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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI hosts International Engineering
Education conference
Globalization pushes need for bilingual,
multi-cultural engineers

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 21, 2000 -- Engineering educators from more than 40 colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad will meet with representatives from several global corporations at the University of Rhode Island on October 13-14 for the third annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education.

The colloquium is designed to address the educational responses to the needs of today's global workplace.

"Companies are desperately seeking engineers who are bilingual and who have cross-cultural communication skills to deal with peers around the world," said John Grandin, professor of German and director of URI's International Engineering Program. "As a result, it's important that engineering educators internationalize their programs."

The first two international engineering education conferences, also held at URI, explored the current state of international engineering and the existing educational programs in place preparing students for this growing field. This year's conference will focus on issues being faced by current practitioners and "where do we go from here?"

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Hans Höller, vice president of corporate recruiting and sourcing for Siemens AG in Munich, Germany, who will provide an insiders point of view of the profile for engineering education in the 21st century.

Other subjects to be discussed will include: study abroad opportunities, internship programs, bilingual education, and preparing students to go overseas. The results of a survey conducted by URI Professor Norbert Hedderich to assess which institutions are involved in international engineering education will also be released.

The meeting is sponsored by URI's International Engineering Program with support from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education.

URI is a leader in international engineering education, having established its International Engineering Program in 1988. This program leads students simultaneously to degrees in both engineering and German, French or Spanish. In the fourth year of this five-year program students go abroad as interns with engineering firms in Europe or Latin America and as exchange students with partner universities.

For Information: John Grandin 874-4700, Todd McLeish 874-7892


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