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  • Retired General Named Executive Director of PowerAmerica


    A retired U.S. Army Major General has been named the new executive director of PowerAmerica, the public-private power electronics manufacturing institute that will be located on NC State’s Centennial Campus.

    Nick Justice will replace Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor of the Centennial Campus Partnership Office, who has served as interim director since last January.

    “We are extremely pleased to have someone of Gen. Justice’s stature and experience running the institute,” said Mladen Vouk, interim vice chancellor of research, innovation and economic development. “He brings real-world operational experience to the table and is just the right person to drive this critically important effort forward.”

    In his 41-year Army career, Justice has led a number of different initiatives. He commanded the United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) and the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Prior to serving as RDECOM commanding general, Justice was the Program Executive Officer for the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications Tactical at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. His tours of duty also include Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Justice’s numerous awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Army Staff Identification Badge. In 2009 he was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

    Justice retired from military service in 2012.

    President Barak Obama announced the power manufacturing institute when he visited NC State last January. The goal of PowerAmerica is to drive down the costs of and build America’s manufacturing leadership in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics. These semiconductors operated at high temperatures, frequencies and voltages, which will help eliminate 90 percent of the power losses in electricity conversion compared to current technology. That in turn means that power electronics can be smaller because they need fewer semiconductor chips.

    The institute is scheduled to open an office on Centennial Campus in 2015. 



     

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