NC State News News from NC State University 2017-09-25T20:04:47Z https://news.ncsu.edu/feed/atom/ WordPress Tim Peeler <![CDATA[Military Lessons: Sustainment and Sustainability]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471264 2017-09-25T18:36:09Z 2017-09-25T18:35:23Z When Allen Boyette was finishing his final year at Wilson’s Fike High School, his father told him he had to do two things: take a typing class and sign up for NC State’s Army ROTC program before his freshman year.

Boyette didn’t particularly want to do either.

Now, as he sits at his desk at NC State’s Administrative Services III as the interim senior director for energy systems for facilities and maintenance, with three college degrees hanging on the wall, and when he’s on duty with the North Carolina National Guard, he’s pretty happy he listened to his dad.

He can’t imagine how he would do his jobs without the training he received in both disciplines.

His dual role includes military sustainment and campus sustainability, protecting the country while making sure NC State’s campus stays cool in the summer, warm in the winter by efficiently using its utilities and other sustainable resources.

“It helps that in both cases we work with big, complex systems, sometimes in emergency situations,” he says.

Boyette is a double NC State graduate, with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1987) and a master’s degree in civil engineering (2007), not to mention his master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Nothing made him prouder than serving as a color guard member for games at Reynolds Coliseum and Carter-Finley Stadium as a cadet in the ROTC program.

He’s a decorated veteran — he earned the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak-leaf clusters and other military honors — who served in Korea, California and at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg during his six years on active duty after receiving his commission.

He joined the N.C. National Guard in 1994, and was deployed for 18 months of combat operations in Iraq in 2003 and 12 months on a partner training mission in Jordan in 2015.

A licensed professional engineer, Boyette returned to NC State in 2000 as director of building maintenance and operations and has been employed at his alma mater ever since, except for the two year-long deployments he did in the Middle East.

He’s also a community volunteer who has coached youth league and middle school baseball in the Raleigh suburb of Zebulon, where he was named the 2014 Citizen of the Year, and served on the board of the town’s parks and recreation department.

In other words, Boyette is the embodiment of the citizen soldier, someone who on any given day could be working on the steam systems around campus, overseeing a strategic command at North Carolina’s Joint Force Headquarters off Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh or helping one of his three sons learn to hit a curveball.

“I consider the duties and missions of all that I do to be fairly complementary,” Boyette says. “I take lessons that I learn at NC State and apply them to the National Guard. I also take my military experiences and bring them back to campus.

“I hope it makes me better at both jobs.”

He’s currently the highest-ranking officer on what is recognized as one of the best colleges in America for veterans and a proud graduate of an ROTC program that has carried on NC State’s military science tradition since the school began military training in 1894. NC State currently has about 700 military veterans, 1,500 military dependents and 330 enrolled ROTC cadets and midshipmen.

This spring, Boyette was promoted from colonel to brigadier general. He is one of three assistant adjutant generals of the NCNG, which includes 12,000 soldiers and airmen from across the state, and oversees two subordinate commands, the 113th sustainment brigade and the 130th maneuver enhancement brigade. They are charged with training and deploying engineers and technicians where they are needed in support of combat operations abroad and domestic operations within the state.

He’s one of a dozen graduates of the Wolfpack Battalion, NC State’s Army ROTC corps, to achieve the rank of general, a list that includes “Father of the Airborne Command” Gen. William C. Lee and retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton.

Boyette’s schedule is jam-packed. Aside from the daily responsibility of keeping the lights on around campus, he’s helped with hurricane relief efforts in eastern North Carolina for Floyd, Fran and Matthew and for crowd management during last fall’s riots and demonstrations in Charlotte. He’s been around the world, from the Korean peninsula to Tajikistan to Iraq to Jordan to Saudi Arabia to Oman and back to the climate-controlled comfort he oversees from his campus office.

He’s proud that his employer facilitates his military service, and he’s proud that the military relies on his alma mater for strong leaders and engineers.

“NC State has a proud tradition of supporting the military,” he says. “I started as a student in ROTC and have advanced through the command structure. It’s been a great opportunity for me to come home and apply what I learn in the military here at NC State.

“I’m grateful for the support we have.”

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Matt Shipman <![CDATA[Study: There is Almost No Research on What Distinguishes Potential Terrorists]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471250 2017-09-25T12:12:10Z 2017-09-25T12:12:10Z A recent analysis of the existing research on factors associated with an individual’s risk for engaging in terrorist activity highlights how little we know about these factors and the need for additional research in this area.

“It’s important to have a better understanding of what distinguishes potential terrorists from individuals who pose little or no risk of becoming terrorists, whether we’re talking about Middle Eastern terrorist organizations or domestic terrorists in the United States,” says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper on the work. “When we looked into this area, we found that there is surprisingly little research in the field – and that needs to be addressed.”

The researchers conducted a systematic review of research literature, dating back to 1990, related to factors associated with an individual’s joining a terrorist organization or perpetrating terrorist attacks.

The in-depth review found 205 articles relevant to the subject matter, of which only 50 reported on findings related to empirical data. Of those 50, only 24 articles included any statistical analysis. And of those 24, only six articles compared the characteristics of terrorists to the characteristics of non-terrorists – which is essential if the work is going to offer any insight into what factors are associated with terrorist behavior.

“Basically, over the past quarter century, there have been six research articles that are useful in identifying someone who is likely to engage in terrorism,” Desmarais says. “And the quality of those six studies is variable.

“There may be classified research I’m not aware of, but this highlights the need for more research in this area,” Desmarais says. “It is, literally, an issue that can affect national security.”

The paper, “The State of Scientific Knowledge Regarding Factors Associated With Terrorism,” is published in the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management. The paper was co-authored by Joseph Simons-Rudolph, a teaching assistant professor of psychology at NC State; Christine Brugh and Eileen Schilling, graduate students at NC State; and Chad Hoggan, an assistant professor of educational leadership, policy and human development at NC State. The work was done with funding from the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, a research partnership between NC State and the National Security Agency.

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Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.

“The State of Scientific Knowledge Regarding Factors Associated With Terrorism”

Authors: Sarah L. Desmarais, Joseph Simons-Rudolph, Christine Brugh, Eileen Schilling and Chad Hoggan, North Carolina State University

Published: Sept. 14, Journal of Threat Assessment and Management

DOI: 10.1037/tam0000090

Abstract: We conducted a systematic review of the contemporary scientific literature to (a) identify consensus, where it exists, regarding factors associated with membership in terrorist organizations and/or perpetration of terrorist attacks; b) drive future research directions; and c) inform evidence-based counterterrorism strategies. Systematic searches of 6 databases identified 205 articles that met inclusion criteria. Of these, 50 articles reported on findings of empirical research, 24 reported inferential statistics, and 6 of these compared characteristics of known terrorists to nonterrorists. Across various aspects of terrorism and terrorists (e.g., type of terrorist, attack type), articles rarely specified their focus. When examined factors typically focused on characteristics of the individual. Review of the empirical findings suggest 9 variables with at least some support for their association with terrorism: age, socioeconomic status, prior arrest, education, employment, relationship status, having a grievance, geographic locale, and type of geographic area. However, given the limitations of the research, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that any of these variables are empirically supported risk factors. Findings identified additional characteristics of an individual (i.e., country of birth, Islamic faith, military experience, foreign travel history, family or friend in a terrorist or extremist organization) and their environment (i.e., income inequality, media and government influences) that merit further evaluation. Findings also emphasized the importance of a triggering event. Finally, findings indicate that some widely accepted “risk” factors have limited empirical support for their association with terrorism. A focus on these factors might contribute to discrimination and reduce the effectiveness of counterterrorism strategies.

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Mick Kulikowski <![CDATA[NC State Takes Part in ACC Creativity Festival]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471246 2017-09-25T11:40:35Z 2017-09-22T19:23:57Z North Carolina State University has participated in a yearlong process with the Atlantic Coast Conference, partner ACC universities and the Smithsonian Institution to create the first “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival.”

Presented by Virginia Tech and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the ACCelerate Festival is a three-day celebration of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design. Visitors will interact with leading innovators from ACC universities and engage with new interdisciplinary technologies that draw upon art, science and humanities to address global challenges.

Held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 13-15, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, the event is programmed by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

The event is free and showcases the 15 universities of the ACC in an opportunity for the schools to display their work to each other, and more importantly, to the public.  NC State will showcase five exhibits or performances at the festival:

In addition to the 47 featured interactive installations, the festival will include panel discussions and performances throughout the three days.

The festival will be featured on all three public floors in the west wing of the National Museum of American History, located on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets, NW, along the National Mall. There will be 47 interactive installations from across the 15 ACC schools around six thematic areas: civic engagement; arts and technology; sustainability and environment; biomimetics; health and body; and making and advanced manufacturing.

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Staff <![CDATA[Get ‘Ants’-y with CALS Alum]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471202 2017-09-25T20:01:09Z 2017-09-21T15:19:39Z For every human on earth, there are at least one million ants. North Carolina alone has at least 250 species — that we’ve identified so far.

Head to Quail Ridge Books at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26, to get the lowdown on your closest (and tiniest) neighbors from CALS alumna Eleanor Spicer Rice. Co-authored with CALS professor Rob Dunn, her new book, “Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants,” is full of surprising findings — from the tiny yellow species that intimidates even the mighty fire ant, to the shenanigans of those wee explorers on your kitchen counter.

“I want people to begin to notice what’s living around them,” Spicer Rice said. “I hope people will start to wonder what the ants they see around them are doing, because they’re doing beautiful things.”

The books were sparked by the “School of Ants” citizen science project through Dunn’s laboratory of the Department of Applied Ecology. Participants from across the country trapped ants with Dunn’s suggested method of a cookie and an index card and sent them in for study.

“Now, thanks to thousands of people from across the country, we know who’s living around us,” Spicer Rice said.

Citizen science ant kits will be available at the event, along with a foldable flow chart on how to identify ants.

This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.

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Staff <![CDATA[Tech Ed Program Ranked No. 2]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471204 2017-09-25T20:01:11Z 2017-09-21T15:02:31Z RALEIGH, North Carolina — Universities.com has ranked the NC State College of Education’s technology education program No. 2 in the nation.

The ranking is based on compiled data that include government sources, student surveys and interviews with graduates from the programs.

The college offers three degrees in technology education:

NC State is the only university in North Carolina ranked among Universities.com’s Top 10 list of Best Colleges with Technology Teacher Education/Industrial Arts Teacher Education Degrees in the U.S.

