The University of Missouri-Rolla has established a program of academic cooperation and educational exchange with Harbin Institute of Technology, which was founded in 1920 in the People’s Republic of China.
As part of the agreement, UMR and HIT will exchange some of their top students to facilitate expanded scholarly opportunities for students conducting graduate research in environmental engineering. The memorandum of understanding, which took two years to complete and included on-site visits by UMR faculty, will also serve as a catalyst for collaborative research between teams at the two institutions.
“Our students will benefit greatly from the opportunities to visit and study in China to learn about science and technology, as well as the Chinese culture and their economic expansion,” says Dr. Jiamin Wang, assistant professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at UMR. “The instrumentation and facilities available at HIT and UMR are first rate for engineering research and education.”
Although the new partnership will initially focus on environmental engineering, the agreement will expand to encompass other areas of cooperation.
“HIT is one of China’s top engineering universities,” says Dr. Craig Adams, the John and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering and director of UMR’s Environmental Research Center. “This agreement will make both universities even stronger and, therefore, make a significant impact in solving environmental engineering problems common to our societies, such as safe drinking water, sanitation and environmental technology.”
Wang and Adams led the development of the five-year agreement, says Dr. Kent Wray, UMR provost.
“Many HIT students will earn UMR graduate degrees for their work at UMR,” Wray explains. “Other students may instead be exchange students but seek their degrees at their home intuitions.”
The first visiting scholar from HIT will arrive at UMR in early 2007 and will collaborate on research that is focused on removing hormonally active and carcinogenic chemicals from drinking water.
“UMR has extensive links with educational institutions around the world,” says UMR Chancellor John F. Carney. “Exposure to other cultures provides our students and faculty with a global perspective.”