From The North Carolina State University: “New AI Collaboration Aims to Accelerate R&D of Specialty Chemicals”

NC State bloc

From The North Carolina State University

Morgan High

A new research collaboration between Eastman and NC State’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering aims to significantly accelerate the research and development (R&D) of new specialty chemicals — chemicals that improve manufactured products and processes. This latest project builds on five years of work between the department and Eastman, integrating advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), catalysis and robotics to build a ‘self-driving lab.’

“The goal is to help Eastman digitize chemistry in order to identify the most sustainable and efficient ways to manufacture specialty chemicals,” said Milad Abolhasani, the project’s principal investigator, and associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and University Faculty Scholar at NC State.

Located in Engineering Building I on Centennial Campus, Abolhasani’s team of chemical engineers will use Eastman’s funding to develop a fully autonomous lab, equipped with state-of-the-art robotic and analytical characterization tools.

“We have been exploring a variety of experimental approaches with NC State over the years,” said Dawn Mason, Eastman’s global external innovation manager. “This project is a continuation of that work, and we are excited about its potential to accelerate innovation.”

Planned to be operational by the end of 2022, the self-driving catalysis lab will allow the team to fast-track chemical discovery –– bringing together expertise in microreaction engineering, AI, automation and robotics.

College of Engineering Dean Louis Martin-Vega underscores the project’s impact: “Industry partnerships are critical to strengthening the research and teaching that we do at NC State. Working collaboratively with leaders in the field provides the opportunity to apply emerging science and technology while training our students for future careers.”

This latest collaboration adds to more than 100 completed research projects between Eastman and NC State over the past decade. Since 2012 when Eastman selected NC State as its strategic university partner, the company has invested $20 million across 11 academic departments. The long-term partnership has supported student and faculty development while commercializing research in a range of disciplines. Eastman also hosts an innovation center on Centennial Campus within walking distance of the College of Engineering and key academic programs that align with its innovation strategy.

“The strong partnership with Eastman has resulted in a number of impactful technologies,” said Professor and Department Head of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Sindee Simon. “Eastman’s investment in the self-driving lab will allow Dr. Abolhasani and his students to further develop this technology to revolutionize the synthesis and development of speciality chemicals.”
Previous projects between Eastman and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have resulted in several advanced materials breakthroughs. Together they have studied BPA-free coatings for packaging, developed slippery coatings for a variety of everyday products, and applied machine learning to evaluate a mixture’s performance under different temperature and pressure conditions.

See the full article here .


Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

Stem Education Coalition

NC State campus

The North Carolina State University was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we’re a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, the humanities and social sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine.

North Carolina State University students, faculty and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government and nonprofit partners to solve them. Our 34,000-plus high-performing students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education.

North Carolina State University is a public land-grant research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1887 and part of the University of North Carolina system, it is the largest university in the Carolinas. The university forms one of the corners of the “Research Triangle” together with Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

The North Carolina General Assembly established the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now North Carolina State University, on March 7, 1887, originally as a land-grant college. The college underwent several name changes and officially became North Carolina State University at Raleigh in 1965, and by longstanding convention, the “at Raleigh” portion was omitted. Today, North Carolina State University has an enrollment of more than 35,000 students, making it among the largest in the country. North Carolina State University has historical strengths in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles, and design and offers bachelor’s degrees in 106 fields of study. The graduate school offers master’s degrees in 104 fields, doctoral degrees in 61 fields, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

North Carolina State University athletic teams are known as the Wolfpack. The name was adopted in 1922 when a disgruntled fan described the behavior of the student body at athletic events as being “like a wolf pack.” They compete in NCAA Division I and have won eight national championships: two NCAA championships, two AIAW championships, and four titles under other sanctioning bodies.

The North Carolina General Assembly founded North Carolina State University on March 7, 1887 as a land-grant college under the name “North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts,” or “North Carolina A&M” for short. In the segregated system, it was open only to white students. As a land-grant college, North Carolina A&M would provide a liberal and practical education while focusing on military tactics, agriculture, and the mechanical arts without excluding classical studies. Since its founding, the university has maintained these objectives while building on them. After opening in 1889, North Carolina A&M saw its enrollment fluctuate and its mandate expand. In 1917, it changed its name to “North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering”—or “North Carolina State” for short. During the Great Depression, the North Carolina state government, under Governor O. Max Gardner, administratively combined the University of North Carolina, the Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and North Carolina State University. This conglomeration became the University of North Carolina in 1931. In 1937 Blake R Van Leer joined as Dean and started the graduate program for engineering. Following World War II, the university grew and developed. The G.I. Bill enabled thousands of veterans to attend college, and enrollment shot past the 5,000 mark in 1947.

State College created new academic programs, including the School of Architecture and Landscape Design in 1947 (renamed as the School of Design in 1948), the School of Education in 1948, and the School of Forestry in 1950. In the summer of 1956, following the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregated public education was unconstitutional, North Carolina State College enrolled its first African-American undergraduates, Ed Carson, Manuel Crockett, Irwin Holmes, and Walter Holmes.

In 1962, State College officials desired to change the institution’s name to North Carolina State University. Consolidated university administrators approved a change to the University of North Carolina at Raleigh, frustrating many students and alumni who protested the change with letter writing campaigns. In 1963, State College officially became North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina. Students, faculty, and alumni continued to express dissatisfaction with this name, however, and after two additional years of protest, the name was changed to the current North Carolina State University at Raleigh. However, by longstanding convention, the “at Raleigh” portion is omitted, and the shorter names “North Carolina State University” and “NC State University” are accepted on first reference in news stories. Indeed, school officials discourage using “at Raleigh” except when absolutely necessary, as the full name implies that there is another branch of the university elsewhere in the state.

