Skip to main content

Generous Wolfspeed Donation Enhances SciBridge Students


At NC State University, students and faculty have access to some of the most advanced research equipment available to push the boundaries of Materials Science. But many gifted students and minds can only contribute to advancing our field if they have equity. That’s why NC State Department of Materials Science and Engineering  (MSE) Associate Professor and Hooks Distinguished Scholar Veronica Augustyn decided to do what she could to help bridge this gap. And now, with Wolfspeed, Inc.’s help, Augustyn can help even more students.

Wolfspeed (formerly known as CREE) is an American developer and one of the leading manufacturers of wide-bandgap semiconductors. They have generously donated to SciBridge, Augustyn’s initiative to grow the scientific discussion between American and East African scientists.

Developed by Augustyn, SciBridge started in 2012 at the first National Science Foundation-funded Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI) workshop in Ethiopia. The JUAMI workshops aim to bring early career scientists together from the United States and East African countries to research materials for sustainable energy.

SciBridge students at the 2022 African MRS Conference. Pictured left to right: Saeed Saeed, Nicolas Muecke, Teddy Dano, Rachel Broughton and Allison Ebbert. (Photo credit: Veronica Augustyn)

In July 2022, NC State MSE and SciBridge leaders presented at the virtual Wolfspeed STEM Day. In addition to MSE ABM alumn Nicolas Muecke ‘23 and MSE graduate student Saeed Saeed, the following additional undergraduate SciBridge students participated in the Wolfspeed STEM Day: Teddy Dano (Chemical Engineering), Allison Ebbert (Civil Engineering), and Khing Masaya-anon (Biological and Agricultural Engineering).

“The cross-departmental team gave a virtual presentation about our SciBridge experiment projects to elementary-aged students in North Carolina,” says Rachel Broughton, a current MSE graduate student. “It was a great way to excite young kids about science and sustainability!”

“This generous gift represents the excitement and promise of SciBridge efforts with our partner universities in Africa,” says Augustyn. “It will provide meaningful collaboration opportunities for our students for the next several years.”

Wolfspeed’s donation of $5,000 will benefit the department by enabling students to attend conferences like the African Materials Research Society and continue developing outreach kits for SciBridge.

This story first appeared in Department of Materials Science and Engineering News.