Tech has formalized a partnership with the Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research (KUSTAR) to develop engineering based education and research initiatives in the United States and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We feel that alliances such as this not only enrich our research focus areas but also leverage our expertise on an international platform,” said Don Giddens, the Dean of Engineering. “Our strengths and interests align well with KUSTAR, and this partnership, in both research and developing new educational programs, gives our faculty the opportunity to operate in a global context while helping our students, and the students of KUSTAR, prepare to thrive in a global economy.”
Tech and KUSTAR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Sept 20. The agreement establishes a framework for developing KUSTAR’s research and educational departments and exploring cooperative joint research and educational programs.
“KUSTAR, we believe, will be the premier science and technology university in the UAE,” said Steve McLaughlin, Vice Provost of International Initiatives. “We have been in discussion with them for quite some time to figure out the right kind of partnership and relationship, and this MoU is the culmination of it.”
The agreement is initially valid for five years. It covers the exchange of information and experience in education and research and will explore submitting proposals for joint projects. It also includes integrating course material, identifying joint collaborative research projects between faculty or research groups and offering of lectures or seminars provided by both institutions.
KUSTAR is a new university in the UAE. Its main campus is in Abu Dhabi. It is developing research centers in disciplines such as information and communications technology (ICT), energy, nanotechnology, aerospace and health sciences.
“Partnerships such as this one with Georgia Tech allow us to enhance the technological, social and cultural relations of both countries from an international perspective and provide exciting new educational opportunities for the students of all participating institutions.” said Tod Laursen, KUSTAR’s president.
Currently Tech is sending faculty with expertise in these programs to KUSTAR to develop interactions back-and-forth between KUSTAR and Tech as well as develop education and research programs in these departments.
“The rest of the MoU is aspirational in the sense that we hope that it will lead to greater research collaborations both with that university and with companies there and US companies involved in the region,” McLaughlin said.
Both schools are also looking at exchange programs for students and faculty. Tech is expecting to receive students within three years and is expecting to be able to send students within five years.
“I think it is a really exciting place…I think our students will really enjoy it and five years from now and we will come back and we will be excited from an exchange possibility,” said Laurance Jacobs, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering.