Marshall Brain II

Director, Engineering Entrepreneurs Program

Professor of the Practice


Marshall Brain is most widely known as the founder of, an award-winning website that offers clear, objective and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us actually works. The site, which he created as a hobby in 1998 and took through several rounds of venture funding totaling approximately $8 million, was purchased for $250 million by Discovery Communications in 2007.

As a well-known public speaker with the ability to deliver complex material in a way that is easily understood by audiences of all types, Brain is a regular guest on radio and TV programs nationwide. He has been featured on everything CNN and Good Morning America to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2008 and 2009, he was the host of the National Geographic channel's Factory Floor With Marshall Brain, a series of one-hour factory tours taking the viewer on a journey into the world of product design, engineering and manufacturing.

Brain is the author of more than a dozen books as well as a number of widely known web publications including How to Make a Million Dollars, Robotic Nation and Manna. His book The Teenager's Guide to the Real World is now in its tenth printing and was selected for the New York Public Library's prestigious "Books for the Teen Age" list. He frequently works with students at all levels to help them understand science and technology topics, entrepreneurship and how the world works.

Recent entrepreneurial activities include:

- Investor, Triangle Angel Partners

- Organizer, Triangle Startup Weekend 2012

- Advisor, NC State Entrepreneurial Initiative Advisory board

- Mentor, several startups at NC State and in the RTP area

Marshall Brain resides in Cary, NC with his wife, Leigh, and their four children.


  • Master's 1986
    Computer Science
    North Carolina State University, Raleigh
  • Bachelor's 1983
    Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY

Awards & Honors

  • 2012 - NC State Distinguished Engineering Alumnus

Recent News

Marshall Brain recognized with the John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year award

Posted on February 22, 2023 | Filed Under: Awards and Faculty

The chancellor celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship at “The Point” where Marshall Brain received the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

NC State Park Scholarships Class of 2025
Park Scholarships Announces Class of 2025

Posted on May 25, 2021 | Filed Under: Undergrad Students

Congratulations to the newest class of prestigious Park Scholars, including incoming freshman Madeline Smith from NCSSM, majoring in electrical engineering.

EcoPRT will bridge the gap between NC State’s two campuses

Posted on September 30, 2016 | Filed Under: News and Power and Smart

Two faculty members from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering are creating a new transportation system that would link Centennial Campus with the University’s main campus. The EcoPRT (ecological personal rapid transit) is …

Media Mentions

NC State Futurist Marshall Brain On ‘The Second Intelligent Species’

December 14, 2016

Marshall Brain? director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NC State University.

Marshal Brian Explains ‘How Stuff Works’

July 21, 2015

Host Frank Stasio talks with Marshall Brain about his life and career. Marshall Brain, Director of Engineering Entrepreneurs Program, featured.

I Have Seen The Future of Transit and It Is In Raleigh

October 10, 2014

The solution is called EcoPRT, which stands for ecological personal rapid transit. It was developed by two guys here in Raleigh, and it will change the world. Assistant Teaching Professor Seth Hollar and founder of Marshall Brain, both of North Carolina State University, addressed the manifold problems of building transit in an age of no-tax madness and post-community me-first greed.


Edit my Profile