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SIUE strengthens global partnership with South Korea’s Tongmyong University

siuesouthkoreaFrom left: Dr. Cem Karacal, dean of the SIUE School of Engineering, Dr. Soondo Kweon, assistant professor in the SIUE SOE, Dr. Kyung-Sung Kim, assistant professor in the TU School of Engineering, Dr. Mary Weishaar, executive director of International Affairs at SIUE, TU Board Director Eui-Tack Suh, SIUE Chancellor Dr. Randy Pembrook, TU Vice President Dr. Tae-Jung Lho, SIUE Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Denise Cobb, and Dr. Ryan Hall and Sarah Van Alebeek, ESLi administrators.

For two days this past week, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a delegation from Tongmyong University, of Busan, South Korea, during which the administrators from the two institutions discussed expanding their strong academic collaborations.

A partnership between the institutions started in 2014 when a formal agreement was made to offer a 2+2 dual diploma program between TU and the SIUE School of Engineering.

“The wealth of experiential learning opportunities provided in both engineering schools present a good match between the two institutions,” said Cem Karacal, PhD, dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. “This joint degree program is a mutually beneficial collaboration. It is an excellent way of not only sharing engineering knowledge and know-how between nations, but also presents a tremendous opportunity for students to learn about each other’s cultures, values and languages.”

The delegation was in town Monday through Wednesday.

According to Mary Weishaar, PhD, executive director of International Affairs at SIUE, discussions during the visit included a consideration of how TU, SIUE and ESLi (English as a Second Language International) can provide short-term programming for TU students, the feasibility of expanding the existing 2+2 program to include the School of Business, and possibilities of other program collaborations, such as a 1+3 where students would attend TU for one year and SIUE for three years.

“When initiating international collaborations, what is most important is to get to know partner institutions in detail,” said Soondo Kweon, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Engineering. “These face-to-face meetings between leaders are critical in guiding directions for future collaboration.”

During their visit, TU’s Board Director Eui-Tack Suh, Vice President Tae-Jung Lho and Assistant Professor Kyung-Sung Kim, also had the opportunity to observe TU students presenting their senior design course projects. These included the design and fabrication of a mechanical apparatus that melts 3D printed parts, and injects them into wire to be reused as a raw material for 3D printing and an air-conditioning system that automatically turns on or off by detecting human presence in the room.

“We value effective international partnerships such as this,” Karacal said. “These collaborations improve the diversity in our school and invoke interest among our domestic students about other cultures and how engineering knowledge can be applied in other parts of the world to solve problems.

“Korea is a nation known for engineering innovations and technology companies. We are happy to have this partnership with TU.”
Since the Memorandum of Understanding between SIUE and TU was signed, several faculty members have engaged in exchanges for teaching and research. In June 2017, SIUE students and an engineering faculty member will visit TU for 10 days to take a study abroad course where they will work on joint design projects with TU students.

“When SIUE students visit TU they get to learn not only technical contents, but also are exposed to international cultures, which will be highly beneficial when they are involved with international projects in the future,” Kweon said.

— From the Illinois Business Journal via SIUE news services

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