Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


  • 1923 Engineering Experiment Station established

    The station was established as "the research agency in engineering" to support extension work for the School of Engineering. The station was intended to address engineering issues of local state and regional concern. H.B. Shaw became its first director.

  • 1924 Department of Ceramic Engineering established

    A.F. Greaves-Walker organized and served as head of the new department of Ceramic Engineering, the first department of its kind in the American South. Greaves-Walker, a native of the U.K., spent 20 years working in industry as a mining and ceramic engineer and administrator. According to a 1927 Technician article, the department was "established primarily to promote the ceramic industries of North Carolina and to thus provide plants in which its graduates may find employment."

  • DefaultA. F. Greaves-Walker portrait
  • 1925 Department of Mining Engineering established

    An article in the Technician newspaper states that the department was established "primarily to train 'miners' for the particular mining problems of the state and the south," who will "be particularly well trained for geological survey work and the development departments of southern railroads." A.F. Greaves-Walker is head of department.

  • 1926 Ceramics Building

    Sometimes called the Ceramic Engineering Building, it contained a laboratory for the Dept. of Ceramic Engineering. A smokestack sat beside the structure. Both were demolished in 1967-1968, and Poe Hall was later constructed on the site.

  • DefaultCeramic Engineering Building
  • 1927 Department of Mining Engineering dissolved

    Department of Mining Engineering is dissolved, and courses become distributed between Ceramic Engineering and Geology departments.

  • 1927 Department of Geology established

    Following the dissolution of the department of Mining Engineering, a separate department of Geology is established. Jasper L. Stuckey is head of the department.

  • DefaultJasper L. Stuckey, Professor of Geology.


  • 1935 Department of Geological Engineering

    The Department of Geology is renamed to become the Department of Geological Engineering. Jasper L. Stuckey remains head of department until 1954, when it becomes part of the new department of Mineral Industries.

  • DefaultDr. Jasper L. Stuckey, Professor of Geology, on geological field trip.


  • 1942-1944 A.F. Greaves-Walker leads research in World War II

    Department head A.F. Greaves-Walker takes a leave of absence from NC State to serve as Chief of the Metals and Minerals Branch of the Office of Production Research and Development. His research contributes to development of materials in the war effort.

  • DefaultA. F. Greaves-Walker portrait
  • 1944 A.F. Greaves-Walker elected to Mining and Metallurgical Society of America

    Dr. Greaves-Walker was the first ceramic engineer to be honored by membership in the society which was composed of the top-ranking mining engineers, metallurgists, and geologists in the country.

  • 1945 Engineering Experiment Station publishes 6-part bulletin series on North Carolina minerals

    A.F. Greaves-Walker publishes a 6-part series of bulletins through the Engineering Experiment Station, to outline the need for developing and investing in North Carolina minerals. The bulletins describe "the location of the deposits and enumerate the possible uses of various minerals, with the hope that North Carolinians may be interested in developing new mineral industries during the post-war period." Greaves-Walker points out that North Carolinians ... More

  • 1946 Engineering Experiment Station becomes Engineering Research Department

    The Engineering Experiment Station is renamed the Engineering Research Department, and continues to serve as the research agency for engineering at NC State College and work closely with the departments of Ceramic, Mining, and Geological Engineering. W.G. Van Note serves as head of the department until 1951, followed by N.W. Conner and R.F. Stoops.

  • DefaultW G Van Note
  • 1946 Minerals Research Laboratory opens

    The Minerals Research Laboratory opens in Asheville, North Carolina. The Laboratory was initially created as a collaboration between the Tennessee Valley Authority, who provided equipment and funds, and the Division of Mineral Resources of the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development, who provided the building. State Geologist and NC State professor Jasper L. Stuckey was involved in securing the initial contract for the Laboratory and served as its founding Director.

  • DefaultNorth Carolina State College Minerals Research Laboratory in Asheville, N.C., 1960 April


  • 1950 William W. Austin joins NCSU faculty

    Around 1950 William W. (Bill) Austin leaves the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, AL, and joins NCSU faculty to teach and build metallurgical research activities in Mechanical Engineering.

  • 1951 N.W. Conner becomes head of Engineering Research Department

    N.W. Conner serves as head of the Engineering Research Department until 1967.

