Link Lab

Link Lab

SIF58 SEAS Link Lab for Cyber Physical Systems

Project Manager: John Stankovic, School of Engineering and Applied Science

The purpose of this project is to launch a lab to enhance excellence in CPS research.

BoV Approved: September 2016

Project Dates: 10/20/2016 – 12/31/2020

Funding Awarded: $4,810,000

Executive Summary:

Society's biggest Grand Challenges today -- energy, health, transportation, and environment -- can only be addressed when scientists and engineers from different disciplines work together.  However, interdisciplinary research and training is harder to do when academic institutions are organized according to conventional disciplinary silos. The purpose of this award is to launch a visionary new laboratory to support collaborative, interdisciplinary research and training. The lab is called the Link Lab because it will "link" multiple departments through cross-cutting mechanisms such as shared lab space, grant-management and fundraising support, and mentoring that bridges multiple disciplines. By promoting collaboration across departments, the Link Lab is helping to build critical mass and increase visibility in an important cross-cutting research area, despite our small size compared to other top engineering schools. The Link Lab is a cornerstone in the E-school's larger strategy to "punch above our weight" through cross-cutting initiatives, which also includes an increased focus on interdisciplinary hiring, joint appointments, and revised P&T guidelines that reward and recognize interdisciplinary research. The Link Lab will be the first of several cross-cutting labs and will serve as a model for the future of the E-school, ushering in a new paradigm of interdisciplinary collaborative research and training in engineering.

Current Status: Active


  • Main lab construction completed: Dec 2017; move-in: Jan 2018.
  • Currently houses 17 Faculty, 105 graduate students, and 6 post-docs residing within Link Lab; with another 16 Faculty and 100+ graduate students affiliated as non-residents.
  • Seven of the resident Faculty were from the CPS cluster hire, all with dual appointments within Engineering.
  • Two staff hires: Program Director over strategy, business operations, and partnerships; and the Lab Coordinator overseeing day-to-day operations, logistics, and events.
  • Increase in the research awards from $11.7M in 2017 to a projected $24M in 2019; on path to double the average award amount per investigator since our inception.
  • Recipient of the first NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) awarded to UVA, a major grant for creating a multidisciplinary graduate education training program in cyber-physical systems.