Heidi Kirk Duffy Center
International Engineering Education
The IEP House
67 Upper College Road
The Heidi Kirk Duffy Center - named for the Chair of the IEP Advisory Board - is the administrative home of URI's International Engineering Program (IEP), through which students complete simultaneous degrees in engineering (BS) and Chinese, French, German, or Spanish (BA) at the undergraduate level - as well as dual degrees with partner universities abroad at the masters and doctoral levels.
The Center is also the campus home for 80 IEP students, offering housing, "the best food on campus," and a supportive living and learning environment for students preparing for technical careers in today's era of globalization. The two buildings are a focal point for international education at URI, closely connected to global industry and partner universities throughout the world.
As a result of its active research program, its publications, conference presentations and sponsorship and organization of the Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education, the Heidi Kirk Duffy Center serves as a national resource for internationalizing engineering education. Its many programs and activities collectively provide an international education model for other universities and colleges across the nation.
Dr. Heidi Kirk Duffy is a native German who has been living in Rhode Island for most of her life. She has served in the role of IEP Advisory Board Chair since its inception almost twenty years ago. A powerful supporter of the IEP, she has helped forge many connections with business and industry in Germany, and she has been a generous donor and worker on behalf of the program. For her work on behalf of the IEP and other organizations in the State of Rhode Island, Heidi Kirk Duffy was awarded an honorary doctorate from URI and the Federal Cross of Honor by the Federal Republic of Germany.
In 1997 the International Engineering Program found a new home on campus in the rather rundown SAE Fraternity building on Upper College Road. With help from several donors and a sizeable mortgage (!), the building underwent major renovations in preparation for its charter residents in the fall semester of 1998. The IEP House has served since then as the regular home for 40 IEP students and as the administrative and programmatic headquarters for the IEP.
Based on the success of the IEP House as a living and learning community and the continued growth of the program, it was decided to expand to a second building. With support from IEP Advisory Board Chair Heidi Kirk Duffy, the Texas Instruments Corporation, Sensata Technologies, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and the Max Kade Foundation, the IEP was able to purchase the Chi Phi Fraternity building next door to the IEP House and commence with a $1.5 million renovation in December 2006. Now known as the Texas Instruments House, this building is the home for 35 additional IEP students as well as the dining center for residents of both houses. Summer 2007 was the expected completion date for all renovations and the house was dedicated on September 28.
The two houses of the Heidi Kirk Duffy Center provide a unique living and learning experience in which students from diverse backgrounds, but common career and personal goals, are able to support each other and thrive in a self-governing environment. Our full-time chef offers a common dining experience for all residents as well as other IEP students and faculty.
The house is characterized by study groups, guest speakers, ping pong, billiards, a film series, shared maintenance chores, language coffee hours, summer intensive language programs and many other experiences defining a special small-college environment in the midst of a large state university campus.
Thanks to a sizeable donation from the Max Kade Foundation, the second floor of the Texas Instruments House has been designated as the Max Kade German Language Learning Community. Reserved for German IEP students and German exchange students from the Technical University of Braunschweig, German is the daily language, with a special effort to help build the language skills of those students preparing to go abroad for study and professional internships. In this spirit, the two buildings host regular language "coffee hours," and the dining room of the Texas Instruments House has designated Chinese, French, German, and Spanish language tables. Based on the model of the Max Kade floor, the third level of the TI House serves as a home for students in the Spanish IEP, and, as of fall 2008, there will also be wings for the Chinese IEP and the French IEP.
The IEP and Texas Instruments Houses are home to various summer programs, including the Deutsche Sommerschule am Atlantik, a six-week German language and culture immersion program, and a proposed intensive program in Mandarin Chinese. The two houses also host groups from partner universities in Spain and Mexico wanting to improve their English and familiarize themselves with the American university system.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Max Kade Foundation, the second floor residential space of the newly renovated former Chi Phi Fraternity, now known as the Texas Instruments House, serves as the URI Max Kade German Language Learning Community.
The Max Kade floor is a key component of the Heidi Kirk Duffy Center for International Engineering Education, comprised of the TI House and the IEP House, both of which are home to the students and faculty of the International Engineering Program (IEP).
The Max Kade German Language Learning Community provides residential space for 22 students enrolled in the German IEP, as well as exchange students from partner universities in Germany. Newly renovated in 2007, the Kade floor provides excellent housing in a state-of-the-art facility, where German is spoken on a daily basis and where students are preparing for year-long study and professional internship experiences in Germany.
In support of the Max Kade Community, the TI House provides a dining program with a German Language Table, a weekly Kaffeestunde, a regular German language film program, German language television, and numerous lectures, discussions, and other cultural events. The TI House is also home to URI's annual summer German language immersion program, Die Deutsche Sommerschule am Atlantik.
For housing applications, tours, or other information:
International Engineering Program
University of Rhode Island
Heidi Kirk Duffy Center
61 - 67 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881