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Internationalizing Tomorrow’s Researchers – Strategies And Experiences From The Partnership For Education And Research In Membrane Nanotechnologies

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Faculty and Program Exchanges: Internationalizing, Collaborations and Interactions

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

14.793.1 - 14.793.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5861

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

biography

Thomas Voice Michigan State University

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Thomas C. Voice is Professor and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program at Michigan State University, and Co-Director of the PERMEANT project described in this presentation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental chemistry and environmental systems and processes. His research interests focus on the fate and transport of contaminants in environmental systems, environmental health, and physical-chemical processes and technologies. Much of this work has a significant international component.

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biography

Volodymyr Tarabara Michigan State University

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Volodymyr Tarabara is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Engineering Program at Michigan State University and Co-Director of the PERMEANT project described in this presentation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in physical-chemical processes. His research focuses on the applications and implications of nanotecnologies, with a focus on membrane processes. He holds a Lily Fellowship to explore how international research experiences can be translated to the classroom.

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Mark Wiesner Duke University

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Mark R. Wiesner serves as Director of the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT) headquartered at Duke, where he holds the James L. Meriam Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering with appointments in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of Environment. Dr. Wiesner’s recent research has focused on the applications of emerging nanomaterials to membrane science and water treatment and an examination of the fate, transport, and impacts of nanomaterials in the environment. He co-edited/authored the book “Environmental Nanotechnologies.”

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Merlin Bruening Michigan State University

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Merlin Bruening is a Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University and a member of the PERMEANT project. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in analytical chemistry. His research interests include the development of thin polymer films and membranes for separations and catalysis, and his international collaborations focus on the synthesis of catalytic membranes for treatment of pollutants.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Internationalizing Tomorrow’s Researchers – Strategies and Experiences from the Partnership for Education and Research in Membrane Nanotechnologies

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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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