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January 1999



ECE Goes Global

Virginia Tech ECE students and faculty have increasing opportunities for international study, collaboration, and co-op work thanks to recent efforts to forge ties with universities worldwide.

The Department has established formal agreements for joint programs and academic exchange with the Institut National Polytechnique De Grenoble (INPG) in Grenoble, France, and with Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland. Additional agreements are under development in Europe, Asia (Hong Kong) and Central America (Mexico).

"We want to develop engineers that can succeed in today's global environment. The opportunity to experience engineering at these top-notch institutions should prove to be invaluable to our students," said Department Head Leonard Ferrari.

Forty-five faculty members from the three institutions met with industry representatives on October 12-14 in Lausanne to discuss joint programs. Under the agreements, Tech, INPG, and EPFL will conduct joint research and education programs in specific technical areas and will support faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student exchanges on a one-to-one basis. In addition, the Department will create two International Bradley Scholarships/Fellowships for one-year study at EPFL and INPG.

International Co-op

"We are also working to bolster international co-op opportunities for Tech students," Ferrari said. In addition to European companies near INPG and EPFL, there are a number of U.S. companies nearby. For example, Hewlett-Packard and IBM are in the Grenoble region, and IBB and Motorola are near Lausanne."

Virtual Corporations

Both INPG and EPFL will join Tech's Virtual Corporation transportation project to develop a maglev personal rapid transit system. INPG students will work on electric vehicles, and EPFL students on maglev. Also, two students from each university will spend summers working together and visiting EPFL, INPG, and Tech.

Research Collaboration

Several of the Department's research groups have agreed to collaborate with EPFL and IPNG researchers. Collaborative projects include: power systems, power electronics, photonics, coding efficient spline algorithms, CAD-CAM, and DSP algorithms, configurable computing, networks, wireless communications, and transportation.

A Strong Partnership

"Tech, EPFL, and INPG make a good partnership," said Lamine Mili, a Tech faculty member who spent the 1996/97 academic year at Grenoble and Lausanne. "All three schools are very strong in applied research and have excellent ties to industry." Mili was part of the Tech group that helped to develop the agreement, along with Ferrari, Arun Phadke, Saifur Rahman, Bernard Laberge, Pamela Kurstedt and Dean Bill Stephenson.

"International collaboration and exchange can greatly help our students," he said. "It changes and enriches their perspective. Living in another country helps a student mature and often become more motivated and a better student."

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, May 9, 1999
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