Virginia Tech graduates seeking exciting career options are finding opportunities in land development design. Employers on the lookout for new talent in the land development industry often find that Virginia Tech graduates possess a strong advantage, thanks in part to a special land development design initiative at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech’s Land Development Design Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech and more than 70 engineering and land development firms, many of which provide financial support.

This collaboration is focused on two primary objectives: improving land development design (LDD) education, and facilitating interaction between practitioners and undergraduate civil engineering students at Virginia Tech. In addition to improving LDD education and connecting students with professional mentors, the Land Development Design Initiative seeks to increase student awareness of land development design as a career path.

Randy Dymond is the coordinator of the Land Development Design Initiative and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. He defines land development design as the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure and facilities for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and recreational projects. Land development engineers must have strong knowledge about comprehensive plans, zoning, and conceptual design, as well as an engineering background in water resources, transportation, environmental, geotechnical, surveying, and project/construction management.

Virginia Tech civil and environmental engineering students already are in high demand, but engineering consultants and developers are "crying out for educated engineers that can help them today. If we can expand our students’ opportunities, that would be great. [The Land Development Design Initiative] helps us do this." Dymond said.

Quick Facts about LDDI:

  • Currently 22 practitioner firms provide financial support.
  • More than 150 professional engineers and 75 companies are involved in the effort.
  • A non-profit entity has been established for operating and fund-raising purposes.
  • Approximately 40 percent of all civil and environmental engineering graduates at the university have elected to take at least one course in land development design.
  • To date, more than 180 students have benefited from the initiative’s professional mentorship program.

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