AREVA Commits $2 Million to EPIC at UNC Charlotte
April 20, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C., APRIL 20, 2012 – AREVA, Inc. today announced more than $2 million in financial support for the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte.
EPIC is a partnership between UNC Charlotte, state and local governments, and corporations, including several energy companies with major footprints in the Charlotte area. AREVA has nearly 600 employees working in the Charlotte area on a variety of clean-energy projects.
The announcement came at a news conference in downtown Charlotte attended by top university and company officials. The total commitment from AREVA includes various types of support, including funding for scholarships, programs and equipment.
Critical to training new engineers and conducting research in energy technologies, EPIC will serve the diverse needs of existing and new energy companies, further positioning Charlotte as the nation’s energy hub.
“We are pleased to work with UNC Charlotte in advancing the critical need of continuing to invest in the next generation of engineering talent and to aid in advancing engineering research,” said Michael Rencheck, chief executive officer of AREVA. “AREVA’s commitment to Charlotte and connection to the university runs deep, and we look forward to a continued partnership.”
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois said commitments from companies such as AREVA are vital to the future success of EPIC. The commitment follows other multimillion-dollar pledges from regional energy companies, including Duke Energy, Siemens Energy and Westinghouse.
“With these investments in engineering education and research, UNC Charlotte is staking its claim to the future of energy production,” he said. “That’s great news for our energy production sector, the regional economy, and the community.”
According to the company, AREVA hired twice as many new engineers from UNC Charlotte in 2009-2010 than from any other North Carolina university.
The first classes will be taught this fall in the EPIC building. Dozens of faculty members are teaching the engineers and technicians of the future in such specialties as power engineering and smart grid, renewable energy systems, power plant design and manufacturing and energy infrastructure development.
The university also is hiring new faculty with expertise in other critical areas.
“EPIC is certainly much more than an academic building. It’s a catalyst for economic development and a shining example of how business and industry can come to the University as a reliable source of technical expertise,” said Dubois.
EPIC is headquartered in a new $76 million building on the Charlotte Research Institute campus. EPIC also will further position Charlotte as the nation’s energy capital because of more than 240 energy-oriented organizations and more than 26,000 energy-oriented employees in its 16 counties.
“EPIC was created in response to an industry need for highly trained engineers qualified to meet the demands of the energy industry – through traditional and continuing education, and provide sustainable support to the Carolina energy industry by increasing capacity and support for applied research,” said Johan Enslin, director of EPIC and the Duke Energy Distinguished Chair in Power Engineering Systems. “Because of generous contributions such as this, we are able to produce graduates who fully grasp the needs of this vital industry.”
The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte is a collaborative industry/education effort to produce the nation’s most qualified energy engineering workforce and be a partner in technology research for the global energy industry. This cross-discipline initiative in the William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte includes Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Technology. Find EPIC at: http://epic.uncc.edu
AREVA provides its customers with solutions for low-carbon power generation in North America and all over the world. As the leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, AREVA combines U.S. and Canadian leadership, access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. Sustainable development is a core component of AREVA’s strategy. Its more than 5,000 U.S. and Canadian employees work every day to make AREVA a responsible industrial player helping to supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA Inc. is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Visit us at http://us.areva.com or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/AREVAinc.
UNC Charlotte: Paul Nowell, 704-687-5828, 704-582-9250 (c); firstname.lastname@example.org
AREVA, Inc: Michael French, 301-841-1702, 240-515-5339 (c); Michael.email@example.com