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. We encourage you to learn about our history in this special-edition book Celebrating 100 Years designed by NC State Industrial Design alumna, Rebecca Ross in the spring of 2024.

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 celebrated our 100th anniversary, and it was a celebration to remember.

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 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 from 1924 to 1928 from $1M to over $5M, 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.”

Engineering Building I: Then and Now

Relive our 100-Year Celebration

Thursday, April 4, 2024

13th annual Davis Lecture presenting Hiroshi Amano
MSE 100-Year Student Social

Friday, April 5, 2024

MSE 100-Year Research Symposium
MSE 100-Year Student Showcase
MSE 100-Year Hall of Fame
MSE 100-Year Hall of Fame