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Iraqi university delegation visits MU Engineering

Five faculty members from the University of Technology (UoT) in Baghdad spent their first day after arriving at MU touring the campus and getting a look at the engineering labs and facilities. Pictured, front row, L-R: UoT faculty member Thaira Zakaria Altayyar, Professor Shubhra Gangopadhyay, C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair of electrical and computer engineering, UoT faculty member Adawiya J. Haider, LaPierre mechanical and aerospace engineering Professor Sanjeev Khanna, Joseph Mathai and Somik Mukherjee; back row, L-R: Vlad Likholetov, director of international partnerships and initiatives for the College of Engineering, UoT faculty members Farhad Kushnaw, Kadhum Muttar Shabeeb and Ali Laiq Abed, Bala Ramalingam and Ahmed Yousif.

A delegation of five faculty members from the University of Technology in Baghdad (UoT) is visiting MU’s College of Engineering for three weeks in December as part of the Iraqi University Linkage Program (ULP), being administered through the U.S. International Research and Exchange Board (IREX). The group has come to get training in the college’s labs and work with MU faculty to jointly develop courses for UoT.

MU faculty members working with the group include Professor Shubhra Gangopadhyay, C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair of electrical and computer engineering, and LaPierre Professor Sanjeev Khanna, of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Gangopadhyay’s research specialties largely fall into the area of nanotechnology. She serves as director of the MU Center for Nano/Micro Systems and Nanotechnology. Khanna’s work involves renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“There are certain assets we have on campus that this group can benefit from,” said Vlad Likholetov, director of international partnerships and initiatives for the College of Engineering. “Nanotechnology and energy are of great interest to Iraqi scientists. While they are here, they will get a chance to work with MU researchers in those labs. Besides training, they will explore opportunities for collaboration between UoT and MU.”

The Iraqi ULP project is nearing completion of its first year, and the grant is expected to be extended for another year. There are plans for more visitors from UoT to come to Columbia, as well as for MU faculty to travel to Iraq. Project areas include nanotechnology, energy efficiency, ABET accreditation assistance in Industrial Engineering and development of a career services center at UoT.