Asee peer logo

Board # 22 : Enhancing Student Education through International Research Experiences

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Fouad H. Fouad University of Alabama, Birmingham

visit author page

Dr. Fouad H. Fouad, Ph.D., P.E., is Professor and Chairman of the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and the Director of the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center. Dr. Fouad is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Fouad’s research interest is in the area of infrastructure design, maintenance, and rehabilitation with a focus on sustainable green building design and construction.

visit author page


Paula Alvarez Pino

visit author page

Paula Alvarez Pino is the Center Coordinator and Research Assistant of the Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center at University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). Paula coordinates and communicates work effort and development within the center. She obtains, evaluates and processes materials related to different research projects, as well as, assists in publication of papers and grant proposals. Paula constantly collaborates with the City of Birmingham as liaison in several projects related to the field of sustainability, such as the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, the Mobile Food Market, and Bikeshare Birmingham. Paula has also helped organize and develop outreach programs that educate the youth about the principles of sustainability.

She received a bachelor of science in Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering from UAB and is a credentialed practitioner on Envision Sustainable Infrastructure rating system (ENV SP). She is actually pursuing her masters in the field of Civil Engineering.

visit author page


Andrew J. Sullivan University of Alabama, Birmingham

visit author page

Specializes in traffic operations and traffic control systems.

visit author page


Talat Salama Central Connecticut State University

visit author page

Dr. Talat Salama, PE, is an Associate Professor at the Department of Manufacturing and Construction Management. Before joining CCSU, he was an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Salama earned his BS and PhD in Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering, respectively, from Rutgers University and he earned his MS in Construction Engineering from the American University in Cairo. His expertise and research interests include Structural Health Monitoring of bridges using Non-Destructive Testing, and rehabilitation, retrofitting and strengthening of structures. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states on New Jersey and Alabama, with six years of industrial experience.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Many of the world's most pressing science and engineering challenges are trans-national in nature and some of the leading scientific and engineering facilities, resources, and expertise are found outside the United States. Moreover, many of the great opportunities in the sustainability field are located abroad. In order to remain at the forefront of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the United States needs to nurture a globally-engaged STEM workforce capable of communicating and performing research in an international environment.

To help address this need, our NSF International Research Experiences for Students program supports development of globally-engaged U.S. science and engineering students capable of performing in an international research environment. These projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for this program. Such experiences expose U.S. students to the international research community at a critical early stage in their careers.

Through this grant, our institution has developed an international research program focused on the multidisciplinary area of sustainable green building design and construction. So far, this program has taken place during the summer of 2015 and during this past summer of 2016. Eight undergraduate and graduate students have participated each year. The 2015 program encompassed two weeks in the Netherlands and two weeks in Egypt and the 2016 program consisted in two weeks in the United Kingdom and two weeks in Egypt. The students benefited from experiencing, learning, and contrasting sustainability efforts in a developed country with those in a developing country; as well as from being exposed to both the Middle Eastern and European work force and cultures.

This paper describes the entire process of establishing and developing an international research program and the key elements needed to make it successful. There are several phases that are involved in the development of an international research program and this paper aims to cover them all, including student team projects, travel planning process, program logistics, resources needed, student selection, communicating with international partners, lessons learned and methodology to assess the success of the program among others.

Key Words: Engineering Education, Sustainability, Globalization, Research

Fouad, F. H., & Alvarez Pino, P., & Sullivan, A. J., & Salama, T. (2017, June), Board # 22 : Enhancing Student Education through International Research Experiences Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27809

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015