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2015 Chancellor's Annual Report


When President Obama came to NC State to announce the creation of PowerAmerica — the Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute — by the Department of Energy (DOE), few in the overflow audience knew the entirety of what he was proposing: a groundbreaking partnership to spur the growth of a new advanced manufacturing sector in America.

It was the culmination of a rigorous competition launched by the DOE to create three new advanced manufacturing institutes to develop innovations in manufacturing power electronics for use in commercial products such as cellphones, computers and televisions, as well as industrial motor systems and electricity transmission.

Since the president’s announcement, the consortium of five universities, two government labs and 12 private industry partners that won the DOE grant — all under the direction of NC State and its College of Engineering — has been laser-focused on its mission to engineer new wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors that will revolutionize energy efficiency in a variety of applications, including electronics, power grids and electric vehicles.

NC State leads the $140 million institute in its drive to perfect the manufacturing and accelerate the commercialization of WBG semiconductors, which allow power electronic components to be smaller, faster, more reliable and more efficient than the silicon-based semiconductors that are the current industry standard.

Bringing that technology to market will both reduce the nation’s energy consumption and boost our manufacturing competitiveness, which has waned in recent decades, especially in North Carolina.

7 Federal Research Hubs

When the government needs solutions, it turns to NC State to lead national research partnerships.

Meet the Partner of Choice

PowerAmerica’s five-year mission includes:

  • Developing critical WBG power electronics technologies
  • Sparking early commercialization in high-value markets by stimulating demand
  • Supporting and growing the manufacturing base
  • Nurturing the U.S. WBG semiconductor industry through education and training

Now under the leadership of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Nick Justice as its executive director, PowerAmerica moved into offices on NC State’s Centennial Campus in 2015 and is working hard to develop high-tech manufacturing processes that will make power electronics more efficient and sustainable than ever before.

CATEGORIES: Engineering, Partnership, Research, Think and Do

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