The Duke Energy Atrium
North Carolina State University's College of Engineering will receive a $1.25 million endowment gift from the Duke Energy Foundation to support workforce development and teaching and research related to the clean generation and delivery of energy.
The gift will create two named professorships, one each in nuclear engineering and electrical and computer engineering, and will establish an endowed K-12 educational outreach fund to promote the continued development and diversification of the future engineering workforce. These endowments will help produce highly qualified engineers familiar with the core concepts of clean energy generation.
Duke Energy officials will formally present the gift to the college later this year. The investment will be made over five years.
"At NC State, we are grateful for our partnership with Duke Energy," said Chancellor James Oblinger. "As 2008 is the Year of Energy at NC State, this gift reflects our record of activities that fuel economic development and our commitment to a universal need commanding attention - clean energy generation and sustainability. Endowed professorships enable us to increase our ability to have significant impact in this area by helping to attract and retain the top faculty and to produce cutting-edge research that yields innovative solutions."
Engineering Building II Atrium
In recognition of Duke Energy's gift and its longstanding support for the college, NC State is naming a high-profile space on the NC State campus. The west atrium in Engineering Building II, home to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will be renamed the Duke Energy Atrium. The gift also includes funds to renovate two conference rooms in the college, and those will also bear the Duke Energy name. Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, delivers energy to about 4 million customers and is one of the nation's largest electric power companies. The company has a long history of successfully recruiting NC State engineering graduates into its workforce.
"Duke Energy is proud to support North Carolina State University's College of Engineering with this gift," said Ellen Ruff, president of Duke Energy Carolinas. "We are fortunate to have a large number of engineers from NC State working throughout our company, including many in senior management positions. This gift supports both our workforce development strategy and our strong interest in supporting the development of carbon-reduced energy sources. In addition, we view the College of Engineering as an engine of economic development within our state."
"This generous gift will improve our academic stature, get more young people interested in engineering, and accelerate our energy research efforts," said Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering. "We are grateful for Duke Energy's long history of support and their continued interest in engineering education at NC State."
The endowed professorships - the Duke Energy Professor of Nuclear Engineering and the Duke Energy Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Power Program - will help the college attract high-achieving research faculty and students in areas of interest to Duke Energy, which is working to reduce carbon emissions. The nuclear program helps develop energy technologies that produce far less carbon than fossil fuels, and the power program leads a multi-university effort to study the integration of renewable energy sources into the nation's electrical power grid. Carbon emissions have been cited as a chief contributor to global warming.
The Duke Energy Dynamic and Diverse Engineering Workforce Fund will support collaborations with Duke Energy to expand the college's efforts to improve math and science education, promote careers in energy-related engineering, and improve the diversity of the future engineering workforce.
"The College of Engineering and NC State value our longstanding relationship with Duke Energy," said Ben Hughes, executive director of the NC State Engineering Foundation Inc. "The partnership has produced a strong recruiting relationship and valued research and K-12 engineering outreach efforts."