Skip to main content
Alumni Magazine

Zorowski established a legacy of service to the college

Carl Zorowski, Reynolds Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at NC State, passed away on Monday, April 5, 2021.

During a nearly 60-year career in the College of Engineering at NC State, Zorowski was an influential figure in the classroom, in the laboratory, in the halls of the College’s administration and in the business community. His lifelong love of learning and innovation and his dedication to his students served as a shining example for faculty members in the College.

“Carl’s impact on MAE and on our College was very significant over the five-plus decades that he served as a faculty member and administrative leader at NC State,” said Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College. “He was a very warm, generous and caring person who will be missed greatly by those of us in COE who were fortunate to have gotten to know him as a dear colleague and friend.”

In 2015, Zorowski was the inaugural winner of the College’s Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

A three-time graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), Zorowski joined the NC State faculty in 1962.

He was an innovator for the College from the start, bringing with him experience with senior design competitions that allowed graduating students a chance to gain real-world experience by designing and building a prototype.

Zorowski served as head of MAE, as the College’s associate dean for academic affairs and as co-founder and director of the Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering Institute (IMSEI), along with work as a consultant to industry. In 1993, he assumed direction of Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education, a multi-million-dollar National Science Foundation program geared toward revitalizing undergraduate education.

Zorowski co-founded IMSEI in 1983 to offer multi-disciplinary education and practical training opportunities in the theory and practice of integrated manufacturing systems engineering at the master’s level.

In 2007, he started a study-abroad program for engineering students in partnership with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. Students in the program are able to take engineering, international relations and Chinese language courses during a five-week stay. They also work on a design project with Caterpillar, Inc. at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities nearby.

In retirement, he was able to spend more time on his twin passions for amateur motorsports and travel with his wife, Louise.

MAE has created a new lecture series in mechanical engineering design. After a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first Zorowski Lecture was held on September 10, 2021, with Michael Sutton, distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina. Subsequent lectures will be held annually in April