  • DefaultProfessor Norval W. Conner portrait
  • 1954 Department of Mineral Industries established

    Dean of Engineering Harold Lampe merges the departments of Ceramic Engineering, Geological Engineering and the metallurgy program in Mechanical Engineering, to become the new Department of Mineral Industries. William W. Austin is head of department. Separate degree programs were retained in ceramics (Worth Kriegel), geology (J. M. Parker III) and metallurgy (W.W. Austin). A departmental memo from 1954 states, "the merger has been made because it is felt that ... More

  • DefaultWilliam W. Austin, Jr.
  • 1954 School of Engineering takes over Asheville Minerals Research Laboratory

    In 1950, the TVA announced that due to budget restrictions it would be required to discontinue support of the Minerals Research Laboratory. The TVA agreed to give the State of North Carolina the equipment in the laboratory “if the State would continue to operate the Laboratory for the benefit of the mineral producers in the area.” Governor William B. Umstead determined that the Minerals Research Laboratory should become “a function of State College,” and in 1954, ... More

  • 1957 Nuclear Science and Technology Short Course introduced

    The department of Materials Science and Engineering initiated a Nuclear Science and Technology Short Course under the sponsorship of the Atomic Energy Commission's Atoms for Peace program. The course included instruction in materials problems in nuclear reactors and was part of growing academic activity in the area of nuclear materials. In addition to the short course, the department introduced additional graduate courses and received funding from the AEC for ... More

  • DefaultNuclear Technology short course Atoms for Peace Program, Dr. William Barclay instructing class, 1956 July.


  • 1961 Anna Clyde Fraker becomes first woman to earn engineering master's degree at NCSU

    Anna Clyde Fraker, a native of Greenville, TN, with a B.S. in Chemistry from Furman University ('57), became the first woman to receive an advanced degree in engineering at NC State when she received her master's degree in metallurgical engineering in the Department of Mineral Industries.

  • DefaultNC State University, College of Engineering, extension services, industrial extension services
  • 1967 Department of Geosciences established

    The Geological Engineering program separates from the Department of Mineral Industries and the College of Engineering. It is renamed the Department of Geosciences in the newly-formed School of Physical Science and Applied Mathematics, and later becomes part of the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences in 1980.

  • 1967 Page Hall

    The Mechanical Engineering Department moved to Broughton Hall and Riddick Engineering Labs in 1951, making Page Hall available for the new Department of Mineral Industries.

  • DefaultPage Hall at night
  • 1967 R.F. Stoops becomes head of Engineering Research Department

    Stoops earned a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering at NC State in 1949 before completing his M.S. and Ph.D. at Ohio State University. As head of the ERD, Stoops oversaw research activities for the School of Engineering and directed the Minerals Research Laboratory in Asheville.

  • July 1967 Anna Clyde Fraker becomes first woman to receive a doctorate in ceramic engineering (and in the College of Engineering) at NCSU

    Dr. Fraker began her career at NC State's Department of Engineering Research, where she contributed to biomaterials engineering research. Her research focused on surgical implant materials, seeking to find a material that was compatible with the chemistry of the human body but would not corrode. In her later work at the National Bureau of Standards and Technology (NIST), Dr. Fraker's research led to the development of standards for implant materials.

  • 1968 National Science Foundation grant supports growth of department

    A large enhancement grant from the National Science Foundation brought many new research oriented faculty and facilities to the School of Engineering. Faculty such as H.T. Beeler, Ray Benson, Robert Davis, and Abdul Fahmy became known for their new teaching and research efforts, bringing visibility and recognition to the department.

  • DefaultNC State University, College of Engineering, materials science and ceramics
  • 1969 Department of Materials Engineering

    The Department of Mineral Industries is renamed the Department of Materials Engineering. Emphasis of the program changes from the exploitation of raw materials to discovering and applying fundamental relationships that exist between the hyperfine structures of solids and their engineering properties. William W. Austin is head of department.

  • DefaultNC State University, College of Engineering, materials science and ceramics


  • 1970 Research Conference on Severe Environments

    The Materials Engineering department co-hosts the Research Conference on Severe Environments with NASA, the US Army Research Office (Durham, NC), and the US Air Force Aerospace Research Laboratories. Drs. W.W. Kriegel and Hayne Palmour, III, co-edit the publication "Ceramics in Severe Environments" (1972) as a result of the conference proceedings.

