Welcome to the spring 2019 issue of NC State Engineering magazine. While our engineering departments still provide the underlying framework of our College, increasingly, the practice of engineering and engineering education is driven as much or more by cross-cutting societal challenges and the solutions they need, as it is by traditional engineering disciplines. This reality has made interdisciplinary work a focus of engineering education and research at NC State.
In this issue we highlight examples of interdisciplinary endeavors which have contributed to our increased prominence among Colleges of Engineering nationwide. This includes faculty in our UNC/NC State Joint Biomedical Engineering Department who are working with colleagues and graduate students in biomolecular science and veterinary medicine to develop a new system that could save the lives of heart attack victims.
You’ll also learn about research targeted on fighting antibiotic-resistant pathogens that are causing a significant threat to public health. This research team includes a faculty member with joint appointments in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering working with faculty in biological sciences and chemistry.
At the College level you can also see it in research centers we lead that are addressing large areas of societal need, such as the NSF ASSIST Engineering Research Center creating wearable personal health monitoring devices, and our two Department of Energy centers focused on nuclear nonproliferation and creating the next generation of light water nuclear reactors.
At the University level the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program has brought more than 75 new faculty members to NC State to work across academic disciplines in clusters that focus on important research areas. Engineering faculty members are leading clusters in carbon electronics; global water, sanitation and hygiene; and sustainable energy systems policy.
This interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit is what also makes Fitts-Woolard Hall so special. Our newest engineering building on Centennial Campus will bring together the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. This will allow their faculty and students to more easily collaborate with each other and other engineering departments, the College of Textiles and the 76 industry, government and nonprofit partners located on Centennial Campus. In this issue you will learn more about what a remarkable building this will be as well as our request that you continue to support our fundraising efforts to complete this transformative facility without placing a financial burden on your College of Engineering.
We trust that our efforts make you prouder every day to be an alumni or friend of NC State’s College of Engineering. Thank you for your support and we encourage you to stay in contact with us.
Louis A. Martin-Vega, Ph.D.