Sir David Greenaway, vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham, and Virginia Tech President Tim Sands will discuss how a top-100 global university can stimulate meaningful interdisciplinary and cross-sector partnerships and prepare students for an increasingly interconnected world.

The event is open to the public and will be held April 18 at 3 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center. The presidential conversation is part of the Beyond Boundaries Presidential Lecture Series.

“As we continue to imagine Virginia Tech’s future as a global institution, there is much we can learn from other leading universities that are advancing this important work,” said Sands. “The University of Nottingham has been a valuable partner over the years and I’m looking forward to this discussion with Vice Chancellor Greenaway.”

Greenaway, appointed the sixth vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham in 2008, leads one of the United Kingdom’s largest comprehensive, research intensive universities. In addition to four campuses and three teaching hospitals in the East Midlands, Nottingham has campuses in China and Malaysia.

A professor of economics, Greenaway also serves as chair of the Russell Group of Universities, a group representing 24 leading UK universities, including the University of Cambridge, Oxford, and London School of Economics, which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with business and public sector. Greenaway received a knighthood for services to higher education in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors list in 2014.

Nearly 10 years ago, Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering and University of Nottingham’s faculty of engineering forged a strategic, comprehensive international research partnership. The partnership has afforded both universities opportunities to leverage research infrastructure, industry partnerships, and international funding, in addition to providing faculty and students the opportunity to gain exposure to new research directions.

To date, more than 30 faculty and 35 students from Virginia Tech and Nottingham have worked together in engineering research areas, including human factors and virtual reality, mining, biopolymers and materials, and power electronics. Practical, real-world applications of the research can be found in heads-up display in automobiles; cleaner, safer, and sustainable geo-energy; medical device design; and energy-efficient transportation systems.

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Envisioning Virginia Tech – Beyond Boundaries is an exercise in imagining a vision for Virginia Tech a generation into the future. Beyond Boundaries engages the university-wide community in a long-range visioning process, charting a course to position Virginia Tech as a top 100 global university while addressing the challenges and opportunities in the changing landscape of higher education.

The Beyond Boundaries Presidential Lecture Series seeks to invite thought leaders to inspire disruptive and transformational approaches to thinking globally and the changing landscape of higher education.