  • DefaultHayne Palmour and synroc crew
  • 1971 Engineering Research Department becomes Engineering Research Services Divison

    The former Engineering Research Department is renamed to become the Engineering Research Services Division, serving as research division for the Materials Engineering department. R.F. Stoops remains head of the division until 1981.

  • 1972 NASA Achievement Award for Research & Development

    NCSU Materials Engineering Professor Charles "Chuck" Manning and graduate student Lyn David Lineback received NASA Achievement Award for Research & Development on “Thermal Shock resistant hafnia ceramic materials.”

  • 1972 Environmentally focused teaching and research

    The department begins to update curriculum to become "more relevant to the current emphases on the environmental aspects of materials," that deal with pollution control and the effects of materials and processes on the environment. New undergraduate courses are introduced, including Materials and the Environment, Environmental Aspects of Materials Processing, and Materials and Civilization.

  • 1972 Dr. Charles Manning receives NASA Achievement Award

    Dr. Manning and graduate student Lyn David Lineback received the NASA Achievement Award for Research & Development for their project "Thermal Shock Resistant Hafnia Ceramic Materials."

  • 1973 Aziza Ragal El-Lozy becomes first woman to receive Ph.D. degree in materials engineering
  • 1977 Music instrument manufacture course introduced

    Materials Engineering professor Leon T. Jordan introduced an Engineering Operations technical course in music instrument manufacture. Jordan believed that with faculty in materials engineering, wood science and technology, physical sciences, and acoustical studies, "NC State is in a unique position to provide a research atmosphere for the development of new materials and new techniques for manufacturing musical instruments." The program was discontinued in the early 1980s.

  • DefaultProfessor Leon T. Jordan playing a glass trumpet
  • 1979-1981 H.B. Smith and J.K. Magor serve as acting heads of department

    Following W.W. Austin's retirement, H.B. Smith becomes acting head of the department (1979-1980) followed by J.K. Magor (1980-1981).

  • DefaultDean Henry Brower Smith portrait


  • 1981 Hans Conrad becomes department head
  • DefaultDr. Hans Conrad portrait
  • 1981-1982 Analytical Instrumentation Facility

    The Engineering Research Services Division informally adopted the name Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) during the 1981-1982 fiscal year. By the 1990s that had become the official name of the unit.

  • 1983 Calvin H. Carter, Jr., awarded doctorate

    Calvin H. Carter, Jr., was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree. He had previously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 and a Master of Science degree in 1980. He later became co-founder of Cree, Inc., and was a 2002 recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

  • 1984 Center for Materials Research established
  • 1985 J.J. Hren becomes head of department

    J.J. Hren becomes head of the Department of Materials of Engineering. Under Hren's leadership, the department undergoes its renaming to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and becomes involved in the design of research facilities on Centennial Campus.

  • 1986 Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    In July 1986, as a result of successful advocacy by Dr. Hren and others, the name of the Department of Materials Engineering was chanced officially to Materials Science and Engineering. The new name reflects the dual nature of known routes to success within the materials disciplines by maintaining expertise in both science and engineering, consistent with recent trends among the nation’s materials-oriented academic institutions.

  • DefaultNC State University, College of Engineering, publicity and promotional material, caldwell scholar
  • 1987 Cree established

    Cree, the world's first manufacturer of energy-saving blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), is established, after it arose out of a process developed by Calvin H. Carter, Jr., and other former students of Robert Davis.

  • DefaultDr. Robert Davis with equipment


  • Early 1990s Expansion to new facilities

    Due to rapid growth of research in the MSE department, MSE expands into two new buildings on Centennial Campus: Research Building I and the Engineering Graduate Research Center (later renamed the Monteith Center).

  • DefaultEngineering Graduate Research Center on Centennial Campus
  • 1998 Mike Rigsbee becomes head of department


  • 2004 Department moves into Engineering Building I

    The department expands into Engineering Building I on Centennial Campus.

  • DefaultEngineering Building II, construction
  • 2009 Justin Schwartz becomes head of department