Faculty Clusters

Society’s grand challenges cross the boundaries between academic disciplines. Our faculty clusters program positions NC State to lead the search for solutions.

Cross-Disciplinary Culture

The clusters program is essential to accomplishing the goals of the university’s strategic plan: supporting student success by exposing them to an innovative, interdisciplinary culture; enhancing scholarship and research through investments in faculty and infrastructure; and boosting interdisciplinary research to address society’s grand challenges.

In our faculty clusters, we work with economists and civil engineers to fill the gaps in the future of sustainable energy, engineers and biologists work to establish new methods to ensure safety and security through forensic science, and we join humanistic research in reimagining multimodal visual narratives.

Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy

We move society toward greater energy sustainability through research that informs key energy decisions at state, federal and international levels.

Our efforts to address energy issues provide a strong foundation for future education and research in energy. This faculty cluster will serve as a catalyst by filling four critical gaps in existing expertise: energy economics, energy and environmental policy, energy-focused life cycle assessment, and energy systems engineering.

Visual Narrative

We enable scholarship and communication to merge the expertise of engineers, humanists and designers and establish next-generation applications in visual media.

Our cluster pushes the shared frontiers of engineering and humanistic research. Our efforts will set a new agenda for advanced multimodal scholarship, opening research pathways in image analytics, the design of interactive digital experiences, data visualization, digital history and computational media. This will help us identify opportunities for collaboration among engineering and humanities disciplines.

Building on the digital humanities’ traditional emphases on text and data, our cluster will identify a leading edge of development in the multimodal landscape of digital images, gaming, virtual environments and visualization.

Carbon Electronics

We work to revolutionize the use of carbon-based technology involving computers, renewable power sources and energy storage.

Strategic senior hires and complementary facilities will fill critical gaps that will lead to international prominence in next-generation, carbon-based energy, display, solid state lighting and/or detector technology and computation platforms, allowing for the exploitation of their semitransparent or unique spin properties.

We envision interrelated fundamental and applied technology advances that provide revolutionary computing approaches, renewable power sources, advanced energy storage and novel device capabilities such as energy-efficient and low-cost memory and sensor devices.

Forensic Sciences

Our work ensures the safety and security of society, civil and criminal justice, and military activities. We focus on human DNA, evidence standards and disaster preparedness, textile analytical chemistry and statistics.

NC State’s Forensic Sciences Institute aims to build a forensic science program of national and international prominence by:

  • Recruiting a cluster of leading interdisciplinary forensic scientists with experience in funded forensic science research, education and engagement;
  • establishing an accredited interdisciplinary forensic science academic and research program; and
  • building upon recent infrastructure growth in forensic anthropology, entomology, and chemical, fiber and polymer/materials analysis.

Modeling the Living Embyro

Our research applies precision measurements of molecular, cellular and tissue dynamics in living embryos, along with computer simulation and modeling, to understand the development, growth and diversification of plants and animals.

NC State developmental biologists recruit candidates whose research addresses four distinct knowledge gaps in developmental biology where forefront progress can be made through use of quantitative and computational approaches, including how individual cell fate decisions made , what is the influence of biomechanics on plant and animal morphogenesis, and what mechanisms underlie the organization of cell fates in space and time?