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Alumni Magazine

Lasting legacies

Color photo of howling wolf metal scuplture.

Naming a space in a College of Engineering building leaves a long-lasting mark. Generations of students, faculty members and staff members will be reminded of the generosity of donors who help make their research and educational experiences possible.

This map highlights a few recently named spaces in Engineering Buildings II and III. There are a number of naming opportunities available in those two buildings, as well as in Engineering Building I and in Fitts-Woolard Hall.

Colorized aerial view of Centennial Campus highlighting in red and orange Engineering Buildings 2 and 3. Other buildings are in grey and open areas are green. There a three photos highlighting some of the interior spaces of the highlighted buildings.

To learn more about naming opportunities, please contact Griffin Lamb, assistant dean of philanthropy for the College of Engineering, at

Engineering Building II

Kolbas Labs

In Engineering Building II, rooms 1030 and 1032 are named for Robert Kolbas, who was a beloved professor, colleague and former department head in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) for 35 years. He taught his last lab class in room 1030 — ECE 426: Analog Electronics Laboratory.

These are not the only rooms named after Kolbas, who passed away in 2020. In continuing his long legacy of supporting students, he and his wife, Yan Kolbas, made a gift to the Kolbas MakerSpace, an initiative he helped get off the ground in 2017. This most recent gift to the College helps provide the materials and tools needed for the MakerSpace, as well as supports students’ academic pursuits and an annual ECE social event. Kolbas is remembered for his dedication to his students and love for teaching.

Engineering Building III

Mann Atrium

The Mann Atrium in Engineering Building III was named by Gerald (Gerry) and Edna Mann. Walk in there any weekday, and you’ll find students doing their homework or socializing in between classes. The Manns wanted to name a space in honor and in memory of their family. They want to inspire younger generations to continue learning and stretching themselves to higher places.

Mann received his BSME degree from NC State University in 1952. Six years later, he founded the American Testing and Engineering Corporation, known as ATEC Associates, Inc. The company grew to 1,500 employees by the time it was sold in 1996. Mann then worked with his children to grow Mann Properties LLP, a real estate company he started in 1972. He received the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in 2003 and was elected to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Hassan Mae Administrative Suite

The space for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s (MAE) administrative team was named in honor of Hassan A. Hassan, who passed away in 2019 and was a professor in the department from 1962 to 2018. His family wanted to recognize his legacy and commitment to the department in a visible way to students, faculty and staff members and others who visit.

Hassan was a central figure in the creation of NC State’s aerospace program in the 1960s. His aerospace research in understanding key physical processes like reacting flows and boundary layer transition / turbulence drove Hassan and his students to develop computational simulation models, many of which reside in NASA’s in-house codes. Until the early 1990s, he accompanied students to NASA Langley Research Center each summer to work on research problems side by side with NASA researchers. In 2015, the MAE department established the Dr. Hassan A. Hassan Distinguished Lecture Series. Hassan’s son, Basil Hassan, serves on the NC State Engineering Foundation Board of Directors.