Industry Tours

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Stormwater Engineering

Ever wonder where all of the rain goes once it falls? Consistently on the cutting edge of stormwater and green infrastructure research, design, and management, members of NC State’s Stormwater Engineering Group study and specialize in various fields including ecosystem services, Low Impact Development (LID) techniques (such as bioretention areas, blue roofs, permeable pavements, and regenerative stormwater conveyance), and developing metrics for success. Led by Dr. Bill Hunt, P.E., D. WRE, the Stormwater Group in the Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering works with numerous consulting firms, including Rally sponsors McAdams, Hazen and Sawyer and WK Dickson, along with state and municipal governments, through collaborative research and extension projects.

The area in and around NC State boasts a number of structural stormwater management practices. This tour will serve as a field trip to view a variety of measures (stormwater wetlands, biorention cells, swales, etc), discussing their design, installation and maintenance. Weather permitting, this will largely be a walking tour, so bring your comfy and sturdy shoes.

This tour will depart Weaver at 2:30 pm.

Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center

Founded to help establish, attract and expand biomanufacturing in North Carolina and thus drive innovation and job creation, the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) is located on NC State’s Centennial Campus and operates under the auspices of the College of Engineering. BTEC operates two facilities: the 82,500-gross-square-foot main building and the 5,000-gross-square-foot BTEC Annex in the Keystone Science Center. The two facilities feature more than $12.5 million of industry-standard equipment and a simulated cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) pilot plant facility capable of producing biopharmaceutical products using cell growth and expression, recovery and purification processes in a sterile environment.

Undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals come to BTEC for hands-on learning with the latest biomanufacturing technologies. This visit will include a tour of the facility and an opportunity to learn about the educational and research programs they offer.

This tour will depart Weaver at 3:45 pm.

Cotton Incorporated

As a not-for-profit, Cotton Incorporated does not manufacturer or sell any products. Instead it conducts research to benefit every link on the cotton supply chain and develops promotions that encourage the use and desirability of cotton and cotton products. Founded in 1970, following the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966, Cotton Incorporated adopted a “push/pull” marketing strategy. The objective was to “push” cotton textile innovations into the market through product and process development, while building consumer demand, or a “pull,” through advertising and promotion.

With their global headquarters in Cary, NC, Cotton Incorporated is helping the US cotton industry across its industry segments to meet the goal setting and sustainability task force initiatives developed by the National Cotton Council of America through research, education, outreach and extension. This visit will allow you to follow cotton from plant to product with a scaled down representation of the complete processing chain.

This tour will depart Weaver at 2:30 pm.


Büehler Aeroglide

Bühler Aeroglide manufactures dryers, ovens, roasters, toasters, and hot air expansion systems for the food, feed and industrial product markets. Since 1940, the company has been providing innovations for a better world in the form of high-quality thermal processing equipment. Countless people wear eye glasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines, all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions.

Bühler Aeroglide is headquartered in Cary, NC, where manufacturing, engineering and testing facilities are also located. Additional manufacturing facilities are located in China, and additional testing facilities are located in Switzerland, China, Brazil, and South Africa. This visit will include a tour of the research and manufacturing facilities.

This tour will depart Weaver at 3:15 pm.


For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

Caterpillar established their production facility in Sanford, NC in 1999 and has produced more than a quarter of a million machines off of its assembly line. This plant is one of four in North Carolina and more than 60 nationwide. This visit will include a facility tour (including fabrication, paint, assembly and testing areas), a Q&A session with Caterpillar engineers and a machine review.

This tour will depart Weaver at 2:15 pm.


Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, PrecisionHawk uses unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones, and remote sensing platforms to provide an end-to-end solution for aerial data gathering, processing and analysis to provide actionable information to clients across a wide range of civilian industries. PrecisionHawk partnered with the FAA in 2015 to leverage PrecisionHawk’s extensive work in the global agriculture landscape to formulate a framework for various types of UAVs, fixed wing and multi-rotor, to operate in the areas of agriculture, forestry and other rural industries.

Using a comprehensive array of drones, sensors and custom software, PrecisionHawk provides clients with cutting edge tools to work smarter in agriculture, energy and construction. This visit will include an office tour and presentation of current projects, a Q&A with company leadership and, weather permitting, a flight demonstration.

This tour will depart Weaver at 3 pm.