In 1966, single-year enrollment reached 10,000. In the 1970s enrollment surpassed 19,000 and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was added.

Celebrating its centennial in 1987, North Carolina State University reorganized its internal structure, renaming all its schools to colleges (e.g. School of Engineering to the College of Engineering). Also in this year, it gained 700 acres (2.8 km^2) of land that was developed as Centennial Campus. Since then, North Carolina State University has focused on developing its new Centennial Campus. It has invested more than $620 million in facilities and infrastructure at the new campus, with 62 acres (0.3 km^2) of space being constructed. Sixty-one private and government agency partners are located on Centennial Campus.

North Carolina State University has almost 8,000 employees, nearly 35,000 students, a $1.495 billion annual budget, and a $1.4 billion endowment. It is the largest university in the state and one of the anchors of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, together with Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2009, North Carolina State University canceled a planned appearance by the Dalai Lama to speak on its Raleigh campus, citing concerns about a Chinese backlash and a shortage of time and resources.

North Carolina State University Libraries Special Collections Research Center, located in D.H. Hill Library, maintains a website devoted to NC State history entitled Historical State.

North Carolina State University is one of 17 institutions that constitute the University of North Carolina system. Each campus has a high degree of independence, but each submits to the policies of the UNC system Board of Governors. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the North Carolina General Assembly for four-year terms. President Thomas W. Ross heads the system.

The Board of Trustees of North Carolina State University has thirteen members and sets all policies for the university. The UNC system Board of Governors elects eight of the trustees and the Governor of North Carolina appoints four. The student body president serves on the Board of Trustees as a voting member. The UNC system also elects the Chancellor of North Carolina State University.

The Board of Trustees administers North Carolina State University’s eleven academic colleges. Each college grants its own degrees with the exception of the First Year College which provides incoming freshmen the opportunity to experience several disciplines before selecting a major. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the only college to offer associate’s degrees and the College of Veterinary Medicine does not grant undergraduate degrees. Each college is composed of numerous departments that focus on a particular discipline or degree program, for example Food Science, Civil Engineering, Genetics or Accounting. There are a total of 66 departments administered by all eleven NC State colleges.

In total, North Carolina State University offers nine associate’s degrees in agriculture, bachelor’s degrees in 102 areas of study, master’s degrees in 108 areas and doctorate degrees in 60 areas. North Carolina State University is known for its programs in agriculture, engineering, textiles, and design. The textile and paper engineering programs are notable, given the uniqueness of the subject area.

As of the 2018-2019 school year, North Carolina State University has the following colleges and academic departments:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
College of Design
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Natural Resources
Poole College of Management
College of Sciences
Wilson College of Textiles
College of Veterinary Medicine
The Graduate School
University College

In 2014 – 2015 North Carolina State University became part of only fifty-four institutions in the U.S. to have earned the “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University” designation by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

For 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranks North Carolina State University tied for 84th out of all national universities and tied for 34th out of public universities in the U.S., tied at 31st for “most innovative” and 69th for “best value” schools.

North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering was tied for 24th by U.S. News & World Report, with many of its programs ranking in the top 30 nationally. North Carolina State University’s Nuclear Engineering program is considered to be one of the best in the world and in 2020, was ranked 3rd in the country (behind The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor). The biological and agricultural engineering programs are also widely recognized and were ranked 4th nationally. In 2019 North Carolina State University’s manufacturing and industrial engineering program was ranking 13th in the nation, and material science at 15th. Other notable programs included civil engineering at 20th, environmental engineering tied at 21st, chemical engineering tied for 22nd, computer engineering at 28th, and biomedical engineering ranking 28th nationally in 2019. In 2019, the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked NC State’s electrical engineering program 9th internationally and chemical engineering 20th. In 2020, The Princeton Review ranked NC State 36th for game design.

North Carolina State University is also home to the only college dedicated to textiles in the country, the Wilson College of Textiles, which is a partner of the National Council of Textile Organizations and is widely regarded as one of the best textiles programs in the world. In 2020 the textile engineering program was ranked 1st nationally by College Factual. In 2017, Business of Fashion Magazine ranked the college’s fashion and apparel design program 8th in the country and 30th in the world. In 2018, Fashion Schools ranked the college’s fashion and textile management program 11th in the nation.

North Carolina State University’s Masters program in Data Analytics was the first in the United States. Launched in 2007, it is part of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and was created as a university-wide multidisciplinary initiative to meet the rapidly growing demand in the labor market for analytics professionals. In 2012, Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil highlighted the MSA program in Harvard Business Review as one of only a few sources of talent with proven strengths in data science.

North Carolina State University is known for its College of Veterinary Medicine and in 2020 it was ranked 4th nationally, by U.S. News & World Report, 25th internationally by NTU Ranking and 36th internationally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

In 2020, North Carolina State University’s College of Design was ranked 25th by College Factual. In 2018, the Animation Career Review ranked North Carolina State University’s Graphic Design program 4th in the country and best among public universities.

In 2020, the College of Education tied for 45th in the U.S. and the Poole College of Management is tied for 52nd among business schools. North Carolina State University’s Entrepreneurship program is ranked 10th internationally among undergraduate programs by The Princeton Review in 2020. For 2010 the Wall Street Journal surveyed recruiters and ranked NC State number 19 among the top 25 recruiter picks. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Department of Statistics 16th (tied) in the nation.

In fiscal year 2019, North Carolina State University received 95 awards and $29,381,782 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funds for Research. For fiscal year 2017, NC State was ranked 45th in total research expenditure by the National Science Foundation.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance placed North Carolina State University 9th in its 2018 ranking of best value public colleges in the United States.