Category Archives: Technology and Computer Science

ECU students meet pharmaceutical reps, discuss jobs

ECU students enjoyed an opportunity to meet with pharmaceutical company representatives during an open house on campus. (Photos by Margaret Turner, ECU College of Technology and Computer Science)

ECU students enjoyed the opportunity to meet with pharmaceutical company representatives during an open house on campus. (Photos by Margaret Turner, ECU College of Technology and Computer Science)

A pharmaceutical open house on campus provided assistance to ECU students in networking and securing jobs upon graduation.

The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry and the College of Technology and Computer Science cohosted the pharmaceutical open house Sept. 25 in the Science and Technology Building.

Dr. John C. Sutherland, interim dean of Harriot College, and Dr. David White, dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science, presented introductory remarks at the event, which was attended by more than 87 ECU students and alumni. Both encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity before them, with the first event of this type being offered.

“There are many great employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical field for our graduates,” White said.  He further encouraged students to “seek out opportunities for internships and co-ops to best prepare for these great jobs.”

Representatives in attendance from pharmaceutical companies across eastern North Carolina included DSM (Greenville); Hospira (Rocky Mount); Metrics (Greenville); PCI: Pharmaceutical Calibrations and Instrumentation, LLC (multiple locations); Purdue Pharma, L.P. (Wilson); Sequence, Inc. (multiple locations); The West Company (Kinston); and Novo Nordisk (Clayton).

Students were able to meet with the various representatives, ask questions, present their resumes and participate in impromptu interviews.

“We want to help students find jobs that will further their careers and also keep them in North Carolina,” said David Harrawood, event organizer. “ECU has a tremendous impact on the economic development of eastern NC. Offering an event such as this displays our commitment to furthering that development across our region.”

Dr. Rickey Hicks, chair of the Department of Chemistry, said, “Overall, the company representatives said they were very happy with the training, experience and professionalism of ECU’s students. They had their resumes, asked good questions and were engaged in the process.”

“The event was a great success. Our students gained valuable experience through the interview process and learned about potential career opportunities in eastern North Carolina.”

An open house on campus helped students meet with potential employers in the pharmaceutical industry.

An open house on campus helped students meet with potential employers in the pharmaceutical industry.

ECU students take construction management skills to Vegas


An ECU team from construction management traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters’ Residential Construction Management Competition.


Six construction management students from East Carolina University competed this January in the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters’ Residential Construction Management Competition in Las Vegas.

The event is part of the annual International Builder’s Show.

To participate, each chapter’s team was asked to design a residential development of a piece of land that spanned 118 acres, and included a portion that was zoned for commercial use. They were asked to develop a plan for acquiring financing to purchase the land, prepare a construction budget and schedule, a marketing and risk analysis and a project site and land development plan. Green building initiatives were also to be considered.

The juniors and seniors representing ECU were Brandon Haddock, Brantlee Jobe, Matthew Lorbacher, Chris Pecorino, Collin Silverthorne, and Kaitlyn Umphlet.

The students spent hundreds of hours during the fall semester – including time during their holiday break – meeting the project guidelines and designing a presentation for the competition. They consulted with a local developer and engineers to get feedback on their proposal.

After arriving in Las Vegas, the team presented their design proposal before a panel of five judges who are currently top contractors and developers from across the nation. Every team member had to speak before the panel.

“It was a great real-world learning experience that you can’t always get in a classroom,” said senior Matthew Lorbacher. “It showed me how competitive it is in this business and how important it is to have every detail correct.”

The ECU team placed 13th out of 31 schools. It was first team to compete for ECU in more than two years.

College of Technology and Computer Science’s industry partner Caterpillar Inc. helped pay for the students’ travel costs. Ron Sessoms, team advisor and teaching instructor in the Department of Construction Management accompanied them on the trip.

“The experience is unbelievable for these students” Sessoms said. “In the designing of the project, they extend the knowledge of what they have learned in the classroom.”

“Competitions are great learning experiences for our students,” agreed Dr. David White, dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science. “We are proud that our team carried on the tradition of excellence and leadership that is associated with construction management at ECU. “

The students did enjoy one day of leisure while in the Las Vegas area. They traveled to see the Hoover Dam – a famous example of a massive construction project.

ECU names department chair for Technology Systems

Mohammed mug


The College of Technology and Computer Science at ECU has named Dr. Tijjani (TJ) Mohammed as the chair for the Department of Technology Systems (formerly the Department of Industrial Technology).

Mohammed has been employed as a faculty member of East Carolina University for 16 years. He most recently served as the interim chair of the department for two and a half years.

He has served in various other capacities, including as graduate advisor for several master’s and PhD students, and as coordinator for the Digital Communications and Computer Networking Management concentrations and the Computer Network Professional Graduate Certificate program.

“I was surprised and humbled that I was one of the faculty’s top picks for the chair position,” Mohammed said. “It is very exciting to work in a department that has houses accessible technology programs in high-demand fields that directly impact regional and statewide economic development.”

Mohammed received his B.S. in Technical Education from the University of Central Missouri, an M.S. in Electronics and Computer Technology from Indiana State University, and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Education from Texas A&M.  He has a strong history of collaboration on a variety of externally funded projects and on a number of publications in information and computer technology and related areas.

Fifty businesses expected at ECU networking event

ECU engineering student Barbara Sage is shown installing components for a heart metering device she is building in an ECU class. Engineering students are among those urged to take advantage of the networking event on campus. (Photo by Jay Clark)

ECU engineering student Barbara Sage is shown installing components for a heart metering device she built in class. Engineering students are among those urged to take advantage of the Feb. 20 networking event on campus. (Photo by Jay Clark)


The College of Technology and Computer Science at East Carolina University will host an Employer & Student Networking Day from noon-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in Harvey Hall at the Murphy Center.

Approximately 50 businesses are expected to attend the free, annual event. All undergraduate and graduate students are invited, particularly those pursuing a degree in the fields of computer science, engineering, construction management and technology systems.

Students are encouraged to research any companies they might be interested in working for before attending the event.

“We are committed to building…alliances between our college, our programs, and the business community,” said Dr. Leslie Pagliari, associate dean for academic affairs at the college.

Members of the business community will also have the chance to converse directly with faculty and college administrators during a lunch from noon-1:30 p.m. Students will arrive and can meet with company representatives from 1:30-4 p.m.

For additional information, contact Dr. Leslie Pagliari, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Technology and Computer Science at (252) 328-9663,; or David Harrawood, director of ECU’s Center for Innovation in Technology and Engineering, (252) 328-9654 or

Scholarships to support ECU technology systems students

Students in the East Carolina University Department of Technology Systems will benefit from a $10,000 scholarship award donation by the Grainger Foundation.

David White, dean of the ECU College of Technology and Computer Science, said the affected academic programs serve approximately 1,000 students in several majors, all of which are critical to promoting economic development in the region and beyond.  Scholarship priority will be given to students majoring in industrial distribution and logistics, he said.

“We support collaborative efforts with our local partners to promote student success and provide the talent that industry needs to compete in the global economy.  We are grateful to The Grainger Foundation for its generosity,” White said.

The donation was recommended by Neil Zingler, branch manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s, Greenville location.  Grainger has been a part of the Greenville business community for more than 30 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products.

“We are proud to recommend the programs offered by ECU’s industrial distribution and logistics program,” Zingler said.  “We understand that one of the best ways to invest in our community is to contribute to the education of our workforce.  We are excited to partner with ECU to help support and encourage the students for future success.”

For additional information about Grainger contact: Kristen Lawrence, communications manager, at

For further information about East Carolina University College of Technology and Computer Science, contact White at


Old Dominion funds software lab improvements

ECU students studying industrial distribution and logistics are trained in this lab on SAP software – a workflow management tool used at major corporations across the U.S. An endowment from Old Dominion Freight Lines will go toward purchasing more computers and other materials for this lab. (Contributed photo)

A gift from a national shipping corporation will ensure that more East Carolina University students studying industrial distribution and logistics enter the workforce with experience using a common software package.

