A Modern Approach to Graduate Education

Materials science and engineering continues to change rapidly as a discipline, with recent advancements in experimental tools for probing the dynamics of material structure and properties, high-throughput multiscale computational methods and materials informatics. At the same time, we become increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative, allowing the community to seek and answer more innovative and complex solutions to our global challenges. Not only do these developments change how we do research, but they change how we approach graduate education.

MSE at NCSU continuously modernizes our graduate training paradigm, with the goal of providing a supportive environment, leading educators and state-of-the-art resources to create outstanding scientists, engineers and global leaders. While an innovative graduate curriculum and graduate-research mentorship continue to underpin the graduate program, we also emphasize leadership skills, global engagement and entrepreneurialism. Through programs such as the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship on the Science and Engineering of Atomic Structure, we take a leading role in changing the global paradigm for interdisciplinary graduate education.

   

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A Unique Environment for Graduate Research

Before Silicon Valley, there was the Research Triangle Park (RTP) a region in central North Carolina anchored by three universities–NC State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke. RTP attracted IBM, SAS, Cisco, and more beginning in the early 1960s and that spirit of innovation has grown. Companies sited in RTP invest more than $296 million in R&D at the region’s universities each year – double the average R&D investment for innovation clusters elsewhere in the nation. Today RTP boasts more than 200 companies and over 50,000 people with expertise in fields such as micro-electronics, telecommunications, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences.