U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ Staff Visits EPIC

Date Published: 
June 15, 2017

James Estes, David Young (EPIC), Luke Blanchat & Elizabeth Edwards

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ staff visited UNC Charlotte on June 12 to meet with University leaders and faculty to learn about several programs of interest to Tillis and his committee assignments.

Luke Blanchat, director of economic development; James Estes, Charlotte regional representative; and Elizabeth Edwards, regional director of constituent advocacy; began their visit at UNC Charlotte’s Visualization Center. With the senator’s assignment on the Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the group saw a demonstration focused on partnered research with Bank of America to identify anti-money laundering occurrences. A second presentation spotlighted phishing detection and provided insight on how students and faculty are working to recognize traits of phishing attacks and enterprising techniques in order to reduce attacks.

The staff also saw the LYNX Blue Line Extension nearing completion then visited the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC). At EPIC, the group learned how the University continues to spearhead efforts connecting the energy industry and serve as a key regional asset in developing talent through education. Touring the Duke Energy Smart Grid and High-Bay Structures laboratories, the group saw the unique opportunities students and faculty have to research, develop, test and analyze models and devices in real time and provide solutions to industry partners.

Concluding with a tour of PORTAL, the Partnership, Outreach and Research to Accelerate Learning facility, the staff learned about the specialized services and programs for startup businesses. Blanchat shared his thoughts on the importance of having these programs: “UNC Charlotte is uniquely positioned to partner with industry in the Charlotte region to provide applied research and development that will help promote innovation and spur economic growth. It is no wonder UNC Charlotte has experienced such rapid growth over the past decade.”