In case you missed it while hiding from the disaster this week was for State basketball, there was a bit of national, positive attention focused on North Carolina State University.
Regardless of your political views, it was a good day for NC State University on Wednesday, when the President held a press conference at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on campus (NCSU.edu):
President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have tapped NC State to lead a $140 million advanced manufacturing institute that will unite academic, government and industry partners in an effort to revolutionize energy efficiency across a wide range of applications, including electronic devices, power grids and electric vehicles.
The mission of the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute is to develop advanced manufacturing processes that will enable large-scale production of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, which allow electronic components to be smaller, faster and more efficient than semiconductors made from silicon.
WBG semiconductor 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.
NC State is leading the institute because of its success in developing energy innovations and working with partners to deploy them. NC State faculty in electrical engineering, computer engineering and materials sciences are on the leading edge of efforts to advance the use of WBG semiconductors.
NC State’s think-and-do approach to solving problems has created solutions that are already reshaping the energy sector. As the only university leading two active National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers, NC State has a proven track record of assembling teams to confront global challenges. In 2008 the university launched the FREEDM Systems Center, a model for the new clean energy institute, to lead the modernization of the U.S. power grid. Three years later the NSF created the ASSIST Center at NC State, which is developing self-powered health monitors.
“I don’t want the next big job-creating discovery and research and technology to be in Germany or China or Japan. I want it to be right here in the United States of America. I want it to be right here in North Carolina,” Obama told a crowd of about 2,000 people packed into the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on N.C. State’s campus.
The Next Generation Power Electronics Institute will be headquartered on NCSU’s Centennial Campus. Over the next five years, the U.S. Department of Energy will provide $70 million to the institute, to be matched by at least $70 million in nonfederal money by the businesses and universities and the state of North Carolina.
The institute will serve as a “hub to lift up our communities,” Obama said. “The hub to spark the technology and research that will create the new industries, the good jobs required for folks to punch their tickets into the middle class.”
This is already being discussed on the SFN Forums (here.