N.C. A&T is among more than 120 U.S. engineering schools leading a transformative movement in engineering education announced at the White House today.
The schools will establish special educational programs designed to prepare undergraduates to solve “Grand Challenges”—complex yet achievable goals to improve national and international health, security, sustainability and quality of life in the 21st century. Together, the schools plan to graduate more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.
The College of Engineering at N.C. A&T will graduate engineers in accordance with the National Academy of Engineering’s vision for ensuring a competitive engineering workforce ready to create solutions to the complex challenges of the present and the future. The Grand Challenges Engineers Program will emphasize expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation; global and cross-cultural perspectives, and social consciousness with exposure and experience in other areas as specified in the deans’ letter to President Barack Obama.
“For the College of Engineering at N.C. A&T, the decision to participate in this initiative was any easy one for our leadership team since the elements central to preparing Grand Challenge Engineers align strongly with our strategic agenda,” said Dr. Robin Coger, dean of the College of Engineering.
“A&T’s engineering and computer science students have consistently built competitive portfolios in preparing for their professional careers. The GCEP at N.C. A&T is a logical ‘next step’ because it links that tradition with a nationwide framework.”
The Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has outgrown its lab, so it will lease additional space at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Its staff has grown to 40 researchers and support personnel, and its original 5,800 square foot facility is no longer adequate to provide space for all of its research.
From the Triad Business Journal:
“N.C. A&T State University is expanding its presence at the N.C. Research Campus, the Kannapolis park that’s home to researchers from a multitude of the state’s colleges and universities.
“The park is home to N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, which studies ways to process fruits and vegetables after they are harvested. The goal is to find ways to make food safer, extend shelf life and preserve health-promoting nutrients. …
“‘We tie all of this research together and how it impacts our nutrition from every angle, from looking at how a diet rich in phytochemicals impacts our metabolism and our gut microflora, and how it impacts specific genes related to chronic disease,'” said Leonard Williams, director of the N.C. A&T center. “‘Our new lab will allow us to be able to do that research better.'”
Dr. Fatemeh Afghah
A new chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has been established in the Piedmont Triad, led by Dr. Fatemeh Afghah, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina A&T State University.
The new group is a joint chapter of the IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Signal Processing for the Central North Carolina Section.
IEEE is the world’s largest association of technical professionals for the advancement of technology with more than 400,000 worldwide. The Central North Carolina section covers the Piedmont Triad area, including Greensboro, High Point and Burlington.
As a part of the chapter’s activities, leaders in communications and signal processing societies will be invited to present recent advances in communication and signal processing technologies to students, electrical engineers and professional members in the Piedmont Triad area. The chapter will receive up to $7,000 and support from IEEE to organize technical and professional lectures.
To become a member or to learn more about chapter activities, contact Afghah or go to http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r3/cnc/index.html.
Dr. Gregory Goins
Dr. Gregory Goins, associate professor of biology at North Carolina A&T State University, has been named a White House Champion of Change.
He is one of 11 faculty and staff members from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who will be honored in Washington today for effectively promoting college completion and student success at HBCUs.
Goins organized the Integrative Biomathematical Learning and Empowerment Network for Diversity (iBLEND) program at N.C. A&T. iBLEND represents a partnership between faculty mentors from various science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines working together to retain undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
In addition, iBLEND mentors help students prepare for future post-graduate opportunities and careers primarily at the interface between biology and mathematics. Since 2010, over 100 undergraduates from North Carolina A&T State University have completed research internships collaborating with iBLEND.
N.C. A&T researchers on the wintertime pollution study, left to right: Dr. Marc Fiddler, Steven G. Blanco Garcia, and Jaime Green
Members of the N.C. A&T Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Group are working with researchers from 14 other institutions this winter to investigate the little-known dynamics of wintertime air pollution.
The project is the Wintertime INvestigation of Transport, Emissions, and Reactivity (WINTER) campaign in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It will provide detailed, aircraft-based measurements to explore how chemical processes in the atmosphere vary by season.
Pollution occurs throughout the year, but the chemistry that determines the impact of pollution in the winter has been largely unexplored. Most research has focused on warmer seasons.
In winter, for example, short-lived pollutants like sulfur dioxide dissipate more slowly, so they affect wider areas downwind from the source of the pollution. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems and can turn into acid rain.
“Levels of oxidant pollution, such as ozone, are smaller in the winter due to decreased sunlight and emissions from plants,” said Dr. Marc Fiddler, an A&T research chemist working on the project. “These conditions produce a different and much more uncertain picture of what happens to sulfur dioxide in the winter.”
An undergraduate research technician at N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has been named a finalist in the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium sponsored by the American Chemical Society.
The center is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. It is operated by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
Nicholas Stone, a senior biology major at Davidson College, is one of six finalists chosen from an international pool of applicants. He will present his research on “Alkylresorcinols: Purification from wheat bran and quantification in whole grain wheat breads” at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, March 22 to 26.
The symposium is conducted by the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the ACS. It is open to all undergraduates conducting research in agricultural food chemistry.
Stone, who is originally from Winston-Salem, works in the lab of Dr. Shengmin Sang, associate professor and lead scientist for functional foods. Originally a summer intern, Stone quickly progressed from helping with small tasks like washing dishes to becoming a full-fledged member of the research team focusing on the study of alkylresorcinols (AR), a bioactive compound in whole grain wheat and rye.