Local News

N.C. State Graduate Research Center Opens

Posted October 14, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— It's taken 16 years, nearly $50 million dollars, and a lot of private support, but North Carolina State University's Engineering Graduate Research Center has officially opened its doors.

"Our science and engineeringing programs are fairly well known," says Chancellor Larry Monteith. "This will continue to bring recognition to them."

Housed inside the two new buildings on the Centennial Campus, state of the art technology already being put to use. Specialized high-tech equipment includes such things as a microscope that focuses in on atoms.

"Now on the length of the scale here, this is a micron wide," explains engineering professor Phil Russell. "To give you an idea, your hair is typically one hundred microns wide."

There is even an electronic nose that can distinguish between six types of soda, even better than WRAL's Bret Baier. Bret thought the drink was Dr. Pepper. The computer knew it was Cheerwine. It's a nose with practical uses.

"We've done analysis of hog farm odor here in North Carolina," says engineering professor Tony Nagle.

A Constructed Facilities Lab tests concrete and how it will stand up to earthquakes and adverse weather. Grad students are trying to find the best materials for building.

The new lab is the largest facility of its kind in the nation. An engineers' dream is now reality at NC State.

Photographer: Greg Clark