Charlotte and EPIC: A Powerful Energy Partnership

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The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center has been in operation for more than a decade and is a centerpiece of the region’s exponential growth within the energy industry. Offering a collaborative industry/academic partnership, EPIC produces a technical workforce and advancements in technology while supporting the Carolinas’ multi-state economic and energy security.

“Several years ago, local leaders became concerned about a potential workforce crisis in energy engineering,” said Rob Keynton, dean of The William States Lee College of Engineering. “Needing all disciplines of engineers, including civil, mechanical and systems as well as electrical, they asked the College to help. We not only met their need, but created a transformational center to aid in applied research and power the region’s future.”

In partnership with more than 250 regional corporations that include Duke Energy, Siemens, Framatome, Westinghouse, and the Electric Power Research Institute, EPIC is meeting the needs of these organizations through the expansion of focused academics. In addition to interdisciplinary graduate and certificate programs, the Center now offers an energy concentration for undergraduate students. EPIC also has an active board of advisors and unique industry partnership program.

EPIC encompasses seven major laboratories, where faculty and industry partners work on interdisciplinary research in five primary verticals:

  • Energy Infrastructure

  • Energy Systems Management

  • Environment & Construction

  • Power & Energy Conditioning

  • Precision Manufacturing

“EPIC showcases the continued impact of the University’s engagement efforts with the local energy industry. The center advances interdisciplinary research in energy and prepares future leaders for the energy industry,” said UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden. “Through these partnerships, UNC Charlotte is supplying well-educated and highly trained engineers qualified to meet the demands of the industry. We are uniquely positioned to meet the Charlotte region’s energy demands and through these efforts are a driving force of economic development for the region and state.”

The Charlotte Region: A power hub supporting collaborative innovation for industry solutions

  • 260+ Energy-related companies accounting for 11.7% of the region’s economy
  • 39 Power plants in the 16 counties, with 2 Nuclear reactors, 12 solar plants, and 5 biomass plants
  • 10-year projected growth rate in energy occupations in the region averages 22%
  • 6 times the national average employed in turbine and battery manufacturing