Western Carolina University, College of Applied Sciences
Center for Integrated Technologies
Western Carolina University (WCU) proposes the creation of a Center
for Integrated Technologies (CIT) to be located in the College of Applied
Sciences in Cullowhee. The creation of CIT will continue to support
the vision at Western to be a catalyst for promoting sustainable economic
development and growth in the western region of North Carolina.
The faculty and staff affiliated with CIT will provide a major focus
on education and research in the areas of photonics, network and telecommunication
technologies, and manufacturing (with a primary focus on rapid prototyping
and applied laser technology). Building and expanding on these technologies
will create excellent incentives for high technology companies to locate
in the western region of North Carolina, with Western Carolina University's
new Millennial Campus being an attractive destination.
CIT will promote a close collaborative partnership with faculty and
facility resources at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The UNC Charlotte Center for Optical Electronics and Optical Communication
will serve as a valuable resource for Western Carolina University faculty
and students working in photonics and networking and telecommunication
technology. This collaborative partnership will maximize the investment
of capital in equipment and facilities and avoid wasteful duplication.
This unique partnership between Western Carolina University and the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte will not only link the two
Centers together for collaborative work, but will open the door for
other collaborative efforts involving UNC Charlotte's Center for Precision
Metrology and the Center for Network and Information Security.
The collaborative work between the faculties will greatly enhance the
educational and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate
students from both institutions. Linking the activities of the two Centers
will also provide business and industry with access to knowledge resources
essential to high technology enterprises.
This partnership will allow both universities of higher learning to
foster joint faculty appointments and faculty exchanges, sharing of
facilities and equipment, and provide students from Western and UNC
Charlotte joint access to the resources of both institutions. This collaborative
effort will also create an environment for faculty members to explore
the potential of future opportunities for joint participation in proposal
development in funded research programs.
The three primary areas in which Western's Center for Integrated Technologies
will focus are Photonics, Network and Telecommunication Engineering
which will include both Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC),
Wireless Mobile Computing, and Manufacturing application expertise which
focuses on Stereo Lithography (Rapid Prototyping) and other applied
Center Outcomes will be:
- Technological workforce development for the western part of the
- Development and the application of new technologies to foster employment
and economic growth within the region,
- Curriculum development for higher education, business and industry,
- Opportunities for articulation agreements for Western Carolina students
wishing to enter graduate education programs in Engineering, Physics,
Information Technology at UNC Charlotte,
- Access to CIT faculty expertise and equipment for UNC Charlotte
faculty and students,
- A Technical Assistance Program (TAP) for linking faculty center
technical expertise to jump-start businesses and industries into the
integrating new technologies in the workplace,
- Certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to
help employees of high technology companies remain current in their