Welcome to the spring 2018 NC State Engineering magazine. As you read through this issue, I want you to think back on your days at NC State and how exciting it was to be a part of this University and the College of Engineering. For some of you, the memory may be of Riddick, Broughton, Mann, Daniels or Burlington Labs. For others, the memories may be more recent and focus on the newer engineering buildings I, II and III on Centennial Campus. Whether you are among the most recent or the not-so-recent graduates, you are all part of something very special — the College of Engineering at NC State University.
Since the very first student, Walter J. Matthews, enrolled in mechanic arts (engineering) in October 1889, our students, faculty and staff have been an important force in the direction of our state, nation and world. For 128 years, we have worked together to develop new ideas, create new tools and technologies, and educate tomorrow’s engineers and computer scientists. As alumni of this College, you are a part of this great legacy — a legacy that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of society, to improve our lives and drive our economy.
Today our campus is a vibrant and exciting place. Our faculty members are among the best in the world, and through their hard work, we have achieved another important milestone — reaching more than $200 million in annual research expenditures. This puts us in an elite group of engineering colleges — among them are MIT, Texas A&M, Purdue, and Stanford — and ranked 10th in the nation* in annual research expenditures.
Just as exciting is the public-private partnership that is coming together to construct Fitts-Woolard Hall,* our newest building on Centennial Campus. Thanks to more than 100 dedicated alumni and friends who have donated $46 million, we have surpassed the halfway mark in raising the $60 million in private funds needed to fully fund Fitts-Woolard Hall. To add to the excitement, large earth-moving equipment crews recently began preparing the site for construction. And while this is also an important milestone, we continue to need financial support for this effort from our alumni and friends.
In this issue we share with you a sampling of other exciting news in your college, from flexible electronics, cancer treatments and new manufacturing processes for power electronics to international aid work in Sierra Leone and animal conservation efforts in Namibia. From our front door to around the globe, NC State’s students, faculty and staff apply Think and Do to improve our world and “engineer a better tomorrow” for us all.
If it has been a while since you’ve been to NC State, I invite you to come and visit. I know you will be inspired by what you find. In the meantime, please enjoy this issue of NC State Engineering, and thank you for your continued support.
Louis A. Martin-Vega, Ph.D.
*[Editor’s Note: The Engineering Building Oval (EB Oval) was renamed Fitts-Woolard Hall on April 20, 2018, at the groundbreaking ceremony.]