Educators and Globetrotters
By Ashley R. Fazio
Faculty exchange programs are increasingly popular in higher education as internationalization in research and education stays in step with the demands of the global economy. What starts as an individual sabbatical or leave to collaborate with a colleague overseas can turn into a mutually beneficial partnership for both institutions.
For years, Daryl Santos, professor of industrial and systems engineering, has been a frequent visiting professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea. Referred to as the MIT of Korea, KAIST is among the top 25 engineering and technology schools in the world.
Santos has taught two summer sessions (’05 and ’06) in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department and three winter sessions (January ’11, ’12 and ’13) in the Graduate School of Innovation and Technology Management (I&TM).
I&TM founding dean Dr. Taeyong Yang, in turn, spent a one-year sabbatical with the Watson School for the 2011-12 academic year. Additionally, two of their students did summer exchanges to work on technology transfer, IP and technology road-mapping projects.
And the partnership is growing. Santos and KAIST Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering James Morrison received a grant to design and execute an international senior design project program that will feature joint BU-KAIST student teams. The exercise will simulate true-to-life issues such as scheduling meetings for workers in different time zones and across different cultures.
During the January 2013 break, both Bruce Murray, professor of mechanical engineering, and Mohammad Khasawneh, associate professor of systems science and industrial engineering, also traveled abroad to teach, at Vishwakarma Institute of Technology (VIT), in Pune, India.
Murray’s senior-level heat transfer course was condensed into an intensive two weeks. The 40-hour course covered the design of thermal systems and how to cool anything from electronic devices and computers to refrigeration systems and power plants.
“I’d lecture from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with only a break or two in there. It was my first time teaching like this, and their first time in this type of course,” he says. “They had to solve a lot of problems and had three large exams in a small period of time.” It was a lot of work for both sides, but Murray found the students attentive and open to asking questions.
While in Pune, Murray — who received funding for his trip through the Lois B. DeFleur International Innovation Fund — also met with faculty and master’s students regarding energy efficiencies and his research associated with the Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems.