Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Garrett Love
Instructor of Engineering and Durham Chair of Engineering and Computer Science

Dec. 2021

The oldest of seven children and a product of Aberdeen, Idaho, and Tilton, New Hampshire, Dr. Garrett Love grew up under the influence of his grandfather, who was an airplane mechanic in WWII, and vividly remembers his father working as a surveyor when he was a young child. He has always had a knack for discovering the wonders of science and engineering, such as meteorites or butterflies and caterpillars.

As an MIT undergraduate, Dr. Love majored in civil engineering so that he could have the opportunity to do some good in the world. For his graduate degree at Duke, he combined his interests in civil engineering and computer programming by studying non-linear computational contact mechanics so that he could be the “world expert in crashing things together using a computer.” His academic studies were complemented by a tour of service as a high school mathematics teacher in Helena, Arkansas, with Teach for America and as a staff scientist with the Shodor Education Foundation, “a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the advancement of science and math education, specifically through the use of modeling and simulation technologies.”

Dr. Love joined the faculty of North Carolina Central University in the fall of 2005, serving 10 years and earning tenure as a professor in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences. After a semester of teaching IVC (Interactive Video Conferencing) Honors Aerospace with NCSSM’s Division of Distance Education and Extended Programs, he joined the NCSSM faculty full-time in 2015 as an Instructor of Engineering, where he also taught civil and environmental engineering and statics. Currently he teaches aerospace engineering in the NCSSM-Online program and through NCSSM Connect and serves as the Chair of Engineering at NCSSM, where he is expanding opportunities for engineering education on our Durham and Morganton campuses as well as in our Online program and NCSSM Connect.

Dr. Love has a long-time interest in the development of curricular materials for enhancing engineering and other STEM education through computation, having designed online curricular models and lessons for Shodor, a proposed undergraduate major in Computational Science for NCCU, and a module for NCCU Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics entitled “The Scientist and the Super Model” focused on modeling and simulation, reprised as “Stars, Storms and Sims” for NCSSM Summer Accelerator 2016. He worked on an educational development project titled “CompHydro - Integrating Data Computation and Visualization to Build Model-based Water Literacy” through Shodor and University collaborators in Arizona, Montana, Colorado and Maryland. For his innovation in technology and teaching, Dr. Love was recognized in 2021 as the NC Tech Educator of the Year by the NC TECH Association, a Raleigh-based non-profit trade association with more than 600 North Carolina member companies that employ more than 200,000 people in North Carolina’s tech industry.

Dr. Love had been the club sponsor for the Technology Student Association for several years, but now is the sponsor of NCSSM’s rocketry team, which recently launched the school’s first supersonic rocket. He is now partnering with faculty in other disciplines to bring new and exciting interdisciplinary offerings to our students.

When asked what one piece of advice he’d give students at NCSSM, Dr. Love gave three:

“Choose to do things because you like them, not because you have to do them.”

“Be deliberate.”

“Find your authentic passion.”

Credit: Adapted from Dr. Love’s faculty profile written by Dr. Letitia Hubbard at ecs.ncssm.edu