June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.793.1 - 14.793.8
Internationalizing Tomorrow’s Researchers – Strategies and Experiences from the Partnership for Education and Research in Membrane Nanotechnologies
The Partnership for Education and Research in Membrane Nanotechnologies (PERMEANT) is an NSF PIRE project involving Michigan State University (USA), Duke University (USA), Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine), Université Paul Sabatier (France), Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement (France), Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (France), and Volgograd State University of Architecture & Civil Engineering (Russia). Our approach is to bring together engineers and scientists with complementary fields of expertise and facilities, as well as varying geographical and cultural perspectives, for collaborative research on issues related to public water-supply and treatment. Research projects address two principal themes: 1) development of nanomaterial-enabled membranes and 2) control of membrane fouling, and addresses fundamental nanomaterials chemistry and materials science as applied to water quality technologies. One key premise of our Partnership is that students are powerful catalysts for research collaboration. Our research is organized in international teams in which doctoral students supported by separate funding at a foreign institution are teamed with each student from a US institution supported by NSF funds. Students in these research teams work on related topics that naturally encourage international collaboration between graduate students and their faculty advisors. The team-based approach allows students to compare classroom experiences, share instructional materials, help one another with research methodologies, and forge long-term international contacts.
In this presentation, we describe some of the strategies that have been employed to develop an international perspective in our graduate students, and the skills necessary to effectively collaborate across geographic, political, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries. We report our experience, both positive and negative, and revisions we have made to the original model. Finally, we describe our plans for the future, which include a formal program assessment of the extent to which student in the program are better trained for international work in the future.
Environmental science and engineering is becoming increasingly international in scope, in large part by the global nature of grand challenges facing the next generation of professionals. These challenges range from climate change and water supply to establishment of international standards on the materials we produce1. International collaboration in research and education is key to both resolving these problems and establishing an international community of environmental professionals that will address these issues. Although the number of U.S. college students studying abroad is at its all-time highest level, this number amounts to less than 1% of the nation’s full or part-time students.2 This problem is especially acute in engineering, which accounts for only 3% of all U.S. students who study abroad. Preparing internationally-competent scientists and engineers thus becomes a need that is crucial for successfully countering the emerging environmental challenges. With this in mind, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the “Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program …to catalyze
Voice, T., & Tarabara, V., & Wiesner, M., & Bruening, M. (2009, June), Internationalizing Tomorrow’s Researchers – Strategies And Experiences From The Partnership For Education And Research In Membrane Nanotechnologies Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5861
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