Executive Director, International Engineering Program
Dr. Sigrid Berka is the Executive Director of the International Engineering Program (IEP) at the University of Rhode Island, and also the Director of the German IEP and the Chinese IEP, responsible for building academic programs with exchange partners abroad, internship placements for IEP's dual degree students, corporate relations, and fundraising for the IEP. Bi-annually the IEP organizes the Colloquium on International Engineering Education. Under Sigrid's leadership, the IEP received NAFSA's Senator Paul Simon Spotlight award for innovative campus internationalization (2011), and the Andrew Heiskell Award for study abroad (2012) by the Institute for International Education. Sigrid serves on the Provost's Global Education Steering Committee. In her previous appointment as Managing Director of the MIT Germany program, she built up an innovative program providing experiential learning opportunities such as internships and workshops for MIT students in German companies and research institutes, as well as MIT access for corporate partners in the MIT International Science & Technology Initiatives (MISTI).
From 2007-2009, Sigrid served as MIT Delegate for the Global Excellence Initiative (GEI-GEIP), a consortium of the best engineering schools world-wide with the mission to educate the global engineer, sponsored by Continental AG; consortium members included: MIT, GeorgiaTech, University of Darmstadt, RWTH Aachen, Shanghai Jiaotong, Tsinghua, Polytechnico de Sao Paulo, ETH Zurich, Monterrey Tech. Responsible for recruiting new universities, companies, and designing an academic curriculum.
Sigrid Berka is a native of Germany and has a Staatsexamen in German Literature, Philosophy, and Education from RWTH Aachen (1986), and a PhD in German Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1990). As Assistant Professor of German Studies she taught 19th and 20th century literature and culture courses at Barnard College and Columbia University (1990-1996). Her book Mythos-Theorie und Allegorik bei Botho Strauss came out in 1991. She also co-authored an intermediate textbook for German language, Spiralen, and has written many articles on German and Austrian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. As Associate Professor of German at the University of Rhode Island, her publications shifted to the field of international engineering education.