Alexandria’s Virginia Tech campus gets new leader

Lance Collins comes from Cornell University, for which he helped open a tech campus in New York City. (Courtesy Virginia Tech/Lindsay France)

The new leader of Virginia Tech’s billion-dollar tech campus project in Alexandria is laying out his vision for it.

Lance Collins comes from Cornell University, for which he helped open a tech campus in New York City. The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus is being built in the Potomac Yard area.

“I think it’s just a fantastic, beautiful location,” Collins said. “Its proximity to Amazon is not lost on me. That’s also quite important.”

The Innovation Campus was part of the effort to land Amazon’s HQ2, which will be in Crystal City.

A rendering for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. (Courtesy Virginia Tech)

Still, Collins added, “it’s not an exclusive relationship” with Amazon, and he said he looks forward to working with partner companies across multiple industries.

The program will begin in the fall, in Falls Church and other space in Alexandria.

The first Potomac Yard campus building is set for completion in 2024. When complete in about 10 years, the campus will enroll 750 master’s candidates, and hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, according to Virginia Tech.

The university also has said the Innovation Campus will triple its footprint in Northern Virginia.

Collins said the campus could offer education in the areas of computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, cybersecurity and policy.

“This is really a breakthrough, I think, for this area,” Collins said.

A layout of the Innovation Campus. (Courtesy Virginia Tech)
John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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