June 18, 2003
Universities team up to give students first-hand global experience
Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering has started an 18-month international program that integrates studying and working abroad. The program also includes multinational design-team projects in which American students and their counterparts at a German university team up to create prototypes.
Because the program will give the Purdue students early, first-hand experience in working abroad in multicultural teams, it will better prepare them for the global workplace, said E. Daniel Hirleman, the William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering.
Students participating in the program will attend both the Universitat Karlsruhe, in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Purdue. The Purdue students will study at the German university's Institute of Machine Design and Automotive Engineering. Hirleman said additional universities in other countries eventually will be included in the program, called Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education, or GEARE.
One of the program's key financial supporters, Purdue mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas J. Malott, said he believes a Midwestern upbringing does not fully prepare students for today's global business environment. Malott, a retired CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., was born in Attica and grew up in South Bend, Ind. He provided a $500,000 endowment to help support the program.