UD, Technion symposium illustrates benefits of global partnership
Representatives of academia, industry and government attended the UD-Technion 2010 Symposium on Sustainable Infrastructure, held Nov. 8-11 in Haifa, Israel.

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9:17 a.m., Nov. 29, 2010----Academic, government and industry researchers from across the globe gathered to discuss new developments in geomechanical pavement systems and bridges at the University of Delaware-Technion 2010 Symposium on Sustainable Infrastructure in Haifa, Israel, Nov. 8-11.

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The symposium, offered as part of the UD Institute of Global Studies program, was co-sponsored by the University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Technion is an internationally known leader in engineering and science education, ranking among the top ten percent of academic institutions worldwide.

In opening remarks at the event, Arnon Bentur, dean of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Technion, called affiliation with UD a milestone and an opportunity, citing undergraduate study abroad, inter-university graduate research and visiting professorships as positive synergies that ought to be developed.

The initial partnership between UD and Israel was conceived by UD Deputy Provost Havidán Rodriguez in January, 2010, when he served on a state of Delaware delegation to Israel that explored opportunities for mutual benefit. This is the first such collaborative effort between the two organizations.

“Technion's leadership in establishing interactions between universities and industry is a model we would like to benchmark as we propel the University toward becoming an economic engine for the region,” said Michael J. Chajes, dean of the College of Engineering.

According to Nii Attoh-Okine, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, the symposium is part of a larger effort to establish similar relationships with other international institutions including Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University.

Attoh-Okine, who organized the event with UD Prof. Dov Leshchinsky, a Technion alumnus, said he hopes such efforts will enhance the civil and environmental engineering department's presence as a training ground for global students.

This winter, Yiska Goldfeld and Assaf Klar, both senior lecturers on Technion's civil and environmental engineering faculty, will visit Delaware to collaborate with UD faculty members.

Israeli industry partners in attendance also expressed interest in building relationships with UD around sustainable infrastructure.

“Conducting collaborative research on a global scale and offering programs with international partners are especially important in helping UD achieve the goals set out in the University's Path to ProminenceTM,” said Harry “Tripp” Shenton, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“This symposium is the first step toward developing relationships that we hope will result in student exchanges, joint degree programs and mutual research, among other things.”

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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