Writer: Kristen Sullivan
On March 13, 2014, the deans of the New Mexico State University College of Engineering and the North China University of Technology (NCUT) College of Architecture and Civil Engineering signed a memorandum of understanding initiating a collaborative doctorate program in civil engineering.
NCUT College of Architecture and Civil Engineering has more than 10,200 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students. The university is located in the western part of Beijing. NCUT’s College of Engineering is the university’s biggest college.
The purpose of the collaborative program is to strengthen educational exchanges and cooperation between the two colleges. NMSU College of Engineering Dean Ricardo Jacquez, Civil Engineering Department Head Peter Martin and NCUT College of Architecture and Civil Engineering Dean Tiejun Qu signed the memo of understanding. Engineering Technology Professor Ruinian Jiang has been coordinating the effort between the two schools.
“Collaborative programs with foreign institutions are wonderful ways to expose students to global issues, thus preparing them to be progressive engineers,” Sonya Cooper, associate dean at NMSU College of Engineering, said. “We all face the same problems, but have different ideas how to solve them. These collaborative opportunities with students and faculty will broaden the scale of how we incorporate global advances and identify solutions.”
As associate dean of the College of Engineering, Cooper is responsible for academics and for developing memoranda of understanding with foreign universities. Cooper went on to talk about the benefits of laid out expectations. The collaborative doctorate program will serve as a mechanism for Chinese students to get their doctorate in civil engineering by working with faculty at NMSU and in China.
The doctorate will be awarded by NMSU’s College of Engineering. Students must fulfill all the requirements of NMSU’s civil engineering doctorate program, with the opportunity of conducting experimental research at NCUT’s laboratories. Students will be assigned at least one academic adviser from each university.
NCUT currently offers a dual degree master’s program with Lawrence Technological University near Detroit, Mich. NMSU currently has undergraduate and graduate degree agreements with the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and the East China University of Technology. NMSU College faculty are currently in negotiations with universities in Russia and Pakistan to develop similar collaborative programs.