From the Dean

From the Dean

Welcome to the Wilson College of Textiles: The Global Leader in Textile Education, Discovery and Innovation

Dr. David Hinks, Dean, Wilson College of Textiles
Dr. David Hinks, Dean, Wilson College of Textiles; Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry

I am proud and privileged to welcome you to the Wilson College of Textiles. We are a unique, diverse and interdisciplinary College with a vision to be the recognized global leader in textile education and discovery of new knowledge. We strive every day with a mission to use new knowledge to empower our students to succeed and to inspire all our stakeholders to improve our world through new innovative textile designs, products, processes and service.

We are deliberate in our focus on inspiring a passion for life-long learning and innovation in all who engage with our College family, whether full or part-time student, industry, government or academic partner, friend, or one of our remarkable 9,000+ living alumni, and whether physically on campus or engaging virtually through our growing global online presence.

Today, the U.S. textiles industry is resurgent and increasingly innovative. Textiles innovation involves the deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative to derive greater value from fiber-based materials, and includes all processes by which new ideas lead to useful products. With a strong education and research base, through innovation our students, faculty, staff and partners drive positive change in our world, enabled by what we do best: TEXTILES.

Our students and partners have access to the remarkable assets of NC State University, the largest university in the great state of North Carolina and currently ranked 1st nationally in technology licenses, 5th in start-up companies and 7th in industry research. As one of the smallest Colleges at NC State we are proud of our strong record, tight knit family community and our ability to serve the entire textiles value chain from design through production and marketing. We Think and Do textiles every day!

Educate. Discover. Innovate.

Our passion is to inspire life-long learning in everyone with whom we connect. We know that our students, faculty, staff and partners are most fulfilled and productive when they are free to use their strong educational foundation to imagine and apply their creative talents to serve a local or global societal need. While most of our graduates enable North Carolina’s economic prosperity by starting their careers in our state in textiles or a related field, many go on to pursue a wide range of careers throughout the United States and the world. An increasing number pursue professional degrees such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law, as well as master’s and doctoral graduate research.  As our Core Values show, we are committed to a safe, welcoming and creative environment.

Our Values Drive Student Success

At the heart of our mission is to empower the success of our students, not only through formal class and laboratory instruction, but also by development of key soft skills that make a career-ready graduate: leadership, teamwork, communications skills, critical and design thinking, entrepreneurship, and awareness of global cultures. In this way we enable professional and personal growth. Student success enables us to serve our land-grant mission of aiding the economic prosperity of the great state of North Carolina and beyond, and engaging in addressing the grand challenges of our global society.

We know from experience that our students are the future leaders of society. Our alumni have grown into major leaders of change, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CEO of the largest yarn producer in the world, Tony Award winning designer, US Senator, Commandant of the North Carolina National Guard, peace corps volunteers, fighter pilots in the US Air Force and other distinguished military service women and men, medical doctors, renowned faculty members at universities throughout the world, and entrepreneurs, one of whom has seen success on the TV show, Shark Tank!

iSTEAM | The Leader in Textiles Innovation in Steam Disciplines

We are the only College in the world with a set of interwoven bachelor of science-based textile degree programs incorporating all STEAM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, and all with an action to innovate.

INNOVATION | Preparing career ready graduates with a passion for innovation.

STEAM  | Polymer & Color Chemistry

STEAM | Textile Technology

STEAM | Textile Engineering

STEAM | Fashion & Textile Design / Management

STEAM | All B.S. degrees in the Wilson College of Textiles

At the graduate level, we offer multiple graduate certificates, five master’s degrees (two of which are available online), and two interdisciplinary PhD programs: Fiber and Polymer Science, and Textile Technology Management.  About 25 percent of our students are graduate students and they hail from over six continents. For this first time in our 116-year history, we recently passed the 100 mark in enrolled doctoral students.

Through active advising and mentoring, NC State Textiles students are prepared for impactful careers in the fiber, textile, retail, and many other arenas and have a passion and capability for innovative action.

Serving a Vibrant Textiles Industry That is on the Move

We often hear that the textiles industry in the United States is waning.  Today, that is simply not the case. With consistently more than 90 percent career placement shortly after graduation with the help of our connected faculty and staff, and outstanding career services program, we are not at capacity when it comes to student career placement.  Nationwide there has been capital investment in textiles of over $2.5 billion in the last two years, generating more than 4,000 jobs. With greater than $50 billion in textiles shipments and $18 billion in textiles exports (up 45 percent since 2009), and greater than $250 billion in retail apparel sales, the US is a highly attractive place to engage in textiles education and innovation. North Carolina leads the nation in manufacture of textile components with billions of dollars in sales. The textiles industry is emerging as a model for innovation with an increasing number of international companies looking to re-invest in the United States. Our industry is on the move and our College is on the move with it. We are helping to shape the textiles industry of the future.

Our unique professional training and pilot production facilities enable our students and partners to learn and develop skills in an environment that spans the laboratory, design studio, and model production facilities that cut across the entire textile supply chain. With the combination of our almost 70 research and teaching laboratories, active one-on-one mentoring in undergraduate and graduate research, remarkable study and work abroad and international service learning opportunities, our students graduate with a highly differentiated educational experience. They are ready to improve the world. And many do so with low or no student debt due to our incredible scholarship and fellowship programs.

Investing in our Students Through Scholarships and Fellowships

We are so grateful to have the remarkably strong backing of the North Carolina Textile Foundation. It’s sole mission is to promote the success of the Wilson College of Textiles, through merit scholarships to students, recruitment of the best faculty in the world, and assistance with establishing and maintaining the best facilities of any academic institution anywhere.  Comprising remarkable alumni and friends, the NCTF provides more scholarships per student than any other college at NC State.

Think and Do Textiles

We Think and Do Textiles every day and are glad that you are visiting us virtually. We hope you will soon set foot on our award winning Centennial Campus and walk through the doors of our College to see for yourself our state-of-the-art facilities, with approximately 60 award winning and internationally renowned faculty members from five continents, 70 dedicated and highly trained staff serving our two academic departments, our Zeis Textile Extension center, The Nonwovens Institute, the Textile Protection & Comfort Center, the Forensic Sciences Institute, and 70 research and teaching laboratories, all housed in our state-of-the-art custom-designed five-story, 200,000 square feet dedicated textiles complex.

We look forward to showing why The Wilson College of Textiles is a special place, full of Pack Pride.

Go Pack!

David Hinks

Dean, Wilson College of Textiles