The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University is meeting the grand challenges of today’s global society through innovative research, cutting-edge education programs and life-changing outreach.
Engineering has been an NC State cornerstone since the university’s founding in 1887. Today, with more than 10,000 students and 700 faculty and staff, the College is among the nation’s largest and most highly ranked engineering schools. In fall 2015, the undergraduate enrollment was 6,230 and the graduate enrollment was 3,264. In 2014-15, the College generated over $175 million in research expenditures, making us one of the most productive engineering research institutions in the country. Faculty and student research has spawned more than 28 startups in the past five years.
NC State engineering faculty are leading a new US Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Institute that will united academic, industry and government partners to make the nation’s energy economy more efficient and more innovative. The $140 million Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute will develop advanced manufacturing processes to create the next generation of wide bandgap semiconductors.
NC State engineering also holds the distinction of being the only college of engineering in the country leading two active National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers (ERC), among the largest and most prestigious grants made by the engineering directorate of the federal agency.
The Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems ERC, awarded in 2008, focuses on developing technology to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business. FREEDM’s smart solid-state transformers were named to MIT Technology Review’s 2011 list of the world’s 10 most important emerging technologies.
Researchers at the Nanosystems ERC for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) are using the tiniest of materials to create self-powered health monitoring sensors and devices. These devices could be worn on the chest like a patch, on the wrist like a watch, as a cap that fits over a tooth, or in other ways, depending on the biological system that’s being monitored.
Each of these dynamic centers is a short walk from the engineering buildings on NC State’s Centennial Campus, where industry, government and academe work together to tackle global challenges. The newest addition to the campus, the state-of-the-art James B. Hunt Jr. Library, is redefining how our students study and collaborate. It has been called one of the coolest university libraries in the world.
Thanks to important investments made by the General Assembly and the people of North Carolina, more than two-thirds of the College is now located on Centennial Campus. Facilities like the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) use high-tech job-training programs to meet the state’s evolving employment needs. Biotechnology job growth in North Carolina, for example, is 3.5 times the national rate. The center opened in 2007 after being funded from a $33.5 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.
The College of Engineering is also the home of the NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), which helps improve, promote and connect industry through experts and tools in workplace safety, process optimization, business growth, innovation, sustainability and quality systems. In operation since 1955, over the past decade alone its efforts have resulted in over $2.3 billion in economic benefit to the state of North Carolina. Its influence also extends into the healthcare, government and service sectors.
We’re also creating the next big thing. The Engineering Entrepreneurs Program (EEP) has been educating and mentoring young entrepreneurs since 1993, and its graduates have started companies and brought new products and technologies to the marketplace. Since the program’s inception, EEP has helped more than 1,000 students become well-versed in marketing, business planning, financing, and other skills entrepreneurs need to be successful.
We expose our undergraduates to research early in their academic careers. The opportunity to work alongside graduate students and professors inspires undergraduates to think beyond textbook facts and figures to tackle real-world problems. This way of thinking begins with events like our Freshman Engineering Design Day and continues through students’ capstone senior design projects.
The result: Our students are among the most job-ready in the country. A Wall Street Journal study ranked NC State 15th among the nation’s engineering schools by recruiters. Our NC State Engineering Career Fair, one of the largest events of its kind in the country, attracts thousands of students and hundreds of employers, including industry giants like Cisco and IBM, who hire more students from NC State than anywhere else.
The College of Engineering at NC State is passionate about finding solutions today to the challenges of tomorrow. We are an enterprising team of students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners. We invite you to join us as we engineer a better tomorrow for our state and nation.
Louis A. Martin-Vega, Ph.D., P.E.