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., based in Thomasville, provided the one-time endowment to enhance an existing lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science. Administrators and faculty will use the funding to purchase computers and other equipment needed to train more students in SAP.

Leslie Pagliari, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Technology and Computer Science, described SAP as the software most often used at Fortune 500 companies to manage everything from human resource allocation to purchasing to the supply chain and transportation.

Dr. David White

“Old Dominion’s thoughtful donation will give students a hands-on opportunity to learn software that is vital to the transportation and logistics industries,” said David White, dean of the College of Technology and Computer Science. “Ultimately, this experience will better prepare our students to become leaders in the software business.”

“Old Dominion and East Carolina University have a longstanding partnership,” said Ken Erdner, Old Dominion’s vice president of information system and technology. “The talented students studying technology and computer science at East Carolina University today are the next generation of stars in our industry, and we welcome the opportunity to help them excel in their studies.”

ECU’s Industrial Distribution and Logistics program is the only one of its kind that offers SAP training to graduates. Within a year, program administrators plan to offer a SAP Certificate of Completion.

Technology Systems collaborates with Beaufort County Community College

Beaufort County Community College students toured ECU's laboratory facilities in the Science and Technology Building as part of a visit to the ECU campus in February. (Contributed photo)

The Department of Technology Systems hosted faculty members and ten students from Beaufort County Community College Feb. 22. BCCC’s faculty member, Ben Cole, is a 2003 alumnus from the bachelor of science in industrial technology  program hosted in the Department of Technology Systems. The BSIT program is a degree completion program for graduates of an industrial or technical related associate in applied science degree.

The students are enrolled in one of the following AAS degrees: mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, and electronics engineering technology programs. Students received a Science and Technology building laboratory tour and information about ECU’s engineering and BSIT programs, which they may pursue when they complete their work at BCCC.

Tarboro firm supports students and facilities at East Carolina University

ECU Technology Systems professor Jim Linn, center, assists students Matthew Johnson, left, and Grover Black, standing, with learning about basic electricity. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Funding from Keihin Carolina Systems Technology will support both students and facilities at East Carolina University’s College of Technology and Computer Science.

A new $20,000 scholarship fund from K-CST will benefit students transferring into ECU’s technology and computer science programs from Edgecombe Community College.

Chris Eckhardt, vice president and chief operating officer of Keihin’s Tarboro manufacturing plant, established the fund to facilitate regional growth by helping students continue their education and remain employed locally.

“We intend to partner with both ECU and ECC to provide an educational pathway for students to pursue a technology-based education,” Eckhardt said.

The fund is intended for Edgecome County students who show interest and promise in engineering and technology. Recipients would first complete their associate’s degree from ECC, then transfer to complete a bachelor’s in either engineering, technology systems or computer science at ECU. The scholarship will support two students per semester and the first awards will be made in spring 2012 for the fall 2012 semester.

Keihin also funded a $100,000 endowment supporting an instructional and research laboratory that will provide cutting-edge technology and tools for the college’s faculty and students.

Technology and Computer Science Dean David White said, “It’s important to develop local resources for local companies.

“The college is committed to supporting economic development in eastern North Carolina and this generous gift will help develop existing regional talent, which may stay in the area to develop and grow new industries,” he said.


ECU master’s program ranked #1 in affordability

East Carolina University’s online master of science in technology systems degree program was ranked #1 best buy in comparable programs nationwide by

According to the site, the profiles reviewed 70 regionally accredited graduate schools that offer degrees in computer science or IT fields, ranking them by costs of tuition and distance learning fees. The average online master’s degree in computer science was $24,918. ECU’s cost was $5,070 for in-state residents and $20,790 for out-of-state residents.

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