Zorowski legacy imprinted on Centennial Campus

Late MAE Department head, Reynolds Professor Emeritus, and 60-year veteran of the College of Engineering Dr. Carl Zorowski was honored by family, friends, former students and colleagues Thursday afternoon as a brick was laid in the walkway of Centennial Campus in his honor. 

MAE alumni, faculty, staff and students, old and new, gathered in the sunshine outside the entrance of Engineering Building 3 Thursday afternoon, each one bearing fond memories of Dr. Zorowski and the tremendous impact he had on the MAE, the College of Engineering and the University as a whole. Each person who spoke told stories of his vigor and passion for both engineering and for NC State, a passion he heartily passed on to his students, colleagues and family.

Dr. Zorowski passed away April 5, 2021, and since then, his legacy as an invaluable educator and engineering professional at NC State has lived on through his students and through his many contributions to the MAE Department.

Joseph (Hank) Cook Jr., a former student of Dr. Zorowski and retired engineer, took the reins at Thursday’s event, sharing his appreciation for the lessons Dr. Zorowski taught him. Hank said that he retired just one year after Dr. Zorowski, an impeccable indication of the drive and commitment of his mentor as an engineer and educator. 

Several other friends and colleagues spoke at the event, including current MAE Department Head Dr. Srinath Ekkad, who expressed his gratitude to Dr. Zorowski for paving the way for the excellent work that students and faculty at MAE continue to this day. Dr. Ekkad continued, saying that Dr. Zorowski was an inspiration not only to him but to the entire department, with his legacy left on many programs and institutions all over the College of Engineering, including MAE Senior Design, the students of which will showcase their senior design projects next week. 

Another lasting reminder of Dr. Zorowski’s influence is the establishment of the Dr. Carl Zorowski Distinguished Lecture Series, which was held for the first time just last year and will return to Centennial Campus next Friday, April 15.

Following the event, attendees reminisced on their days with MAE and their memories with Dr. Zorowski, and some toured the Senior Design shop in Engineering Building 3, where current senior design students were preparing for next week’s presentations. As the titans of MAE’s past mingled with the great engineers of the future, Dr. Zorowski’s legacy and impact was all the more clear; his dedication to his work has bridged the gap between generations of engineers, and will go on to inspire generations to come.