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This post was originally published in College of Education News.

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University Communications <![CDATA[Power Lunch Series Begins]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471213 2017-09-22T13:11:41Z 2017-09-21T14:56:07Z Registration is open for the first Wolfpack Wellness Power Lunch of the fall semester.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the topic will be “Living Longer, Living Stronger: A Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration.” The event, which is sponsored by NC State Human Resources-Benefits and NC State Dining, will be held at the Carmichael Recreation Center Playzone from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Seats are limited, so registration is recommended.

Other events in the series, which is held the second Wednesday of every month through the school year, include “Diabetes and You,” on Nov. 8 at Fountain Dining Hall and “Treat Yourself: The Power of Self-Care” on Dec. 13 at Talley Student Union, Room 3285.

 

 

 

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University Communications <![CDATA[IT Work May Impact Campus Network]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471182 2017-09-20T13:14:59Z 2017-09-20T13:14:59Z 0 Matt Shipman <![CDATA[Scientists Unravel Mysteries of DNA Replication in Corn]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471178 2017-09-20T13:11:03Z 2017-09-20T13:11:03Z Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Dee Shore, a writer in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

DNA replication is among life’s most important processes, providing a way for an organism’s genetic material to be reproduced so it can be passed from cell to cell. For the first time, scientists have characterized that process for an entire plant genome.

NC State University plant biologist William Thompson and his colleagues published their findings in the August issue of The Plant Cell, describing the process that corn uses to unravel and replicate small segments of its chromosomes at different times.

While DNA replication has been well characterized in animal cells, little has been known about the replication timing programs in plant cells, said Thompson, Distinguished University Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology.

The research has important implications for developing healthier, higher-yielding corn. Not only that, it also helps explain how a large mass of tightly compacted DNA in a cell’s tiny nucleus can orchestrate plant growth and reproduction.

A single nucleus from a single cell of a corn plant typically contains two sets of chromosomes, each of which contains over 2 billion base pairs, or “letters,” of DNA and over 30,000 genes.

“If DNA from a single set of chromosomes could be unraveled and placed end to end, it would be more than 2 feet long. To fit in the tiny nucleus of a cell — many times smaller than the tip of a human hair — all this DNA is compacted in various ways,” Thompson said.

Because DNA can’t be replicated in its compact state, higher organisms have evolved sophisticated programs, called replication timing programs, to unravel and replicate small segments of their chromosomes at different times, he said. The researchers found that the replication program in corn differs in several important ways from those of animals and yeast.

Plans for future research include taking a more detailed look, he said, “at the molecular machinery that defines maize replication and integrating laboratory experiments with computer modeling to understand the complex network of factors at work in the nucleus of plant cells.”

Thompson and Linda Hanley-Bowdoin served as principal investigators for the project. Emily Wear from NC State’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology was lead author of the paper. Other participants were from NC State’s departments of Plant and Microbial Biology and Horticultural Science; the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas, Austin; and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. The work was funded by the National Science Foundation’s plant genome research program under grant number IOS-1025830.

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University Communications <![CDATA[NSA Expert to Keynote Cyber Security Event]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471177 2017-09-20T13:08:01Z 2017-09-20T13:08:01Z 0 University Communications <![CDATA[MyPack Portal Getting New Look]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471166 2017-09-20T12:55:58Z 2017-09-20T12:55:58Z 0 Suzanne Wardle <![CDATA[Residence Halls Gain Faster Online Network]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471158 2017-09-19T20:15:37Z 2017-09-19T16:41:37Z It’s easier than ever for students to do research online, email their professors and stream Game of Thrones in their rooms.

The Office of Information Technology recently completed a major upgrade to the network infrastructure in residence halls and apartment buildings on campus. Now students enjoy faster, smoother internet, both wired and wireless, on multiple devices.

“Our students want/need more and more bandwidth to do all the things they want to do, whether that’s education-related, entertainment-related, watching Netflix or whatever it is they might use it for,” says Ed Rogers, who leads the engineering and construction division of Communication Technologies within OIT.

The result is a network that replaces an obsolete system with up-to-date technology and leaves room for future improvement. It also puts NC State at the forefront of universities when it comes to internet in residence halls.

“It would be physically impossible for someone to have better,” Rogers says.

Back in the Day

Residence halls got their first network infrastructure in the 1990s. That system used category 5 cabling, capable of a maximum speed of 100 megabits per second — not enough for thousands of people who want to stream music, connect with friends and watch videos all online. In the early 2000s, OIT began upgrading some buildings to category 6 cabling, capable of 1 gigabit per second. In 2012, a large project kicked off to upgrade the remaining so-called “Cat 5” buildings to category 6A cabling — the best on the market, Rogers says, capable of 10 gigabits per second, much faster than typical internet speeds today.

ComTech associate director Ed Rogers.

The category 5 cabling was obsolete, but the physical conduits through which the cables ran were still usable.

“We were able to reuse that pathway system that was already there and just pull old cables out and put new cables in,” Rogers says. “And so it was less expensive than having to drill holes and do all that kind of stuff that we did back in the ‘90s.”

Altogether, OIT replaced 900 miles of cable — enough to stretch from Raleigh to Milwaukee, Wisconsin — in short bursts over multiple summers when student housing was empty.

OIT also replaced hundreds of network switches, components that manage devices plugged into a network, upgrading those from 100 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second. Even though the cabling is capable of 10 times that speed, switches of the same caliber are just emerging and are very expensive, Rogers says. Network switches typically are replaced every five to eight years, leaving the option open for future upgrades.

The new cable and network switches mean the internet is faster than ever when students plug in — and the same applies when they are on the move.

Better Wireless

Rogers recognizes the importance of wireless to students today.

“That’s the primary way students want to connect everything, from their phone to their tablet to gaming systems and all that,” he says. “As wireless demands keep going up, more and more devices need more and more bandwidth, particularly for things using video, like Netflix.”

Until now, students usually brought their own wireless routers to residence halls. The problem, Rogers says, is these routers operated on a limited number of channels, causing them to interfere with one another.

“If you have a crowded residence hall, it’s like a whole bunch of radios trying to broadcast in the same space,” he says. “It doesn’t work so great.”

Last summer, OIT installed a wireless access point in every student’s room and each apartment in Wolf Village and Wolf Ridge — 4,367 devices in all — with speed of 300 megabits per second. Each device also comes with three wired ports so students can plug in game consoles or TVs for higher bandwidth. The access points, small white boxes affixed to the wall, use the same new cabling as the wired system and, like the other network components, are the most advanced on the market.

The access points communicate with a single controller, or “brain,” as Rogers put it, to reduce interference and maximize speed. The new system also means students can move around residence halls and remain on the network. Previously, students had to reconnect to the network if they left their rooms.

Rogers says wireless internet has moved from a luxury to a staple and that’s why it’s important to have a fast, reliable system in place.

“Wireless to most students coming in today is just normal for them,” he says. “They expect Wi-Fi to be everywhere and you shouldn’t have to ask if it’s there. It’s just expected.”

The Right Equipment at the Right Time

Upgrading the cables, network switches and wireless took about six years. OIT worked around the academic schedule and the release of new technology — such as waiting a year to get the newest generation of access points that are three times faster than previous ones.

“We feel like we’ve jumped at the right time to get the highest technology available in a cost-effective manner,” Rogers says.

The upgrades cost $6.8 million, excluding work done before 2012, and came in under budget by 1.4 percent. Funds came from an increase in student resident fees, from $115 to $140 per student per semester. OIT discussed the increase with students on the Inter-Residence Council, the governing body for NC State’s residential community, before work started.

Rogers won’t say NC State is unique when it comes to its residence hall network, but he says the university is at the forefront. Few universities are putting an access point in each room, and no university can top the upgraded network, which takes advantage of NC State’s high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic data infrastructure.

“There’s really nothing on the market better than what we put in,” Rogers says. “I can guarantee no one’s got more.”

The upgrade serves a dual purpose: satisfying current students and luring new ones.

“We know that NC State is competing for students, and top students particularly,” Rogers says. “Quality of life in the residence halls is part of that, and part of that part of life is network connectivity.”

Rogers says the upgrade seems to have gone smoothly. Little has changed on the front end and his department hasn’t heard of many problems — and it likely would if things were going wrong.

“I think you could probably cut off the water, the lights and the air conditioning and you’d probably have less complaints than if students lost internet,” he says.

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Matt Shipman <![CDATA[Interactive Tool Offers Window Into History of Arab-Americans in NYC]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471138 2017-09-18T19:15:10Z 2017-09-19T11:08:18Z Researchers at North Carolina State University are unveiling an interactive site that allows scholars and the public to better understand the long history of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to the United States. Focused on New York City in the early 20th century, the tool highlights the growth of Arab-American communities in the city and their integration into American life.

The project, Syrians in New York: Mapping Movement, 1900-1930, was developed by the Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies as part of the center’s ongoing efforts to conduct digital mapping and analysis of Arab-American immigrants.

“As an ethnic group, Arabs have been largely overlooked in narratives of American history until 9/11, when an Arab presence suddenly became symbolic of, and synonymous with, terrorism,” says Akram Khater, director of the Khayrallah Center who worked on the project. “By dislodging our gaze from 9/11 back to the turn of the 20th century, this project shows that rather than being alien to American values and history, Arab immigrants are a critical part of both.”

In order to develop this interactive resource on Syrian immigrants in NYC, researchers drew on census data, business directories, local newspapers, demographic studies and personal documents.

“These communities had a very active press, which gave us the opportunity to conduct case studies on individual families, as well as using big-data techniques to extract relevant information from the census and other sources,” says Claire Kempa, an archivist at the Khayrallah Center who worked on the project. “It’s also worth noting that, in the early 20th century, Lebanon and Syria were one country, which is why the project is titled ‘Syrians in New York.’”

“This was a period of rapid growth for the Syrian-American community in New York,” says Marjorie Stevens, senior researcher at the Khayrallah Center. “And while Syrian immigrants and their descendants retained close ties within their communities, they were also starting businesses and forming ties with the broader New York community and business entities across the city and internationally.

“They’re an example of the American dream,” Stevens says. “They came to the United States, built successful lives here, and contributed to American prosperity.”

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Matt Shipman <![CDATA[Streaming On A Wireless Power Connection: Integrated High-Speed Data and Wireless Power Transfer]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471124 2017-09-18T11:41:36Z 2017-09-18T11:41:36Z Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a system that can simultaneously deliver watts of power and transmit data at rates high enough to stream video over the same wireless connection. By integrating power and high-speed data, a true single “wireless” connection can be achieved.

“Recently wireless power as re-emerged as a technology to free us from the power cord,” says David Ricketts, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper on the work. “One of the most popular applications is in wireless cell phone charging pads. As many know, these unfortunately often require almost physical contact with the pad, limiting the usefulness of a truly ‘wireless’ power source. Recent work by several researchers have extended wireless power to ‘mid-range’ which can supply power at inches to feet of separation. While encouraging, most of the wireless power systems have only focused on the power problem – not the data that needs to accompany any of our smart devices today. Addressing those data needs is what sets our work apart here.”

Wireless power transfer technologies use magnetic fields to transmit power through the air. To minimize the power lost in generating these magnetic fields, you need to use antennas that operate in a narrow bandwidth – particularly if the transmitter and receiver are inches or feet apart from each other.

Because using a narrow bandwidth antenna limits data transfer, devices incorporating wireless power transfer have normally also incorporated separate radios for data transmission. And having separate systems for data and power transmission increases the cost, weight and complexity of the relevant device.

The NC State team realized that while high-efficiency power transfer, especially at longer distances, does require very narrow band antennas, the system bandwidth can actually be much wider.

“People thought that efficient wireless power transfer requires the use of narrow bandwidth transmitters and receivers, and that this therefore limited data transfer,” Ricketts says. “We’ve shown that you can configure a wide-bandwidth system with narrow-bandwidth components, giving you the best of both worlds.”

With this wider bandwidth, the NC State team then envisioned the wireless power transfer link as a communication link, adapting data-rate enhancement techniques, such as channel equalization, to further improve data rate and data signal quality.

The researchers tested their system with and without data transfer. They found that when transferring almost 3 watts of power – more than enough to power your tablet during video playback – the system was only 2.3 percent less efficient when also transmitting 3.39 megabytes of data per second. At 2 watts of power, the difference in efficiency was only 1.3 percent. The tests were conducted with the transmitter and receiver 16 centimeters, or 6.3 inches, apart, demonstrating the ability of their system to operate in longer-distance wireless power links.

“Our system is comparable in power transfer efficiency to similar wireless power transfer devices, and shows that you can design a wireless power link system that retains almost all of its efficiency while streaming a movie on Netflix,” Ricketts says.

The paper, “Ultra-high Data-rate Communication and Efficient Wireless Power Transfer at 13.56 MHz,” is published in the journal IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters. Lead author of the paper is Jordan Besnoff, a former postdoctoral researcher at NC State who is now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The paper was co-authored by Morteza Abbasi, a research assistant professor at NC State.

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Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.

“Ultra-high Data-rate Communication and Efficient Wireless Power Transfer at 13.56 MHz”

Authors: Jordan Besnoff, Morteza Abbasi and David S. Ricketts, North Carolina State University

Published: Aug. 7, IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters

DOI: 10.1109/LAWP.2017.2736883

Abstract: Wireless power transfer (WPT) has gained renewed interest due to emerging low power applications and high efficiency. Coupled with power in many applications is the need for communication, whether for regulation of power transfer or for transfer of information between source and load. Several communication methods have been proposed for use with WPT, including adjacent channel communication (non-WPT), as well as WPT based methods, such as load modulation and passive backscattering; however approaches using the WPT link have historically been low speed (< 400 kbps). In this work, we report on an ultra-high data rate (3.39 Mbps) communication method that utilizes the WPT link for both power and communication transfer, operating at 13.56 MHz, capable of 3.39 Mbps data transfer with an efficiency reduction of only <2%.

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University Communications <![CDATA[DeSimone Named Recipient of 22nd Heinz Award]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471092 2017-09-21T16:42:00Z 2017-09-14T16:28:41Z Joseph DeSimone, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, has been named the recipient of the 22nd Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy and Employment category.

Joseph DeSimone

Awarded by the Heinz Family Foundation, the honor recognizes the extraordinary achievements of individuals in the arts and humanities; environment; human condition; public policy; and technology, the economy and employment.

Other recipients this year include Natasha Trethewey, Angela Blanchard, Gregory Asner and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

DeSimone was selected because of his achievements in developing and commercializing advanced technologies in green chemistry, nanoparticle fabrication, precision medicine and 3-D printing. The award also recognizes his leadership in convergence research, a new model that integrates life, physical and engineering sciences to achieve innovations that positively impact human life in the areas of health, environment, energy and the economy.

“Dr. DeSimone’s achievements as a polymer scientist and entrepreneur leading to singular breakthroughs in areas such as 3-D printing, nanomedicine and green chemistry are many, and the positive effects on how we live, create, work and treat our planet are only just beginning to be seen,” said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. “We honor him with the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment not only for these accomplishments, but also for his ability to work across the traditional boundaries of scientific discipline, and for taking knowledge gained out of the laboratory and into the places where it can have a positive impact.”

During his nearly three-decade career at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill, DeSimone’s innovations have ranged from creating environmentally safe processes to make everyday materials, such as detergents, to engineering medical cures on the nano-level.

He has more than 350 publications and holds nearly 200 patents, which have also led him to found multiple companies based on his work.

DeSimone’s most recent work has been in the area of advanced manufacturing, where his technology — known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production, or CLIP — is used to reimagine 3-D printing with his company Carbon. He is currently on sabbatical leave to lead that company, which is using CLIP technology to fabricate objects significantly faster than current state-of-the-art 3-D printers.

“With CLIP and the parallel breakthrough we’ve made in the development of programmable liquid resins, we are changing the whole trajectory of how polymeric products are designed, engineered, made and delivered, from computer components and medical devices to running shoes and cars,” DeSimone said. “3-D printing has had everyone’s attention, and inspired a lot of people to innovate, but until now, it has been a frustratingly slow technology, without the quality or the materials to scale production. With our technology, the entire dynamic of traditional manufacturing is changing. Instead of making many parts that then need to be assembled in order to create a final object, we are able to directly make the final product.”

A member of all three branches of the National Academies, DeSimone has also been the recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine from Northwestern University’s International Institute for Nanotechnology and the Lemelson-MIT Prize.

“It is truly humbling to be recognized with a Heinz Award,” DeSimone said. “By pursuing research paths at the interface of diverse disciplines, my students, coworkers and I have developed new technologies that, over time, have influenced areas including manufacturing and medicine. This award is a testament not just to our discoveries, but to our approach to research — bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and expertise to solve difficult scientific challenges, ultimately to create a positive impact in the world.”

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Carla Davis <![CDATA[It’s Sustainability – Gamified]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471056 2017-09-25T20:01:15Z 2017-09-14T15:38:01Z
Students Lucas Gargano, Kelsey Huff, Julia Lineberry, Kierston Morrison and Simon Park created Villains No More for ages 12-15.

Learning through play isn’t just for babies and toddlers.

According to College of Design assistant professor Emil Polyak, games are a good way for older children and adults to learn, too. That’s why Polyak recently challenged students in his Art and Design Studio to create educational games about sustainability.

After attending a workshop co-hosted by NC State’s Office of Faculty Development and the University Sustainability Office, Polyak wanted to broaden his students’ understanding of sustainability as an issue impacting the environment, economy and society.

He divided students in his Fall 2016 course into four teams and assigned each group an age range: ages 6-9, 9-12, 12-15 and 15-18. For five weeks, students learned about sustainability, researched child development and designed game mechanics and aesthetics.

“The real world needs innovation and new things. In this area, games have huge demand,” Polyak said. “You need to figure out the basics of play, why people play and what you need to do in that environment to engage a player.”

Students Sarah Albright, Kimmie Zoll, Conner Shipway, Eilish Thomas and Monica Nguyen created Critter Crossings for ages 6-9.

In Critter Crossings, students challenge 6- to 9-year-olds to use nature-based character cards and multi-dimensional game pieces as they cooperatively build a bridge. Student designers of Sci Fi-themed Planet Mizbee ask 9- to 12-year-olds to design a sustainable society on a newly-discovered planet.

“We defined sustainability by what would be best for a new settlement and its environment in the long run,” said student and Planet Mizbee team member Emily Parker. “That means practices that cultivate the environment, economy and equity of the society are what cause the society to be sustainable ‒ not just cultivating the environment.”

Villains No More takes 12- to 15-year-olds on a medieval journey to flee disasters and setbacks, and Eotera challenges 15- to 18-year-olds to navigate resource shortages on an imaginary planet.

“Gamification is about encouraging the player to come back, do it again and get better at it. That’s why we play games, we want to master something,” Polyak said.

Students Dylan Bryant, Amanda Dean, Matthew Gluf, Christopher Hall and Cassie Sun create Eotera for ages 15-18.

In addition to board games, student designers also created electronic components that allow teachers to update the games based on current sustainability issues or events.

“This can be a game that you can play for a couple days or a couple weeks – not just for 40 minutes,” Polyak said.

Already, the course project has been presented at the NC State Teaching and Learning Symposium, as well as the International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies in Spain.

This post was originally published in Sustainability News.

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Staff <![CDATA[Nominations Open for Honorary Degrees]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471058 2017-09-25T20:01:17Z 2017-09-14T15:30:20Z At NC State, honorary degrees recognize individuals whose achievements are extraordinary and have lasting distinction. Usual degree requirements for an academic degree are waived to bestow honors on those who have made exceptional contributions to a specific field or to society in general.

The Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees is currently accepting Honorary Degree Nominations for recipients of the honorary doctoral degree. Members of the campus community may nominate an individual to receive an honorary doctoral degree by completing an online form and submitting a letter noting the nominee’s accomplishments and qualifications for the honor. In addition, you’ll need to explain why it’s important for NC State to award the degree.

When considering candidates, committee members examine the following criteria: excellence in scholarship, creativity, leadership, humanitarian service or public service. Nominations recommended by the Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees and endorsed by the Provost and Chancellor will be sent to the  Board of Trustees for final approval.

Honorary Degrees differ from the Watauga Medal, which recognizes unusually distinguished service to NC State.

Note that honorary degree nominees cannot be NC State faculty, staff or members of the Board of Trustees; members of the UNC Board of Governors; the governor; or any other elected officials or state employees concerned with the function or control of the university. Visit the honorary degree website for more information or to submit your nomination.

Learn more about the Honorary Doctoral Degree, including the university’s official regulation on awarding of honorary degrees and a list of previous honorary degree recipients at leadership.ncsu.edu/board-of-trustees/honorary-degrees.

Contact Amy Jinnette with any questions.

This post was originally published in Provost's Office News.

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Emily Packard <![CDATA[Pack Hacks for Faculty: Making Videos for Fun and Learning]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471060 2017-09-25T20:01:21Z 2017-09-14T15:20:04Z Welcome back to Pack Hacks for Faculty. Each month, a member of the NC State faculty will provide quick tips, advice and other insight to facilitate your teaching, research, scholarship or engagement activities. If you are interested in making a submission for a future Pack Hacks for Faculty, please contact provost-communications@ncsu.edu.

This month, David McConnell, a professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS), talks about the versatility of videos for engaging classroom instruction.

Making Videos for Fun and Learning

David McConnell

In MEAS, we teach several large class sections of an introductory geology course. For this course, we have designed a learning environment featuring a variety of active learning strategies that include small groups of students doing or observing activities and reflecting on and/or directly assessing their learning. A few years ago, we decided to reorganize the class in an effort to carve out additional time for active learning. Over three iterations of the class, we developed a “flipped” version of the course that had students completing online assignments before attending most classes. The goal of this approach was to have students process some traditional lecture content before class in order to use time in class to work on more challenging questions that would traditionally be presented as homework. Hence, some lecture and homework are “flipped.”

We decided to develop our pre-class assignments around short videos. Our first step was to explore the research on multimedia instruction before we became video producers. The review of research guided us toward syncing visuals and narration, using multiple modes of communication, minimizing redundancy by removing unnecessary text and effects, and using consistent formats for layout, sequencing and transitions between scenes. We focused on basic content (e.g., What is an aquifer? How to Classify Volcanoes) featuring material that had typically been presented in class. We also endeavored to align learning objectives, teaching activities, assessments and student reflection tasks. Additionally, we kept the videos short to account for findings that student engagement begins to wane if they last too long.

Yes, making the videos required quite a bit of work. We couldn’t just chatter over some interesting images and get the job done. Instead, we created storyboards to plan what we wanted to show and then wrote out a script to match our narration to corresponding imagery. We kept it relatively simple, as we used PowerPoint templates for much of our organization. We are relatively fortunate in that there is a lot of imagery in the public domain that we can use, otherwise we create our own visuals. Just like any document, before completion it needs a good edit. We learned how to edit the raw video using the program Camtasia to remove “ums” and “ahs” and keep each finished video to six to seven minutes.  

It has been a bit of fun to turn our creative instincts in a different direction and make something that can be shared. We made the videos more widely available through a YouTube channel and we continue to add to the collection. For academics used to measuring success by slowly accumulating paper citations, we get a kick out of using YouTube analytics to figure out that each semester, more than a thousand people a day are sitting down to learn something about geology from our channel.

Perhaps you are thinking that reading about videos doesn’t do them justice. In that case, you might want to take a look at the video we made about flipping our class.

David McConnell is a professor in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Sciences. He can be reached at damcconn@ncsu.edu.

This post was originally published in Provost's Office News.

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D'Lyn Ford <![CDATA[Who Wins? Outcomes of Olympic-sized Events]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470992 2017-09-14T14:29:10Z 2017-09-13T19:11:51Z Winning a bid to host a “mega event” like the Olympic Games is the start of a Herculean commitment for host countries. After years of planning, investment and construction, nations roll out the welcome mat for international visitors and media attention. But once the closing ceremonies are over, what are the enduring economic, environmental and human impacts of a mega event?

Those questions fascinate NC State professor Jason Bocarro in the College of Natural Resources, who studies the public health effects of recreation and sports programs and organizations. Bocarro, co-editor of Legacies and Mega Events: Fact or Fairy Tales? answered questions about the new book for The Abstract.

What exactly is a mega event? Can you provide some examples?

Defining a mega event is controversial. However, the general consensus is that mega events require substantial investment by their hosts and attract considerable media attention. In addition to their scale, defining features of mega events are that they move from place to place, last for a fixed duration, attract a large number of visitors, have a large mediated reach, come with high costs, and have significant impacts on the built environment and the population.

Some people think that a mega event should be confined to sports. However, in our book we included non-sports related mega events.

Sporting mega events include the FIFA World Cup, Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup and Asian Games, because they include multiple countries and their size, scope of their infrastructure, costs and media attention are significant. Some would also include the Super Bowl in that definition. Non-sporting mega events include expos, political summits, conventions or festivals, such as Mardi Gras, which we discuss in the book.

Tell us about the different types of legacies that can occur because of mega events, including economic, environmental and social impacts.

The impetus to measure legacy emerged from the Olympic Movement and a desire to legitimize it, gain global recognition, increase power and self-promote. Increasingly, as local mega sporting event advocates and governing bodies sought to justify considerable resource allocations for sport and supporting infrastructure to stakeholders, legacy was promoted as both a tangible and intangible benefit that will accrue to host states in return for their investments.

The rising cost of hosting mega sporting events, controversies over host government spending, allegations of corruption and increased scrutiny by a variety of stakeholders have all led to concerns over the sustainability of mega sporting events. This has resulted in a significant growth in legacy research, which some have attributed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) mandate in 2000 that stipulated hosts produce legacy plans.

Some of the types of legacies that are being studied are economic, public health (participation), volunteer, infrastructure (both facilities and transportation), environmental, urban redevelopment, security, cultural, branding (linked to tourism), knowledge/education, social and emotional (linked to what the event means to the host nation).

You can see recent games, such as London, being focused on a few targeted legacies:

  • the regeneration of East London (infrastructure/ urban redevelopment legacy)
  • inspiring community activity by young people (volunteer legacy)
  • encouraging business investment (economic legacy)
  • inspiring sustainable living (environmental legacy)
  • making the U.K. a world-leading sporting nation by getting people more involved in sport (health/participation legacy)

Countries that bid to host mega events like the Olympics often talk about their benefits for citizens in underserved areas. Does research show that this happens? If so, under what circumstances?

Although the potential impacts of mega-events are significant and well-documented, the actual impacts realized by host nations and regions often fall far short of expectations in terms of economic and non-economic impacts in both advanced and developing societies. For example, critics are already labeling the 2016 Rio Olympics as a legacy failure as expensive venues remain without owners and approximately 22,059 families were estimated to have been evicted from Rio’s favelas due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic games.

Jason Bocarro

Our research, backed up by many previous studies, shows that on the whole mega events do not benefit underserved populations. Even in examples like the 1992 Barcelona Olympics or 2012 London Olympics, where parts of the city significantly benefited from the increased urban infrastructure, critics have pointed out that it gentrified parts of these cities, forcing poorer residents out.

We just had a postdoctoral student visiting from the University of Belfast. Her research examined the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games on the East End of Glasgow (a very deprived part of Glasgow with high rates of poor health). Residents in that area complained about the disruption the games caused and the facilities and amenities left behind. Local people are not using the world-class velodome and swimming pool – in fact, people are coming from distances away to use them. In the case of swimming, use has actually decreased as residents look at the incredible facilities and see a mismatch with their ability.

The only ad hoc way I’ve seen mega events benefit underserved populations is in the case of various programming that starts as a result of the games. For example, the Football Foundation of South Africa was started prior to the 2010 World Cup. It has continued to grow and serve children in the Gansbaai area and Masakhane township. There are similar initiatives throughout other mega events, but they are very ad hoc and many continue to struggle to survive after the event.

With only two cities bidding, the IOC is planning to award Paris and Los Angeles the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Based on what you’ve learned, will it be more difficult to attract bidders for mega events in the future?

Yes, we’re already seeing that. In 2012 the Dutch government released a report that predicted that in the future only non-democratic countries will pay to host these events. The use of sporting and other mega events to bring about transformation of socially deprived areas of major cities, as well as a host of other legacy claims, are becoming an increasingly important part of the rationale behind hosting such events. The tax-paying public increasingly has to be persuaded of the benefits, beyond the event itself, to spend the nation’s resources in this way.

However, the facts suggest that previous widespread support for embracing these events has waned. Data suggests that potential hosts are becoming more reluctant to bid in that 12 different cities bid for the 2004 Olympics, whereas the 2020 Olympics elicited just five applicants. After Oslo removed itself from consideration, only two cities—Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan—remained as viable candidates to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Hosting mega events has also proven both costly and difficult to budget for. For example, the Athens Olympics’ projected budget was set at $1.6 billion, but the games eventually cost nearly $16 billion. For the Beijing Olympics projected costs for the organizing committee alone were reported as $1.6 billion with a final budget, including facilities and infrastructure, being $40 billion. Non-sporting mega events do not often include a bidding process but also have the potential to produce considerable impacts for hosts. Cultural mega events arguably produce fewer quantifiable economic impacts such as “trading opportunities for nonprofit organizations and the contribution of the festival to local entrepreneurial culture.” The fact is that mega events are happening throughout the world and the costs associated with these appear to be increasing significantly.

What is the most compelling example you’ve seen of a successful mega event? Of an unsuccessful mega event?

A couple of examples of successful sporting mega events are the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (well planned) and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England. Barcelona leveraged the games to promote the city. It rebuilt decaying infrastructure and used those improvements to attract business to the city. Manchester has used sport to revitalize communities and tackle social deprivation. Since successfully staging the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Manchester has had some excellent public-private partnerships that have turned into some good economic investments.

An example of an unsuccessful mega event was the 1976 Montreal Olympics that crippled the city financially and took something like 40 years to pay off. I’d also say that the 2004 Athens Olympics was fairly disastrous, given the economic conditions that crippled the Greek economy shortly afterwards. However, I think in 10 years we’ll look back and see that Brazil, which hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, was a social, economic and environmental disaster. Recent pictures which you have probably seen from Sochi, Beijing, Athens and Brazil show white elephant stadiums alongside increasing debt. Some countries and cities (such as London, Beijing and Sydney) are able to absorb some of the negative impacts of the Olympic Games.

Tell us about some unexpected effects your research uncovered. 

One of the points we make in our book is that legacy does not take place in a vacuum and so much long-term impact is actually largely out of the control of those that organize the events. For example, most legacy planning for the truly major events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the FIFA World Cup takes place seven to 10 years before the event actually takes place. That makes it almost impossible for planners to know what the situation, in terms of the global/political economy, might be in the future, which makes guaranteeing any kind of legacy almost impossible. I think you will increasingly see the bidding process changed for mega events, with potentially no bids or rotating hosts.

A clear example of the problems associated with choosing locations years in advance is the Rio 2016 Games, where the political and economic situation in Brazil in 2009 (the year they won the bid) was far better and more stable than in 2016 when the Games occurred. However, it was impossible in 2009 for organizers to predict significant political and economic events such as the crash in global oil and commodity prices (upon which their economy was so dependent), the political scandals and corruption allegations that led to the impeachment of their president just before the Games, or even the Russian doping crisis that enveloped the Games. Placing legacy research within the wider context is vitally important when assessing the success or otherwise of a particular legacy plan in relation to a mega event.

Also, I think our research from the 2012 London Paralympic Games was surprising and shows evidence of unintended consequences. We found that the success of the 2012 London Paralympic Games had a surprisingly negative legacy for people with disabilities. Ordinary people with a disability felt little connection, if any, to Paralympians, in terms of the issues they face in their everyday lives. Furthermore, the perceived expectations by the nondisabled population that all people with disabilities can perform like Paralympians only accentuated this disconnection. Thus, despite the Games being the most watched (both in person and on TV), people with disabilities in the UK reported more discrimination in the years after the Games.

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University Communications <![CDATA[Princeville Effort Draws on Teamwork]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471035 2017-09-13T16:56:23Z 2017-09-13T16:51:19Z The workshop in Princeville involved the efforts of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, including students and faculty from NC State and UNC Chapel Hill.
NameTitleAffiliation
Adam WaltersDesign AssistantHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Amanda MartinHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Andy FoxAssociate ProfessorCollege of Design, NC State
Austin MarshallGraduate StudentCollege of Design, NC State
Barbara DollAssistant Extension ProfessorNorth Carolina Sea Grant, NC State
Barry HokansonProject Manager for PrincevilleHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Celen PasalarAssistant Dean for Research and ExtensionCollege of Design, NC State
Robby LaytonPrincipalDesign Concepts
Charles FlinkPresidentGreenways Incorporated
Christian KamrathGraduate StudentHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Colleen DurfeeGraduate StudentUNC Chapel Hill
Darien WilliamsGraduate StudentHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Gar YeungGraduate StudentHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Gavin SmithDirectorHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
James PopinGraduate StudentCollege of Design, NC State
Kofi BooneAssociate ProfessorCollege of Design, NC State
Lindsey NaylorGraduate StudentCollege of Design, NC State
Mai NguyenAssociate ProfessorUNC Chapel Hill
Marshall PurnellAssociate Professor of the PracticeCollege of Design, NC State
Meredith BurnsGraduate StudentHurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative
Rodney SwinkProfessor of the PracticeCollege of Design, NC State
Stephanie HeimsteadGraduate StudentCollege of Design, NC State
Jessica SouthwellProject ManagerUNC Hazards Center
Jessica WhiteheadCoastal Communities Hazards Adaptation SpecialistNorth Carolina Sea Grant, NC State
Josh KastrinskyCommunications CoordinatorCoastal Resilience Center, UNC Chapel Hill

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Matt Shipman <![CDATA[New Manufacturing Process For SiC Power Devices Opens Market to More Competition]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=471000 2017-09-13T13:27:19Z 2017-09-13T13:27:19Z Researchers from North Carolina State University are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power in technologies that use electronics. The process – called PRESiCETM – was developed with support from the PowerAmerica Institute funded by the Department of Energy to make it easier for companies to enter the SiC marketplace and develop new products.

“PRESiCETM will allow more companies to get into the SiC market, because they won’t have to initially develop their own design and manufacturing process for power devices – an expensive, time-consuming engineering effort,” says Jay Baliga, Distinguished University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State and lead author of a paper on PRESiCETM that will be presented later this month. “The companies can instead use the PRESiCETM technology to develop their own products. That’s good for the companies, good for consumers, and good for U.S. manufacturing.”

Jay Baliga, who developed the PRESiCE process.

Power devices consist of a diode and transistor, and are used to regulate the flow of power in electrical devices. For decades, electronics have used silicon-based power devices. In recent years, however, some companies have begun using SiC power devices, which have two key advantages.

First, SiC power devices are more efficient, because SiC transistors lose less power. Conventional silicon transistors lose 10 percent of their energy to waste heat. SiC transistors lose only 7 percent. This is not only more efficient, but means that product designers need to do less to address cooling for the devices.

Second, SiC devices can also switch at a higher frequency. That means electronics incorporating SiC devices can have smaller capacitors and inductors – allowing designers to create smaller, lighter electronic products.

But there’s a problem.

Up to this point, companies that have developed manufacturing processes for creating SiC power devices have kept their processes proprietary – making it difficult for other companies to get into the field. This has limited the participation of other companies and kept the cost of SiC devices high.

The NC State researchers developed PRESiCETM to address this bottleneck, with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry to the field for companies and increasing innovation.

The PRESiCETM team worked with a Texas-based foundry called X-Fab to implement the manufacturing process and have now qualified it – showing that it has the high yield and tight statistical distribution of electrical properties for SiC power devices necessary to make them attractive to industry.

“If more companies get involved in manufacturing SiC power devices, it will increase the volume of production at the foundry, significantly driving down costs,” Baliga says.

Right now, SiC devices cost about five times more than silicon power devices.

“Our goal is to get it down to 1.5 times the cost of silicon devices,” Baliga says. “Hopefully that will begin the ‘virtuous cycle’: lower cost will lead to higher use; higher use leads to greater production volume; greater production volume further reduces cost, and so on. And consumers are getting a better, more energy-efficient product.”

The researchers have already licensed the PRESiCETM process and chip design to one company, and are in talks with several others.

“I conceived the development of wide bandgap semiconductor (SiC) power devices in 1979 and have been promoting the technology for more than three decades,” Baliga says. “Now, I feel privileged to have created PRESiCETM as the nation’s technology for manufacturing SiC power devices to generate high-paying jobs in the U.S. We’re optimistic that our technology can expedite the commercialization of SiC devices and contribute to a competitive manufacturing sector here in the U.S.,” Baliga says.

The paper, “PRESiCETM: PRocess Engineered for manufacturing SiC Electronic-devices,” will be presented at the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, being held Sept. 17-22 in Washington, D.C. The paper is co-authored by W. Sung, now at State University of New York Polytechnic Institute; K. Han and J. Harmon, who are Ph.D. students at NC State; and A. Tucker and S. Syed, who are undergraduates at NC State.

The work was supported by PowerAmerica, the Department of Energy-funded manufacturing innovation institute that focuses on boosting manufacturing of wide bandgap semiconductor-based power electronics.

-shipman-

Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.

“PRESiCETM: PRocess Engineered for manufacturing SiC Electronic-devices”

Authors: B.J. Baliga, K. Han, J. Harmon, A. Tucker and S. Syed, North Carolina State University; W. Sung, State University of New York Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale Science

Presented: September 17-22, International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, Washington, D.C.

Abstract: PowerAmerica sponsored the development by NCSU of a process for manufacturing power MOSFETs and JBS Rectifiers in 2015. This process, named PRESiCETM, was successful in making 1.2 kV state-of-the-art devices (power MOSFETs, ACCUFETs, and JBS Rectifiers) in the X-Fab foundry. In addition, we were successful in monolithically integrating a JBS fly-back rectifier into the power MOSFET structure to create the power JBSFET which allows saving significant (~40%) chip area and reducing package count in half. In the second year (2016), NCSU has been successful in qualifying the process for manufacturing these power devices at X-Fab.

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David Hunt <![CDATA[Saving Princeville]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470944 2017-09-19T20:16:53Z 2017-09-12T20:15:10Z The Princeville, North Carolina, residents gathered at a county administration building last month didn’t need a reminder that their town faces a challenging future as it struggles to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

But nature underscored the point anyway.

On the first day of a five-day workshop aimed at exploring ways of making the low-lying town more resilient in the event of flooding from the nearby Tar River, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast. The intended keynote speaker, Administrator Brock Long of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sent word that he was staying in Washington, D.C., to lead FEMA’s response to the powerful storm.

Designers and planners adapted their ideas based on feedback from the community.

As the conference was wrapping up on Aug. 29, Hurricane Irma — one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic — began its destructive march toward the Caribbean.

“We didn’t plan to hold the workshop between two major hurricanes,” says Andrew Fox, a landscape architecture professor at NC State and one of the organizers of the conference. “The irony wasn’t lost on anyone in the room. But it hardened everyone’s resolve that we need to focus on these issues. These are real events, real people, real lives.”

Undaunted

Resolve is the one thing Princeville isn’t lacking. The historic town, founded by freed African-Americans in the closing days of the Civil War, has weathered more than a few storms in the past 150 years, including the 1887 lynching of a Princeville man by white residents of neighboring Tarboro.

Settled in a floodplain on a bend in the Tar River, Princeville flooded so frequently in its first 80 years that the Army Corps of Engineers built a 2.5-mile dike along the river’s south bank in 1967 to protect the town.

LSU landscape architecture professor Austin Allen makes a suggestion during a planning session.

Mayor Ray Matthewson greeted the project with relief and optimism, predicting that the town would “blossom like a rose.”

“It’s fear of the river that has held us back,” he told the Associated Press.

But the river wasn’t done with Princeville. After back-to-back storms in 1999, the town was all but wiped out as the Tar River overflowed the levee, covering homes, schools and businesses with 20 feet of water for 10 days.

Battered but undaunted, the town’s 2,000 residents rebuilt. President Bill Clinton ordered Army engineers to conduct a study aimed at finding ways to protect the town from future floods, “to the extent practicable.” The lengthy report was finalized last April, just six months before Hurricane Matthew barreled across eastern North Carolina, leaving Princeville, once more, underwater.

Even if the report’s recommendations are implemented — enhancing and extending the levee at a cost of $21 million — it will take more than an engineering solution to save Princeville.

Perilous Future

Like many rural communities, the town has seen an exodus of younger residents in recent years to the state’s urban centers such as the Triangle and Triad. That’s fed a cycle of economic and population decline as perilous to its future as any storm.

“The demographics are very challenging,” Fox says. “Because the town has a high percentage of residents over the age of 65, we need buy-in from multiple generations. We need to look at recovery as a long-term effort. It isn’t going to happen in a year or two.”

The design team keeps up a demanding pace during the five-day workshop.

If setting Princeville on a path to growth and prosperity seems like a daunting task, there is no shortage of experts willing to lend their time and skills to the effort. Last month’s workshop, held in the auditorium at the Edgecombe County administration building in Tarboro, brought together university scholars and researchers, state and federal emergency management professionals, land use planners and public officials.

Participants included representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Parks Service, Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, as well as a host of state agencies, including Emergency Management, Cultural and Natural Resources, Public Safety and the governor’s office.

NC State sent students and professors from the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, and agricultural and resource economics, and from North Carolina Sea Grant. They were joined by researchers from Louisiana State University, East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rolling Up Their Sleeves

“It was exhilarating,” Fox says. “Designers love to roll up their sleeves and just get to work. So it was great having the resources in the room to answer questions about technical issues like environmental policy and land use regulations.”

Members of the community give their input.

The workshop’s principal organizer, Gavin Smith, is director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and a professor of city and regional planning at Carolina. Smith, whose family home in Houston was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, says he wanted more than just technical expertise on display at the workshop.

“It’s important to have technical experts, but I also wanted people who could empathize with the people in the community and involve them in the process,” he says. “I didn’t want us to come in and act like we had all the answers.”

In fact, every evening the planning group invited residents into the auditorium to review their ideas and plans and make suggestions. The following morning, the experts would go back to the drawing board, literally, to refine their plans based on the residents’ feedback.

Send Help

Mayor Pro Tem Linda Joyner says she was surprised and delighted by the way the designers involved the community. “After the flood my continual prayer was, ‘God, send help. Send us people who genuinely have the same heart for Princeville that I have.’”

The workshop focused on three broad areas: relocating some residents, businesses and town services to a 52-acre parcel of land outside the floodplain that could be incorporated into the town boundaries; repurposing low-lying land near the river for cultural, historical and recreational uses; and rebuilding some structures in the floodplain to make them more resistant to flooding.

“Essentially, we’re trying to answer the question, ‘How do you take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild the community in a way that doesn’t perpetuate vulnerability but enhances resilience?’” Smith says.

Tourism Opportunities

Kofi Boone, a landscape architecture professor at NC State, sees opportunities to promote tourism by creating a historical trail linking Princeville with Shiloh Landing, a place on the Tar River where enslaved African-Americans were brought by steamboat from Richmond to be offered for sale to Edgecombe County plantation owners. Boone, who developed the pilot project for the African American Music Trails in rural Kinston, North Carolina, says cultural and historical trails often deliver an economic boost to small towns.

“It’s a proven way to allow local people to use what they have in hand — their stories and expert knowledge of a place — to create economic opportunities,” he says.

Joyner, the mayor pro tem, agrees that Princeville’s future is tied to respecting its past.

“Princeville has to stand,” she says, “because of the rich history that it lends to this world. So we need people that believe in us, that believe we can bounce back again, just as our ancestors did, again and again.”

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Tracey Peake <![CDATA[Nothing But the Tooth – What Dental Remains from Homo naledi Can Tell Us]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470974 2017-09-12T14:59:26Z 2017-09-12T14:59:26Z Anthropologists just love to sink their teeth into a good mystery, and some recent research from NC State and Vassar College has done just that – by looking at what dental development in Homo naledi fossils can tell us about this human relative and the evolution of our own species, Homo sapiens.

In 2013, paleoanthropologists discovered the fossilized remains of at least 15 individual hominins, or human relatives, within the Dinaledi chamber of the Rising Star cave system near Johannesburg, South Africa. The remains were from an entirely new species, dubbed Homo naledi by the researchers. Recently, these fossils were determined to be around 200,000 – 300,000 years old, meaning that H. naledi walked the earth at the same time as other hominins like Neanderthals and possibly the earliest members of H. sapiens.

Chris Walker, assistant professor of anatomy at NC State, and Zach Cofran, a biological anthropologist from Vassar College, were researchers on the original team that studied the H. naledi fossils. Recently the duo had the opportunity to examine the dental remains of the youngest members of H. naledi to see if this extinct species grew more like humans or our extinct relatives.

Humans are unique among primates in how long it takes us to fully develop from child to adult. Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, develop a bit faster than we do. Tooth formation and eruption patterns – the rate and order in which baby and adult teeth grow and emerge – also differ between humans and chimps. Scientists surmise that this difference may be related to the differences in developmental timing between the two species. Most evidence to date has suggested that the human-like pattern emerged quite recently in our evolutionary history and that our extinct relatives were generally more like chimps than humans with respect to dental development.

Walker and Cofran used CT scans of the mandibles of two H. naledi youngsters – one an infant and one an older child – to determine how the species’ teeth formed and emerged. What they discovered was surprising.

“Overall, we found a mixture of human and chimp patterns, although the eruption sequences in particular were human-like,” Walker says. “Given that H. naledi was alive so recently, similarities to humans aren’t necessarily shocking. But given the numerous primitive anatomical features of H. naledi – including a small brain, which is suggestive of a relatively fast, more chimp-like developmental pace – our findings are somewhat unanticipated. Even Neanderthals, a group that is much more anatomically similar to modern humans than H. naledi, have a more primitive dental eruption sequence.”

The uniqueness of the finding may actually raise more questions than it answers regarding H. naledi, and it potentially affects how anthropologists gauge the development times and life histories of ancient hominin species.

“A prolonged period of growth and development is a defining feature of humans, but we don’t know when this trait evolved,” says Cofran. “We’ve relied on teeth to make inferences about growth and development in extinct species because they preserve well in fossil samples and dental maturation has previously been linked to aspects of life history. But this finding, with the similarities between modern humans and H. naledi, raises questions about the adaptive significance of tooth emergence sequences.”

Walker and first author Cofran published their findings in Biology Letters. The paper is open access and can be read here.

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University Communications <![CDATA[NC State Moves Up in National Rankings]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470958 2017-09-12T14:38:46Z 2017-09-12T12:49:12Z NC State again gained ground on one of the most closely watched rankings of the nation’s colleges and universities, improving in measures of peer assessment, graduation rates, retention rates, selectivity and class size over last year.

The 2018 “Best Colleges” rankings, published by U.S. News & World Report, placed NC State No. 81 among national universities, a gain of 11 spots from 2017. Among public universities, NC State was ranked 33rd, up from 38th.

NC State has been on a rankings roll in recent years, moving up 30 spots among national universities since 2010 on the U.S. News list. The publication’s methodology measures a range of factors, including faculty resources, alumni giving, actual and predicted graduation rates and peer assessments.

NC State also scored higher on the list of schools offering the best value for the money, ranking 46th among national universities this year, a jump of 16 spots over last year. Among public universities, NC State is the fifth best value on the list.

NC State also ranked 44th on the list of the best colleges for veterans, moving up 15 spots this year.

The university saw a slight increase in its peer assessment score, which ticked up a tenth of a percent to 3.2 percent this year. The graduation rate moved up 2 percent to 78 percent and the first-year retention rate increased 1 percent to 94 percent. The percentage of small classes (fewer than 20 seats) increased 3 percent to 38 percent. The university also became more selective, accepting just 46 percent of applicants, down 4 percent from last year.

NC State’s overall score rose four points to 54.

The Poole College of Management also found good news in this year’s rankings. It saw an increase of three spots on the list of the best undergraduate business programs, ranking 91st. Undergraduate engineering was ranked 34th this year, down two spots from last year, although its overall score remained the same.

NC State was also listed among “Academic Programs to Look For: Writing in the Disciplines,” one of just five public universities on that list.

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Mick Kulikowski <![CDATA[Study Examines Cross-Species Interactions]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470950 2017-09-11T18:30:07Z 2017-09-11T18:26:51Z In a first-of-its-kind study, NC State researchers applied a new approach to examine how members of two different species – a plant and a pathogen, for example, or a bacterium and a human – interact at the molecular level, and whether slight genetic changes in one species could affect gene expression in the other.

In a paper published in the journal Genetics, NC State plant pathologists, biologists and statisticians use a genetic mapping method – expression quantitative trait locus, or eQTL, mapping – applied in a novel way to describe these interactions, opening the door for further work on these complex relationships.

“We’re really trying to get to the genetics behind the interactions between two different organisms,” said David McK. Bird, a NC State plant pathology professor and co-corresponding author of the paper. “Genetics gives us causality more than just correlation.”

“We used an interactive system to see if DNA changes in one species would affect the characteristics in another completely different species and found that they do,” said Dahlia Nielsen, the paper’s co-corresponding author and an NC State associate professor of biological sciences who specializes in genetics and bioinformatics.

The researchers started by crossing root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne hapla), tiny worm pathogens that infect hundreds of different plants worldwide and produce harmful knots or galls on plant roots. The nematodes were all from the same species but came from different parts of the world – California and France – and thus were genetically different. This crossing process resulted in 98 lines of offspring.

“When you look at one spot on the genome from these different lines, you have a 50 percent chance that spot will be from the California nematodes and a 50 percent chance that spot will be from the French nematodes,” Nielsen said. “So now at each spot on the genome we have two different groups: those with California genetic makeup and those with French genetic makeup.”

The researchers then infected legumes (Medicago truncatula) used frequently in genome research. These legumes were all exactly the same genetically.

“We can then look at differences in plant gene expression and be sure that the plant’s genome is not responsible for these changes,” Nielsen said. “This implies that it’s the infections that are causing them to be different.”

“More specifically,” Bird added, “it allows us to see which gene or gene locus in the nematode is controlling the effect we see in the plant.”

In the case of nematodes and plants, there’s a great deal of interaction as the nematode entices the plant into serving as an amiable host.

“If we see one nematode tricking the plant one way and another nematode tricking a plant a different way, we can look at the exact gene that is involved,” Nielsen said. “We’re understanding something about the process of infection but also the genetics of the infecting nematode and the response of the plant.”

The study allowed the researchers to find a number of previously unidentified plant genes responding to infection.

Now, the researchers will work to understand more about the network of interactions and to prioritize connections between the two species.

“It’s a whole new way of thinking about cross-species interactions,” Bird said.

NC State’s Yuelong Guo, Peter DiGennaro and Stella Chang co-authored the paper along with Sylwia Fudali, Jacinta Gimeno and Valerie M. Williamson from the University of California, Davis. The work was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Project through grant IOS-1025840.

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University Communications <![CDATA[Check Out New Football Policies]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470899 2017-09-07T17:24:13Z 2017-09-07T17:24:13Z 0 Mick Kulikowski <![CDATA[NC State Experts Can Discuss Hurricane, Flood Issues]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470876 2017-09-08T20:24:13Z 2017-09-07T16:23:38Z As Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose churn in the Atlantic, media looking for information on a variety of hurricane and flood topics can contact the following North Carolina State University experts:

Hurricane Formation, Prediction, Impact

Gary Lackmann, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, can discuss research on hurricane prediction and impacts, including their formation and evolution, and the influence of climatological conditions on hurricane frequency, size, and intensity. He can be reached at 919/515-1439 or gary@ncsu.edu.

Storm Surge Modeling

Casey Dietrich, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, is an expert on how computational models can be used to predict storm surge and related impacts during hurricanes. He can be reached at 919/515-5277 or jcdietri@ncsu.edu.

Coastal Damage

North Carolina Sea Grant’s Spencer Rogers is an expert in hurricane-resistant coastal building techniques and erosion control. Rogers is stationed in Wilmington, N.C. He can be reached at 910/962-2940.

Traffic System and Highway Infrastructure Impacts

George List, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, is an expert on transportation and logistics infrastructure who can discuss the potential effects of hurricanes on traffic systems and highway infrastructure. He can be reached at 919/515-8038 or gflist@ncsu.edu.

Flood Control

Sankar Arumugam, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, can discuss what authorities can do in regard to flood control if a hurricane comes inland. He can be reached at 919/515-7700 or sankar_arumugam@ncsu.edu.

Flood Recovery

Andrew Fox, associate professor of landscape architecture, can talk about ongoing efforts to help vulnerable communities in eastern North Carolina recover from and plan for recurrent storm flooding. He can be reached at aafox@ncsu.edu or 919/513-8064.

Impacts on Septic Systems, Wastewater Treatment Utilities and Solid Waste

Morton Barlaz, Distinguished University Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, can discuss the amount of solid waste generated by hurricanes and related building damage. He can be reached at 919/515-7212 or barlaz@ncsu.edu.

Francis de los Reyes, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, is an expert on sanitation systems who can discuss the impact of hurricanes and floodwaters on wastewater treatment utilities and septic systems. He can be reached at 919/515-7416 or fldelosr@ncsu.edu.

Care for Pets and Animals During and After Disasters

Kelli Ferris, assistant professor of clinical sciences, directs the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Community-Campus Partnership, which provides a range of veterinary services to communities across the state. Utilizing a mobile veterinary hospital, she cared for hundreds of animals in the aftermaths of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Irene in 2011. She can be reached at 919/606-2752 or kelli_ferris@ncsu.edu.

David Eggleston, director of the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, can speak about the impact that hurricanes can have on crab and fisheries populations along the eastern seaboard. He can be reached at 252/222-6301, 919/515-7840, or at eggleston@ncsu.edu.

Barrett Slenning, College of Veterinary Medicine director of agrosecurity and biopreparedness, can speak to large-animal care, emergency needs and biosecurity issues. He can be reached at 919/513-6324 or barrett_slenning@ncsu.edu.

Agriculture

Mike Yoder, associate director of NC State Extension, can address a range of issues related to both crops and livestock. He can be reached at 919/801-8243 or mjyoder@ncsu.edu.

Water Quality

Storm-related flooding can damage drinking water wells and lead to aquifer and well contamination. Direct human contact with floodwaters presents additional risks. Michael Burchell, an associate professor and department extension leader of biological and agricultural engineering, can discuss water-quality concerns in a disaster. He can be reached at 919/513-7348 or mrburche@ncsu.edu

David Eggleston, director of the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, can discuss a hurricane’s effects on ocean salinity and dissolved oxygen levels. He can be reached at 252/222-6301, 919/515-7840, or at eggleston@ncsu.edu.

Marcelo Ardón Sayao, faculty member in forestry and environmental resources, can speak about flooding’s effects on watersheds, wetlands and streams. He can be reached at 919/515-5574 or mlardons@ncsu.edu.

Policy and Politics in Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are inherently political events. Policies can mitigate or exacerbate the effects of disasters, and problems with relief and recovery can become political crises. Tom Birkland, a professor of public policy, is an internationally known expert in these matters and can provide context about the politics of disaster. He can be reached at 919/513-1834 or tabirkla@ncsu.edu.

Mary Watzin, dean of the College of Natural Resources, can speak to thinking differently about development and water management.  She can be reached at 919/515-2883 or mwatzin@ncsu.edu.

Food Safety

Ben Chapman, a food-safety specialist and associate professor of family and consumer sciences, can discuss food-safety issues related to post-hurricane power outages. He can be reached at 919/515-8099 or 919/809-3205, or at benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu.

Safety on Farms and With Generators

During times of adverse weather, generators can be used to provide electrical power, but if not operated correctly can be hazardous. Grant Ellington (919/515-6793 or grant_ellington@ncsu.edu), extension assistant professor of agricultural engineering, can offer tips on using generators. He and Gary Roberson (919/515-6715 or gtrobers@ncsu.edu), extension specialist and associate professor of agricultural engineering, can also provide information on general farm safety.

Effects on Children and Parents

Kimberly Allen, extension parenting and youth development specialist, can discuss the effects of disasters – like hurricanes – on children and parents, and how to help parents assist their children in preparing for and recovering from a disaster. She can be reached at 919/515-9139 or kimberly_allen@ncsu.edu.

Hazards Adaptation

North Carolina Sea Grant’s Jessica Whitehead has expertise regarding communication of weather information, as well as the impact of storms and flooding and resilient recovery. She can be reached at 919/515-1686 or j_whitehead@ncsu.edu.

Home Cleanup and Restoration

Sarah Kirby can talk about a variety of topics on storm damage to homes, including cleaning and minor structural repairs. She can be reached at 919/515-9154 or sarah_kirby@ncsu.edu.

David Tilotta, forest biomaterials professor and extension specialist, can discuss how storms affect housing and home construction. He can be contacted at 919/515-5579 or dave_tilotta@ncsu.edu.

Effect on Trees and Timber Resources

Robert Bardon, associate dean of extension and engagement in the College of Natural Resources, can discuss economic damage to the timber industry and any salvage operations. He can be reached at 919/515-5575 or rebardon@ncsu.edu.

Insects and Other Pests

Storms can displace insects and other wildlife, raising concerns about how to manage them in a storm’s aftermath. Entomologist Michael Waldvogel can discuss these topics; he can be reached at 919/515-8881 or mike_waldvogel@ncsu.edu

Impact on Local Wildlife

Chris DePerno, a professor of fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, can discuss hurricane impacts on wild animals. He can be reached at chris_deperno@ncsu.edu or 919/513-7559.

Coastal Tourism Impacts

Erin Seekamp, associate professor and tourism extension specialist, can discuss how the hurricane could affect tourism and cultural resources on the coast. She can be reached at erin_seekamp@ncsu.edu or 919/513-7407.

On the Web

A list of N.C. Cooperative Extension personnel with expertise in disaster-related issues can be accessed here.

Extension’s Disaster Information site can be accessed here.

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology has compiled a web page on issues you might encounter in the wake of hurricane.

Information and materials on tree-related damage after natural disasters can be accessed on Extension Forestry’s website.

A State Climate Office website with real-time access to weather information collected from hundreds of weather stations around the state and bordering regions can be accessed.

– 30 –

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Matt Shipman <![CDATA[Study: SNAP Benefits Aren’t Enough to Afford a Healthy Diet]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470891 2017-09-07T16:05:23Z 2017-09-07T16:05:23Z A new study from North Carolina State University and the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, only covers 43-60 percent of what it costs to consume a diet consistent with federal dietary guidelines for what constitutes a healthy diet. The study highlights the challenges lower-income households face in trying to eat a healthy diet.

“The federal government has defined what constitutes a healthy diet, and we wanted to know how financially feasible it was for low-income households, who qualify for SNAP benefits, to follow these guidelines,” says Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, co-author of a paper on the study and an assistant professor of agricultural and human sciences at NC State.

This can be a tricky question to answer, as federal dietary guidelines vary based on age and gender. SNAP benefits also vary, based on household income and the number of adults and children living in the household. For the purposes of this study, the researchers used average monthly SNAP benefits for 2015.

To address their research question, the researchers looked at the cost to follow federal dietary guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly retail price data from 2015 for fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. They calculated costs under a variety of scenarios. For example, what would it cost to comply with dietary guidelines if one only ate produce that was fresh, not frozen? What if one only consumed fruits and vegetables that were frozen? What if a household followed a vegetarian diet? The researchers also included labor costs associated with shopping and preparing meals, based on 2010 estimates produced by other economics researchers.

“We found significant variability in the costs associated with following federal dietary guidelines,” Haynes-Maslow says. “For example, it was most expensive to consume only fresh produce, and it was least expensive to consume a vegetarian diet.”

To place this in context, consider a four-person household that has one adult male, one adult female, one child aged 8-11 and one child aged 12-17 – all of whom qualify for SNAP benefits. They would need to spend $626.95 per month in addition to their SNAP benefits if they ate only fresh produce as part of their diet. That same household would need to spend $487.39 in addition to SNAP benefits if they ate a vegetarian diet.

“Many low-income households simply don’t have an additional $500 or $600 to spend on food in their monthly budget,” Haynes-Maslow says.

The researchers did find that SNAP is sufficient to meet the healthy dietary needs of two groups: children under the age of 8 and women over the age of 51. However, SNAP was insufficient to meet the needs of older children, younger women, or men of any age.

“Even though SNAP is not designed to cover all of the cost of food – it’s meant to be a supplemental food program – this study makes it clear that there would be many low-income households that would not be able to cover the gap needed to eat a diet consistent with federal dietary guidelines,” Haynes Maslow says. “Even without including labor costs, a household of four would need to spend approximately $200-$300 in addition to their SNAP benefits to follow the dietary guidelines.”

The paper, “The Affordability of MyPlate: An Analysis of SNAP Benefits and the Actual Cost of Eating According to the Dietary Guidelines,” is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. The paper is open access. Lead author of the paper is Kranti Mulik, a senior agricultural economist in the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

-shipman-

Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.

“The Affordability of MyPlate: An Analysis of SNAP Benefits and the Actual Cost of Eating According to the Dietary Guidelines”

Authors: Kranti Mulik, Union of Concerned Scientists; Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, North Carolina State University

Published: Sept. 7, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.06.005

Abstract:

Objective: To estimate the funds required to support a MyPlate diet and to estimate the additional costs needed for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to adhere to the MyPlate diet.

Design: Using the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) MyPlate dietary guidelines that specify recommendations for individuals based on age and gender and retail price data from the USDA, the cost of following USDA’s MyPlate guidelines for consuming 3 meals daily was estimated for the following individuals: children, adolescents, female adults, male adults, female seniors, male seniors, and a 4-person family.

Main Outcome Measures: Cost of consuming a MyPlate diet, including canned, frozen, and fresh produce as part of the diet.

Analysis: Descriptive analysis of the cost of consuming a MyPlate diet.

Results: Consuming a MyPlate diet consisting of only fresh fruits and vegetables is the most expensive diet. The monthly additional costs on an individual basis is the largest for boys aged 12–17 years ($75/mo) because they have the largest quantity of food consumed compared with all other gender and age groups. The monthly cost for a family of 4 ranged from $1,109 to $1,249/mo.

Conclusions and Implications: The monetary amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits may be insufficient to support a healthy diet recommended by federal nutrition guidelines.

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Staff <![CDATA[Join OIED for Fall Semester Signature Events]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470852 2017-09-25T20:01:25Z 2017-09-07T15:30:26Z [et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” global_module=”427497″ fullwidth=”on” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#ffffff” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off”][et_pb_fullwidth_code global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”OIED News Title” custom_css_main_element=”padding-top: 50px;”]<span style=”text-align:center;font:150px;font-weight:bold”><h1>Diversity<span style=”color:#cc0000″> News</span></h1></span>[/et_pb_fullwidth_code][et_pb_fullwidth_menu global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”OIED Menu” menu_id=”553″ background_color=”#ffffff” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” submenu_direction=”downwards” fullwidth_menu=”off” dropdown_menu_animation=”fade”] [/et_pb_fullwidth_menu][et_pb_fullwidth_code global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”Light Rule”]<hr style=”width:1080px; color:#f2f2f2;”>[/et_pb_fullwidth_code][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#ffffff” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_post_title admin_label=”Post Title” title=”on” meta=”off” author=”on” date=”on” categories=”off” comments=”off” featured_image=”off” featured_placement=”below” parallax_effect=”on” parallax_method=”on” text_orientation=”left” text_color=”dark” text_background=”off” text_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.9)” module_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)” title_text_color=”#cc0000″ title_all_caps=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” custom_css_post_title=”font-family: UniversLight;||font-size: 48px;||line-height: 48px;”]
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News from the Provost

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We invite faculty, students, staff and community members to join the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity for our fall signature events! Find out more about these events on our website, in this newsletter and by following us on Twitter.

September

This month, join the African American Cultural Center for Harambee, our annual welcome reception. Meet up with friends or make some new ones at this NC State traditional year-opening event, which will be held on Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in Witherspoon Student Center, Room 126.

On Friday, September 8, 2017, attend the National Coalition Building Institute’s foundational all-day prejudice reduction workshop, “Strengthening Leadership in Diverse Communities.” Taught by facilitators from NC State’s nationally recognized NCBI chapter affiliate team, the workshop has been called a life-changing experience by many participants. Please register online. There will be a second offering of this workshop on Friday, November 10, 2017.

The Women’s Center’s annual Chocolate Festival for Breast Cancer Research will be held on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the State Ballroom of Talley Student Union. Purchase tickets online before they sell out!

Also in September, the popular Equal Opportunity Institute begins orientation for its year-long certificate program of diversity, equity and inclusion workshops. The program is free for faculty, staff and students and open for a small fee to the general public. Check the EOI website for availability; space is limited.

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Latinx Heritage Month kicks off with keynote speaker Marisol Jimenez, social justice activist, consultant and facilitator in the areas of education, immigrant justice, workers rights, youth leadership development, health and the environment. This event will be held from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Coastal Ballroom, Talley Student Union.

October

Also during Latinx Heritage Month, join Multicultural Student Affairs for Salsabor, a celebration of Latinx culture. You won’t want to miss this vibrant and fun-filled evening on Friday, October 13, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at McKimmon Center.

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Women’s Center will present keynote speaker Dr. Lorraine D. Acker, director of the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center at Iowa State University, on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Ballroom, Talley Student Union.

During GLBT History Month, join us for a screening and discussion of the triple-Oscar-winning film Moonlight on October 19, 2017 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. in Witherspoon Student Center, Room 126.

NC State’s annual Diversity Education Week will take place from October 23-27, 2017. Diversity Education Week, or DEW, brings a wealth of diversity programs during one full week, sponsored by organizations from all across NC State. A highlight of this week will be the Diversity Dialogue at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 23, 2017 in Witherspoon Cinema. Watch for the calendar of events and speaker announcement coming soon.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the GLBT Center will present a GLBT History Month lecture titled, “Evolution of Legal Protections for the GLBT Community” from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Talley Student Union, Room 3222.

November

Come help kick off Native American Heritage Month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Coastal Ballroom of Talley Student Union on November 1, 2017. Join us later in the month for Native American Culture Night on November 14, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Coastal Ballroom.

The African American Cultural Center invites you to attend the Ebony Fashion Fair Empowering African Women on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Witherspoon Student Center, Room 126 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

The Women’s Center will hold a Women of Color Retreat on November 10-11, 2017. Please register online for this event.

Trans Awareness Week includes our annual observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year, join us in Wolf Plaza on Monday, November 20, 2017 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (rain location, Talley Student Union, Room 3222).

December

Wrap up the semester with two special events, the Kwanzaa Celebration on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Piedmont Ballroom, Talley Student Union, and the Multicultural Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in the Coastal Ballroom.

Stay tuned in December for an announcement of the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Campus-Wide Celebration speaker. This event will be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the Piedmont Ballroom.

Find these and more events on the OIED Calendar.

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This post was originally published in Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).

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Staff <![CDATA[NC State Named 2017 HEED Award Recipient]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470856 2017-09-25T20:01:29Z 2017-09-07T15:25:08Z [et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” global_module=”427497″ fullwidth=”on” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#ffffff” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off”][et_pb_fullwidth_code global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”OIED News Title” custom_css_main_element=”padding-top: 50px;”]<span style=”text-align:center;font:150px;font-weight:bold”><h1>Diversity<span style=”color:#cc0000″> News</span></h1></span>[/et_pb_fullwidth_code][et_pb_fullwidth_menu global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”OIED Menu” menu_id=”553″ background_color=”#ffffff” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” submenu_direction=”downwards” fullwidth_menu=”off” dropdown_menu_animation=”fade”] [/et_pb_fullwidth_menu][et_pb_fullwidth_code global_parent=”427497″ admin_label=”Light Rule”]<hr style=”width:1080px; color:#f2f2f2;”>[/et_pb_fullwidth_code][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label=”Section” fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” transparent_background=”off” background_color=”#ffffff” allow_player_pause=”off” inner_shadow=”off” parallax=”off” parallax_method=”off” padding_mobile=”off” make_fullwidth=”off” use_custom_width=”off” width_unit=”on” make_equal=”off” use_custom_gutter=”off”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_post_title admin_label=”Post Title” title=”on” meta=”off” author=”on” date=”on” categories=”off” comments=”off” featured_image=”off” featured_placement=”below” parallax_effect=”on” parallax_method=”on” text_orientation=”left” text_color=”dark” text_background=”off” text_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.9)” module_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)” title_text_color=”#cc0000″ title_all_caps=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” custom_css_post_title=”font-family: UniversLight;||font-size: 48px;||line-height: 48px;”] [/et_pb_post_title][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″][et_pb_image admin_label=”Main Article Image Here” src=”https://oied.ncsu.edu/home/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Grad_cheers.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”left” sticky=”off” align=”left” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_post_title admin_label=”Author/Date” title=”off” meta=”on” author=”on” date=”on” categories=”off” comments=”off” featured_image=”off” featured_placement=”below” parallax_effect=”on” parallax_method=”on” text_orientation=”left” text_color=”dark” text_background=”off” text_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.9)” module_bg_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)” title_all_caps=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” meta_font=”|on|||”] [/et_pb_post_title][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″][et_pb_text admin_label=”PROVOST NEWS” global_module=”461174″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” header_font=”|on|||” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” custom_css_main_element=”font-family: UniversLight;||font-size: 18px;||line-height: 28.8px;” saved_tabs=”all”]

News from the Provost

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HEED Award 2017 logoNC State has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The HEED Award is the only national recognition honoring colleges and universities that show an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses.

This year, 80 institutions received the award. In 2016, 83 institutions were selected for the honor. In its 2016 report of award recipients, publisher Lenore Pearlstein stated, “Every year, as our applicant pool grows, we continue to set higher standards for the schools we select as award recipients. Each must demonstrate a strong and ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion through innovative programs and practices, training, curricula, on-campus support systems and much more.”

Recipients range from public to private, four-year institutions, community colleges, law schools, college districts and systems, research institutions, religiously affiliated schools and federally designated minority-serving institutions.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Pearlstein. “We take a holistic approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus.”

NC State will be featured, along with 79 other recipients, in the November 2017 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Other North Carolina recipients of the 2017 award include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Wilmington and East Carolina University. This is the second time NC State has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

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This post was originally published in Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).

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University Communications <![CDATA[NSF I-Corps Site Boosts Commercialization]]> https://news.ncsu.edu/?p=470877 2017-09-07T15:06:28Z 2017-09-07T15:06:18Z NC State has received a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to advance the commercialization of research discoveries. This five-year award will be used by the Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures to establish the NC State I-Corps site.

The I-Corps program was created by NSF in 2011 to teach university scientists and engineers how to apply lean startup methods for bringing university-developed products and services to the marketplace. With funding provided by the program and the support and mentorship provided by the site, researchers and students are able to broaden their focus beyond the laboratory by conducting extensive market research and learning from potential customers to identify product-market fit.

NC State’s I-Corps site will open this fall and will train three cohorts per year. Each cohort will include 10 teams and each team can receive up to $3,000 in funding as they progress through the training.

Each commercialization team will include an entrepreneurial lead, an academic lead and a mentor. Teams that successfully complete the program are eligible to apply for the NSF’s I-Corps national program to receive up to $50,000 of additional funding to continue their projects.

“This is an exciting time at NC State – the combination of interest in entrepreneurial activity among faculty and students and the development of resources to support them provide the momentum to make NC State’s I-Corps site highly successful,” says Kelly Sexton, assistant vice chancellor for technology commercialization and new ventures. “This site will enable us to capitalize on the rising interest in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship across campus by providing the I-Corps experience for our university innovators.”

The site will be led by Wade Fulghum, director of new ventures. Collaborators in the NC State I-Corps site include faculty from the Poole College of Management’s TEC program.

Visit the site to learn more and to apply for the fall 2017 cohort.

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