ACE(D) Lab

Abilities, Creativity, and Ethics in Design

Publications Funded Research Courses Ability Tests

About Us

A team dedicated to engineering education research
and the engineering learner

Through real-world engineering applications, the ACE(D) Lab experiential learning research crosses disciplines including engineering, psychology and the learning sciences, as we uncover how individual performance is influenced by abilities, personal interests and direct manipulation of physical and virtual objects.


Led by Dr. Diana Bairaktarova, the ACE(D) Lab at Virginia Tech is dedicated to engineering and design education research and the engineering learner. Our interdisciplinary research focuses on the following three lines of inquiry:

1. Using innovative technologies to study novel user interfaces, virtual and augmented learning and working environments that encompass human aspects at the cognitive, eye-tracking and sensory-motor levels.

2. Investigating the role of individual aptitudes and abilities in performing and learning engineering through psychometric instruments and psychological interventions.

3. Adopting design thinking as a philosophy (inspiration, ideation, and quick prototyping) to investigate user-centered design, empathic design and design for social innovation.


(Click on the person's name or picture to show/hide details)



Project Support Files

Virtual Learning for Thermodynamics

We have developed virtual objects (vObjects) learning environment aid the pedagogy of abstract concepts in engineering Thermodynamics. The impact of the vObject tool has being evaluated by practicing engineers in the Energy filed through a course project where students were required to construct a conceptual power plant. Run setup in the downloaded folder to create a desktop shortcut.

Download for Windows

Download for MacOS

NSF Award # 1712210

Contact Us

We will get back to you soon...