By Todd Simmons 

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will add new leading faculty, enroll more top engineering students and create world-class research facilities with $35 million in new capital and operational state funding from the Engineering North Carolina’s Future (ENCF) program, campus officials announced today.

ENCF is a special initiative of the N.C. General Assembly aimed at dramatically beefing up the high-tech workforce for a state exploding in new business growth, with companies such as Apple, Toyota, Corning, Merck, Honda and Boom Supersonic either announcing new campuses or operations in North Carolina over the past year.

Already the nation’s No. 1 university in graduation of Black engineers, North Carolina A&T and its College of Engineering are prepared to do much more with the new allocations from ENCF.

“These welcome investments in our university will expand our capabilities to prepare talented and highly competitive students in engineering, computer science and related disciplines,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., himself a two-time graduate of A&T in electrical engineering. “These investments also come as North Carolina A&T is executing strategy across the board to enhance our standing as a research institution and elevate our classification to R1-Very High Research Activity in the Carnegie Classifications for higher education.

“This new funding recognizes that momentum, and frankly, it could not have come at a better time.”

ENCF funds will address a range of priorities, including:

  • Recruitment and retention of top undergraduate and graduate students, which will enjoy $2.5 million in new support.
  • Creation of four new advanced engineering laboratories: The Convergence Engineering Applications Lab, the Interdisciplinary Core Research Lab, the Metaverse Engineering Lab and a glass technology research lab.
  • Expansion of facilities in engineering and the nanoscience joint school, supporting the latter’s ascent among the nation’s top nanoscience programs in America.

A&T’s national leadership in STEM education generally, and its preeminence in engineering and computer science, make it a high-demand partner for the high-tech sector, as do its expanding degree and certificate programs. The university delivers new graduates who are consistently recognized as exceptionally well prepared for innovation, leadership and impact.

For more information on A&T’s ENCF funding, please visit the College of Engineering website.

In February of this year, A&T opened the Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering and Research Complex, a new $90-million facility that boasts cutting-edge technology, including humanoid robotics, a holographic design studio, a state-of-the-art cycloramic driving simulator and advanced support for A&T’s range of self-driving vehicles and autonomous drones.

The ENCF allocations will enable A&T to build on the considerable momentum created by strong student and corporate interest in the Martin Complex. The College of Engineering, which ranks among the nation’s top 150 doctoral degree-granting programs in engineering, enrolled more than 2,300 students this academic year. It is responsible for nearly half of the university’s graduates each year in “critical workforce” disciplines.

Those graduates enjoy exceptional opportunities in the workplace. A&T ranks second among the UNC System’s 16 university campuses in early career earnings for its alumni – a position fueled by engineering and computer science graduates, whose starting salaries typically exceed $65,000.   

The College of Engineering also makes significant contributions to A&T’s annual economic impact, most recently valued at nearly $1.5 billion, most of which is concentrated in the 10 counties comprising the Piedmont Triad region.

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