NCAT College of Engineering to Host National Conference

February 15, 2008 · Print This Article

The College of Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will host the first-ever Bridges to Engineering Research Conference- 2020, March 12-14, on the campus.Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Bridges will bring together over 150 engineering deans and faculty from universities across the country, including but not limited to, the University of Southern California, University of Virginia, UNC-Charlotte and Duke University. The conference will focus on stating the research challenges in engineering for the next two decades and highlighting opportunities for collaboration and partnerships among these diverse universities in areas of emerging engineering research.

“The universities and industry that will be in attendance represent the forefront of engineering research, both nationally and world-wide,” said Dr. Joseph Monroe, dean of the College of Engineering at N.C. A&T. “It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the outstanding research we’re doing at A&T and form meaningful partnerships with other institutions.”

Forming partnerships between majority and minority institutions is an essential outcome of the conference, because while African-Americans represent 12 percent of the United States’ population, they constitute fewer than 3 percent of scientists and engineers in the country. And although Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) constitute only 15 percent of colleges and universities in the country, they graduate 30 percent of all African-Americans who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering and nearly 50 percent of African-American students who continue on to graduate school.

North Carolina A&T is first in the nation in producing African-Americans with bachelor’s degrees in engineering; second in producing African-American master’s degrees in engineering; second in the number of tenured track African-American faculty members; and fifth in the percentage of engineering degrees awarded to women. “HBCUs are often seen as not being able to produce the same caliber of research as majority institutions,” said N. Radhakrishnan, vice chancellor for Research & Economic Development. “Our goal is to show others that not only do we produce quality research, we excel in certain areas.”

Areas to be covered during the Bridges to Engineering conference include: Human Capital for Engineering in 2020; Research landscape at HBCUs; Enhancing talent pool - student/faculty; Enhancing Major Universities’ collaboration with HBCUs; and Enhancing K-12 Education in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.

For additional information, visit the Bridges to Engineering website - or contact Shena Crittendon, at (336) 256-0860.


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