NC State and IBM: A 30-Year Partnership

NC State and IBM leadership at the NC State-IBM Q Hub announcement event May 11, 2018.

For more than three decades, NC State University and IBM have worked together across research, education and advanced technology development, solving complex problems for economic and societal benefit. The collaboration has yielded breakthroughs in cloud computing, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, renewable energy, advanced networking and healthcare IT.

NC State has been a top provider of new graduates to IBM over the years, often the number one or two supplier. Since 1984, IBM support to NC State has totaled more than $30 million, including sponsored research, student and faculty fellowships, equipment donations and more.

Here’s a look back at some of the milestones in this university-industry partnership.


NC State faculty members Carl Meyer and Tim Kelley in 1985, with IBM employee and former faculty member Bob Plemmons. IBM donates an IBM 4361 mainframe computer to NC State’s Department of Mathematics.
  • Some of the first advanced networking and network-based visualization and multimedia experiments, over ATM and Ethernet, are done at NC State in collaboration with IBM scientists and researchers.
  • Some of the first long-range multimedia and 3D video over Internet 2 is done through NC State’s Multimedia Laboratory, established with an IBM donation. This leads to extensive research and open source products in the domain of network-based education.




NC State’s Dr. Mladen Vouk and Samuel Averitt accept the 2007 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate medal for the Virtual Computing Laboratory project.
  • NC State and IBM develop the first academic production-level cloud technology and implementation – the NC State Virtual Computing Laboratory (VCL). VCL has been offering production-level services at NC State since 2004. The cloud technology is now an open source product with worldwide acceptance.
  • Over the years, IBM becomes a member of several of NC State’s interdisciplinary research centers, including Center for Innovation Management Studies, Precision Engineering Center, Electronic Power Research Center, Center for Advanced Computing and Communication, and Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering Institute.
  • NC State and IBM collaborations yield breakthroughs in cloud computing, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, renewable energy, advanced networking and healthcare IT.


Students collaborate in the IBM Education Innovation Center on Centennial Campus.
  • In 2011, current IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty, who was then senior vice president at IBM, visits NC State and speaks to students as part of the company’s 100th anniversary celebration.
  • In 2016, the IBM Education Innovation Center opens, a collaboration space on Centennial Campus for NC State students and faculty and IBM employees to solve complex challenges.
  • In 2018, IBM announces that NC State will be the first university-based IBM Quantum Computing Hub in North America.
Learn more about the IBM Q Hub at NC State

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.