Andrew McCoy

Freelance Writer

Andrew McCoy is an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Contact him at

Articles by Andrew McCoy

October 2014
In 1935, Boeing Corp. would have never predicted it was about to make one of its greatest contributions not only to the aviation industry but to every other line of work as well. Boeing’s Model 299, nicknamed the “Flying Fortress,” was the clear leader in the War Department’s selection process for the next generation of long-range bombers.
September 2014
Since February 2011, our column has aimed to change the way the electrical contracting industry views service in its daily operations. Using a service-based business model, we have presented ways that electrical contractors can awaken to the prospect of increasing their customer base by shifting the focus of their operations from project-based to service-centric.
August 2014
Since many locales have suffered some form of natural disaster in recent years, world and thought leaders have begun to hone in on massive preventive solutions that are now commonly lumped under the label “resilience.” How can the manufactured physical infrastructures of our societies be rendered resilient to Mother Nature’s near- and long-term attacks?
June 2014
Having successfully completed a series of good-sized service jobs for a company he described as a great customer, a prominent electrical contractor (who wishes to remain anonymous) was making a routine visit to the company’s main office for what he fondly refers to as a “customer care call.” This time, he intended to thank his customer for its most recent business and get an early indication of th READ MORE
April 2014
Ever surfed 20-foot waves? Or gone skydiving in formation with hundreds of friends? Or skied off a mountain? No matter. You don’t need to pay IMAX prices for films that immerse you in personal experience anymore; just search online for personal adventure videos that force your jaw to drop in disbelief. It’s the video version of a “selfie.” 
February 2014
A great unsung legacy of the Automobile Era has surely been all those extra garages in backyards and alleyways across America that have ended up serving as birthplaces for new enterprises. READ MORE
December 2013
In a YouTube video, two psychology professors staged a playful indoor exercise featuring six men and women, who were dressed in either black or white, passing basketballs back and forth. READ MORE
October 2013
In the 1960s, Xerox copy machines started appearing in American offices, providing a stunning example of how innovation enabled by technology can create new marketing opportunities.
August 2013
A select audience of industry practitioners and university researchers recently gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to grapple with a mind-boggling quandry: how to define the next industrial era of the global economy. READ MORE