Welcome to the spring 2020 issue of NC State Engineering magazine.
Like all of you, we find ourselves in a new world this spring, trying to adjust to the reality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. During these very difficult times please be assured that the number one priority of NC State and our College is first and foremost the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff as well as the academic, professional and personal success of our undergraduate and graduate students. That’s why NC State has undertaken a number of measures with the well-being of the University community in mind. While the landscape is changing daily, as of this writing on March 23, 2020, NC State is functioning with minimal on-campus operations that include moving all instruction to fully online courses and limiting on-campus activities to only core operational functions.
In addition to elaborating more on these measures, our feature story in this issue will also highlight examples of the outstanding work that our faculty, students, and staff are doing in response to the urgent needs created by this pandemic. These efforts include the donation of needed protective materials by our Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) and Department of Materials Science and Engineering; the implementation of our 3D or additive manufacturing capabilities for the production of alternate materials, medical masks and related equipment; and various other efforts to help meet the rising and urgent demand for materials to protect our first responder health care professionals in North Carolina and nationwide.
The reputation our College has achieved as one of the leading and most preeminent Colleges of Engineering in our nation has been built, in large part, through our nationally and internationally recognized research, which has been marked more and more by interdisciplinary collaboration around big ideas. The complex problems our world faces in the 21st century require it. From improving the healthcare supply chain and harnessing the power of data to engineering the production of new medicines, our faculty, students and alumni are leaders in addressing major societal needs and challenges. I am confident that these efforts are also playing an important role in the development of the technologies and solutions needed to help the fight and ultimately conquer pandemics like the one we are currently living through.
While none of us really know how long this COVID-19 situation will persist, we are confident that it will be overcome and that we will all emerge wiser and more prepared for any future experience. This is neither the first time, nor will it be the last time, that the resilience of our state and nation will be tested.
I have never been prouder to be a part of NC State and our College of Engineering and I can promise you that we will always be up to addressing this challenge in ways that will make all of our alumni and friends truly proud.
Thank you again, more than ever, for the outstanding support you continue to provide “your” College of Engineering and I very much look forward to the moment when we can welcome you back to campus to thank you again in a more personal way.