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Alumni Magazine

From the dean

Welcome to the fall / winter 2022 issue of NC State Engineering magazine.

Dr. Louis Martin-Vega

The beginning of each academic year always feels like a fresh start and brings with it a great deal of excitement. This year, we have welcomed our largest class of new engineering and computer science students ever and have enjoyed a number of fall gatherings, including football games and Red & White Week. This new semester seems to have a bit of extra buzz because, after two consecutive years of starting an academic year with some level of disruption as the University tried to work its way cautiously through COVID-19, the normalcy on campus makes it feel as if we are truly back to a pre-pandemic world.

This will also be my final fall semester as dean of the College of Engineering. In August, Provost Warwick Arden shared with our University community the news that I have decided to step down from my position at the end of the 2022-23 academic year to return to the faculty.

While there are a number of personal reasons that have motivated this decision, the reality is that I never would have imagined when I arrived in 2006 that I would still be serving in this role 16 years later. It has indeed been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to have been able to serve and lead the College of Engineering at NC State for such an extended period of time.

I am proud to say that, thanks to the work of our faculty, staff, students and alumni, our College has never been stronger. The College has made significant advancements in its national reputation and its research enterprise. We have now moved eight of our nine departments to Centennial Campus, affording us the kind of top-flight facilities and collaborative environment that would be the envy of any of our peer institutions.

All that has been done while we have simultaneously made progress on recruiting more faculty members and students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields and have worked diligently to make this an academic environment that is open and welcoming to all.

This work sets the College up perfectly for our next step — a significant growth phase spurred by investments by the North Carolina General Assembly in response to growing demand for an even larger STEM workforce to support the state’s booming economy. The Engineering North Carolina’s Future initiative will allow us to add 4,000 students and 130 new faculty members in the coming years and will make a significant and needed investment in our facilities.

I think that you will see my optimism about the College’s future come to life in the pages of this magazine and hope that you will enjoy learning more about our research efforts in cancer treatment and unmanned aerial vehicles, our new Engineering Education program and the wide-ranging achievements of our alumni.

Thank you for the steadfast support that you have shown me since I arrived in Raleigh. I’m looking forward to a great academic year and to seeing what the future holds for this outstanding College and hope that I will be able to interact with many of you in the coming months.

Louis A. Martin-Vega, Ph.D., NAE