Wednesday’s dedication of Engineering Building III on Centennial Campus was cause for celebrating and reminiscing.
Keynote speaker Jim Yocum, a mechanical engineering alum and former student body president, says the new facilities are a definite upgrade from the Broughton Hall basement where he spent lab time as a senior.
As executive vice president for DestinationRx Inc., which specializes in health care decision-support software, Yocum has worked in locations around the globe. He found evidence of NC State’s strong engineering reputation in Korea five years ago, where colleagues aspired to create their own version of Centennial Campus.
“It made me supremely proud,” Yocum said. He applauded the sound of cranes nearby at the construction site for the Hunt Library. “That’s the sound of progress and prosperity.”
Dean Louis Martin-Vega said now that EB III is open, about 60 percent of engineering students, faculty and staff work on Centennial Campus. He credited that shift with opening the doors for a host of productive partnerships.
The new 248,000-square-foot facility houses 80 laboratories, two wind tunnels and a flight test cell, as well as classrooms, offices and other research space.
The building is home to one of the oldest departments, mechanical and aerospace engineering, as well as the newest, biomedical engineering, a joint program with the medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A century ago, the university opened Winston Hall, its first building dedicated to engineering.
“So, we’re celebrating 100 years of engineering presence on campus,” Martin-Vega said.