GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina A&T State University and state leaders officially opened the new engineering complex Thursday, cutting a ribbon outside the $90 million facility.
The Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex is named in honor of the university’s current chancellor.
“It’s exciting to students. It’s exciting to top faculty. It helps us to grow our enrollment, grow research, grow faculty recruitment and build significant numbers of corporate partners,” Chancellor Harold Martin told FOX8.
The facility boasts 130,000 square feet of open concept laboratories, classrooms, and cutting-edge technology.
“Students coming here will now be able to take part in these different opportunities to learn, innovate. We have a lot of things students will be able to do like self-driving cars, autonomy,” said Malkam Hawkins, who serves as president of the National Society of Black Engineers on campus.
The complex has spaces for students to fly drones indoors and labs where they work with humanoid robots able to walk, wave and bow.
“We’ve understood the needs of the industries today, and we are investing in forward-thinking research labs and scientific equipment,” Chancellor Martin said.
Following two major economic announcements in the Triad, the Toyota battery plant and Boom Supersonic at Piedmont Triad International Airport, Chancellor Martin said the facility plays a role in preparing students for jobs in technology.
“We matter as part of producing graduates but also the research we do, the innovation we do, are all relevant to those companies as global technology drivers,” he explained.
The building will serve 2,300 students in the College of Engineering.
University officials thanked voters for approving the Connect NC bond in 2016 that funded the complex.