New center for engineering students part of city's larger energy plan

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In a walk-through Tuesday at UNC Charlotte’s new home for engineering students, project leaders showed off what they hope will attract students to Charlotte and keep them there after graduation.

The classrooms, the labs and the equipment in the new Energy Production & Infrastructure Center are almost all ready.

Students like Jason Anderson are anxious to spend their work hours in a brand-new building. Anderson said the engineering program at UNC Charlotte will help him get a job.

The new space the university just built will help his fellow students get hands-on experience and prepare them for Charlotte's energy sector.

"All those companies are here,  and in order to create a workforce for them, the EPIC center is very important for that," Anderson said.

For months, Charlotte’s mayor has said that research and education are keys in making Charlotte an energy hub.

Dr. Johan Enslin said that is why the EPIC was built. They will teach students the skills local companies need and bring in people from the industry to teach and do research.

"We are trying to get students from regional schools, get them into the energy program and hopefully and probably they will stay," said Dr. Enslin, the director of EPIC.

Anderson is one of those local students and is proud his school is becoming known for energy.

"That's a big opportunity for a lot of people," Anderson said.

Officials said the EPIC is Gold LEED certified -- the second-best Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating used by the U.S. Green Building Council.  

To find out more about the EPIC, click here.