100 years

The roots of NC State MSE began in 1923 with the cross-discipline Engineering Experiment Station, which led to the creation of the Ceramic Engineering Department in 1924.

Founder of our Department

The first Ceramics Engineering Program in the southeast was established at NC State University in June 1923, and became a degree-granting department in 1924. On April 4-5, 2024, we will celebrate our 100th anniversary and this is a celebration to remember.

Stay tuned to this page for more information on events and dates!

Under the leadership of Dr. E.C. Brooks, president of NC State College, Arthur Frederick (A.F. Greaves-Walker developed the department as the first of its kind in the American South, and was “established primarily to promote the ceramic industries of North Carolina and to thus provide plants in which its graduates may find employment,” as well as to “train natives of the State for the ceramic industries as they developed.”

In his first years leading Ceramic Engineering, Dr. Greaves-Walker focused on surveying the ceramic mineral deposits in western North Carolina and supporting “the few infant industries that were attempting to use these materials.”

As a result of this work, investment in ceramic plants increased in the years 1924-1928 from $1 million to over $5 million, with the most notable development in the feldspar industry. Enrollment in the program increased from 5 students in 1924 to 50 students in 1930. Graduates of the department during these early years found employment primarily in the areas of “structural clay products, glass, refractories, insulating materials, gypsum, cement, white wares, iron and steel enameled ware, and sanitary ware.”

Groundbreaking of Engineering Building I, 2002

Left-Right: Daniel Leonard (staff ’92-’08), Ray Benson (faculty ’68-’05), John Hren (dept head ’85-’90), Hans Conrad (dept head ’81-’85), Mark Johnson (faculty ’02-’18), Carl Koch (faculty emeritus ’83-’23), Maury Balik (faculty emeritus ’82-’22), Hayne Palmour (faculty ’61-’95), Donald Brenner (current dept head), Jay Narayan (current faculty), Mike Riggsbee (dept head ’98-’09), Phillip Russell (faculty ’86-’16), and Dick Parham (staff ’92-’10)

Engineering Building 1 today


NC State MSE will share images and stories from students and alumni on our website and social channels!
Share your stories from your time in MSE by March 2024.

Your Stories

Share your Department of Materials Science and Engineering memories and help us celebrate 100 years of NC State MSE.

ICYMI: 2023 Joint MSE Alumni Celebration

Alumni at the 2023 MS&T Conference Columbus, Ohio area were invited to a joint-institution celebration on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.