Pingchou Han, assistant dean of engineering at Peking University (PKU), and UD President Patrick Harker meet to initiate the signing of an institutional partnership agreement. They are joined by UD officials, from left, Michael Vaughan, senior assistant dean of engineering; Anette Karlsson, chair of mechanical engineering; Kristi Kiick, deputy dean of engineering; Babatunde Ogunnaike, interim dean of engineering; Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse; Lian-Ping Wang, professor of mechanical engineering; and Matthew Robinson, director, Institute for Global Studies.

Educational exchange

UD and Peking University advance engineering exchange program

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3:01 p.m., March 16, 2012--A novel exchange program in engineering research and education will launch between the University of Delaware (UD) and Peking University (PKU) this July, expanding the world view of students at both universities and providing opportunities for faculty to collaborate.

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Faculty and undergraduate students from the UD College of Engineering will travel to Beijing-based PKU, known as China’s Harvard, for an intensive six-week summer program, while PKU undergraduate students will spend a semester at UD.

Advanced through the Global Educational Exchange Initiative (GLOBEX) recently signed by the two universities, the program will “allow exceptional students and faculty from the two colleges to attain a global educational, research and professional experience,” according to Pingchou Han, assistant dean for global education in PKU’s College of Engineering. 

Han visited UD on Feb. 8 to meet with engineering faculty and students. A formal ceremony with University President Patrick Harker was held to initiate the signing of the institutional partnership agreement. He also presented the seminar "Engineering Your Future in a Globalized World," which may be viewed at this website.

Han’s visit was a follow-up to the initial agreement signing this past December between Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, UD’s interim dean of engineering, and Shiyi Chen, dean of engineering at PKU. 

The GLOBEX initiative provides for both undergraduate student exchange and faculty research collaboration, with the participation of a maximum of 12 students and two faculty members per year from the two universities.

According to Ogunnaike, UD faculty will teach specific courses in engineering at PKU, which will be open to students from both universities. The PKU students traveling to Delaware will take regular UD courses. Faculty research collaborations will span the entire discipline of engineering.

The reciprocal cultural awareness fostered through the exchange program also will be an important benefit, Ogunnaike said, as American students and Chinese students learn about each other’s cultures. 

“The globalization of science and engineering makes it imperative that we train our students to function effectively in a multicultural world,” Ogunnaike said.

“The GLOBEX exchange offers a platform that is the first of its kind for our faculty and students,” noted the program’s coordinator at UD, Lian-Ping Wang, professor of mechanical engineering and physical ocean science.

“The long-term benefits include a better mutual understanding of culture and people, global research collaboration between faculty members at the two institutions and attracting the best students from China to UD for graduate study in our world-class research,” Wang said.

About UD's College of Engineering

The University of Delaware (UD) has a tradition of excellence, from its founding in 1743, to the research-intensive, technologically advanced institution of today. UD offers a broad range of degree programs through the doctorate in its seven colleges. The UD College of Engineering is home to six academic departments and three degree programs devoted to building a community of problem-solvers focused on challenges associated with sustainability, energy, health care and the environment. World-renowned initiatives led by faculty include 14 college-based research centers and six university-based research centers, all of which provide a fertile training ground for future engineers.

About Peking University’s College of Engineering

Established in 1898, Peking University (PKU) is the first national comprehensive institution of higher learning founded in China. Also known as the Chinese Harvard, PKU is a strong educational and research university that uses its traditional strengths in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to make further progress in engineering, applied sciences, education, and numerous other interdisciplinary fields of study. The 105 faculty and teaching and research staff of PKU’s College of Engineering are conducting cutting-edge research in fields ranging from physical sciences and medicine to public health and industrial management.

Article by Fariba Amini

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