Delegation from Dublin Institute of Technology visit campus
Brian Norton, president of Dublin Institute of Technology, and Dean Dennis Depew lead discussion during the DIT visit.
The partnership between the College of Technology and the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) took another step forward as a delegation of six representatives from the Irish university visited West Lafayette for a series of meetings, February 28 to March 5.
Among those on campus were Brian Norton, DIT president, and Mike Murphy, the school’s director and dean of the faculty of engineering. In addition to meetings with college administrators and faculty, the DIT contingent were able to meet with Purdue President France A. Cordova and Provost Tim Sands, among others across campus, to discuss additional Purdue/DIT partnerships.
The week culminated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CoT and DIT that outlines details of the partnership going forward. Melissa Dark, associate dean for research and planning, and Don Buskirk, international program officer, represented the college at the event.
“We were pleased to have our friends from DIT join us on campus. The signing of the MOU was an opportunity to demonstrate that the partnership is important, but it was also a chance to celebrate how well the partnership is working,” said Dennis Depew, dean of the College of Technology. “It was especially important to have President Norton here. It sends a message of the importance of this relationship.”
Murphy agreed that having high level support was important for this relationship to succeed. “We’ve had such successful engagement with Purdue, it was important that our president got to visit and spend time with President Cordova and Provost Sands,” he said. “Getting that high level of support sends the signal that the relationship you have is a relationship that both sides at the highest level want to see mature and develop. This should open up channels for further collaboration.”
Since the two colleges began working together in 2004, the partnership has brought about a number of collaborative research projects, faculty and student exchanges, joint degree programs, and study abroad excursions. The recent visit opened the door for more of these ventures, initiated discussions to extend the partnership across Purdue, and touched on the possible involvement of industry and government entities in both Ireland and Indiana.
While the College of Technology has a number of collaborative agreements with institutions across the world, this partnership is the broadest and deepest and presents the most opportunity for impactful research and sharing of ideas.
“The mission of DIT matches well with ours,” said Depew. “They have a high quality undergraduate education program that seeks to relate to industry and economic development in their country. Like us, they are interested in ‘use-inspired’ research.
“What makes this relationship even more unique is that it is sustainable. We have seen collaboration across each administration, but more importantly, it has drilled down to the departments and our faculty. This will continue because it is not dependent on current leadership. Deans can come and go, but these relationships go on because they are deep and rich and were created for the right reasons.”
Murphy said the similarities between the two institutions will play a key role in that sustainability. “What the College of Technology offers marries well with our offerings and our philosophy, our approach, to technology and engineering education,” said Murphy. “This is a strategic relationship for us because there is such a good match across a number of areas. With one university we could accomplish a number of faculty and student-focused initiatives.”
In addition to formal group and individual meetings, the guests from DIT were given tours of all CoT facilities, the Purdue campus, and the Caterpillar large engine plant in Lafayette. Norton, an expert in solar energy, also delivered a public lecture titled, “Harnessing Sunbeams”.
Atlantis STI Master’s Program (with DIT and The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya