Analyze the problem.

Flora With Fortitude

Earth’s future? It’s sure to include rising temperatures, a growing population, and a dwindling supply of farmable land. To thrive in that harsh world, humans will need a sustainable food source. At NC State, researchers in plant biology, computer engineering, and environmental engineering are seeking ways to bolster crops. They’re using Big Data to search for characteristics that help plants survive harsh climates and nutrient shortages.

The goal is to create computer models that can show farmers how to breed and feed plants that will thrive in the most extreme conditions.


Apply your ideas.

Logistics, Untwisted

Basic geometry: a straight line is the shortest distance between point A and point B. But what happens when point A is a research lab in New England, point B is a patient’s room in a rural hospital, and the supply chain carrying new treatments from one to the other includes a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, physicians, salespeople and health care executives? With so many stops, even the straightest line makes for a complicated, difficult trip.

The students and faculty in NC State’s supply chain management program are helping industry partners find and strengthen the weak links in their supply chains. By applying NC State insights, our partners eliminate waste, save money and speed solutions to their customers. That’s one reason our program is ranked sixth in the nation.

Think and Do

Put solutions to work.

Smart Grid Solutions

The relationship between energy users and the energy grid is straightforward enough. Power companies produce electricity. Homeowners, businesses and others consume it. But researchers at NC State’s FREEDM Systems Center are building a smart-grid infrastructure that will redefine that relationship, regulating surges to prevent blackouts, making solar energy more attainable, and empowering users to sell power back to the system.

In our smart-grid work, thought and action collide. Ideas develop in quiet contemplation or group conversation and undergo rigorous testing in the lab and field. They yield elegant, effective solutions like the solid-state smart transformer, an NC State innovation that was named one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2011.

Results That Work

Whether they’re developing stable food sources, refining supply chains, or building tomorrow’s energy grid, NC State’s researchers marry thinking with doing. They’re confronting the challenges that will define our future. And their work yields powerful results: 800+ U.S. patents, 260+ consumer products, 100+ spin-off companies employing thousands in North Carolina and across the country.

NC State. Think and do.

Share Our Story

The Radio Spots

How do you solve society’s problems? By putting practical ideas into meaningful action. At NC State, our faculty and students develop creative solutions, test them rigorously, and put them to work in the real world. Hear how:

Download a transcript of this audio file.