Louisiana Tech expands research partnerships to universities in Argentina
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Three Louisiana Tech University professors from the College of Engineering and Science joined dignitaries representing 157 universities from around the world last week, in Córdoba, Argentina to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC.)
During the visit, Associate Professor Dr. Pedro Derosa, Academic Director for Chemistry and Physics Dr. Lee Sawyer and Executive Associate Dean for Research Dr. Ramu Ramachandran visited UNC’s College of Mathematics, Astronomy, and Physics and finalized a Memorandum of Understanding, which is aimed at formalizing student and faculty exchanges as well as research collaborations. Sawyer and Ramachandran also gave public lectures about their research at Louisiana Tech.
The visit to Argentina also allowed the Louisiana Tech faculty to visit three other institutions, the Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto (UNRC), Universidad Technológica Nacional (UTN) in Córdoba, and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), where relationships were renewed with the high energy physics group with whom Louisiana Tech collaborates on the ATLAS experiment at CERN.
At UNRC, the visitors met with Professor Juan Fontana, who received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech. They also spoke to students and faculty about academic and research programs at Louisiana Tech and delivered public lectures about their research.
About Louisiana Tech, Dr. Leonardo Molisani, director of research and graduate studies at UNRC, told the local media, “[Louisiana Tech] has a tradition of years of nanotechnology research, an interdisciplinary field which has developed a lot in recent times and has applications in many different fields.” Molisani also highlighted Louisiana Tech’s nanosystems engineering programs, which are not available to UNRC students.
Pedro Ducanto, dean of engineering at UNRC, and Ramachandran signed a letter of intent that expresses mutual interest in developing a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions in the coming months.
The discussions at UTN, the third University visited in this trip, were focused on connecting faculty members on either side to develop research collaborations, with the hope that student exchanges will follow.
“UTN is, in many ways, similar to Louisiana Tech,” said Sawyer. “They are focused mainly on engineering, and have about 11,000 students.”
Ramachandran said the visit to Argentina was extremely productive and that there is tremendous interest in establishing formal mechanisms that would provide students on both sides of the equator with international perspectives and experiences.
“Video conferencing infrastructure is available at all the institutions we visited,” Sawyer added. “We may start to share some of our scientific seminars and even courses with our new friends in Argentina as early as the fall term of 2013.”
“It has been a particularly important visit for me as I have been working on the agreement with UNC for some time now and having Drs. Sawyer and Ramachandran come with me to seal the deal and expand our horizons to other universities exceeded my expectations,” said Derosa. “It is also remarkable the interest that our visit brought to our Argentine colleagues.”
Written by Catherine Fraser – firstname.lastname@example.org