in the New London Business and Technology Center in Bedford County, will serve as the region’s source for industry innovation in nuclear and wireless technologies. For more information on the CAER visit

Virginia Commonwealth University Engineering

Founded in 1996, the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University teaches 1,657 undergraduate and 262 graduate students. Driven to be the national model for innovation in engineering and research, the school offers B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical, nuclear, biomedical, electrical, computer and chemical and life science engineering, computer science and the country’s only hybrid mechanical and nuclear engineering doctoral program. Cross-Disciplinary focus 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.

Interdisciplinary research opportunities are offered through the school’s Center for Nanomaterials and Characterization, the Institute for Engineering and Medicine, the C. Kenneth and Dianne Harris Wright Virginia Microelectronics Center, the Translational Research Innovation Projects Facility, the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Initiative, and the da Vinci Center. To learn more, go to


 Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-six of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see

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