Through a grant from the U.S. State Department, UMR is helping an Algerian university strengthen and expand its educational programs.
Dr. Abdeldjelil "DJ" Belarbi, associate professor of civil engineering at UMR, and Dr. Scott Grasman and Dr. Can Saygin, both assistant professors of engineering management at UMR, received $263,738 from the U.S. State Department for the 2002 North African Educational Partnerships Program.
The program is designed to help higher education in Algeria move to a free-market economy by updating curriculum and helping Algeria develop new graduate programs in engineering, construction management and modern teaching methods, including Internet and distance learning. This partnership with UMR will provide Algerian educators a way to learn the engineering and construction management skills needed to prepare them to be leaders at their home institutions.
Professors from the Universite’ Abou-Bekr Belkaid de Tlemcen (UABT) in Algeria will travel to UMR and study with Grasman, Saygin and Belarbi for almost five months. They will learn UMR’s teaching methods and curriculum in construction and engineering management. Then Grasman, Saygin and Belarbi will spend about two weeks in Algeria teaching short courses and workshops to university and industrial personnel.
"Our goal is to help them adopt to the new economy model and management models as well as modern teaching technologies," says Belarbi. "UMR has a good reputation in engineering management in the United States. It just happens that developing countries, such as Algeria, lack this specialty."