Research

The College of Engineering at NC State is one of the world’s preeminent engineering research institutions.

Leading the Way

Research is central to what we do in the College of Engineering at NC State. Through our work, we aim to find the best solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. College researchers are developing cleaner energy, faster computers, stronger and lighter materials, and better medical devices, among many other initiatives.

Behind all this significant work are the people. Our faculty members are world leaders in research and innovation. They have won 21 NSF CAREER Awards in the last five years. Fifteen are members of the National Academy of Engineering. Two are in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. One was recently named one of MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators Under 35.”

Zhen Gu, an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.

The breadth of our programs allows exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, both within and outside the college. A number of our faculty members are part of the university-wide Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, in which they work in interdisciplinary clusters to study areas such as carbon electronics and personalized medicine.

Funders have flocked to our work, providing millions of dollars in funding to keep these research results coming. Programs like the $1.5 million Game-Changing Research Incentive Program ensure researchers have the freedom they need to pursue their important work.

$206 Million in Research Spending

The college’s total research expenditures in 2016-17, a key measure of overall research activity, consistently places it among the top schools in the US.

Explore the centers at the heart of our research

Research with Real Results

We know how to work with industry-leading partners — many of whom are our neighbors on Centennial Campus — to find and execute solutions.

One example of this partnership prowess is PowerAmerica, which is developing advanced manufacturing processes that will enable large-scale production of wide bandgap semiconductors. This technology has the potential to reshape the American energy economy by increasing efficiency in everything that uses a semiconductor, from industrial motors and household appliances to military satellites. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped NC State to lead this center, working with four other universities and 18 energy industry leaders.

The FREEDM Systems Center is one of the College of Engineering’s two NSF Engineering Research Centers.

The College of Engineering is one of only two in the nation currently leading two NSF Engineering Research Centers. The ASSIST Center is developing wireless health monitoring devices, while the FREEDM Systems Center is creating an “energy internet” that will transform the way electric power is distributed and stored.

The college also leads 10 NC State research centers and institutes, including the Nuclear Reactor Program, the Center for Educational Informatics and the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics. And the more than 40 startup companies that have come out of the college since 2006 prove that our researchers are producing solutions that improve the lives of people around the world.

Great Spaces for Great Ideas

Much of the College’s work takes place on Centennial Campus, a 1,334-acre melting pot of education, research, industry, government and community spaces. The campus is home to more than 70 government, industry and nonprofit partners along with more than 70 NC State research and academic units.

The state-of-the-art engineering buildings on Centennial Campus and their proximity to industry and government facilities foster innovation in research and education. They also inspire and enable faculty members and students to collaborate to address the grand challenges of 21st century society.

As the college continues to grow to meet demand for engineering degrees, our newest project on Centennial Campus is the Engineering Oval building. The building will include more than 100 classrooms and state-of-the-art laboratories to further research in areas of critical societal need, including biomanufacturing, construction engineering and management, and environmental engineering. In spring 2016, NC voters passed the Connect NC bond, which provides $77 million in public funding for the building, and the college is currently raising the rest of the money to fully fund this exciting project.

Your Research Resource

The Office of Research and Graduate Programs, led by Executive Associate Dean of Engineering, Research and Graduate Programs John Gilligan, oversees the facilities and activities of research and graduate studies in the college. It is responsible for the Office of Research Administration and Engineering Online, as well as for the college’s graduate programs, research labs and centers.