International collaboration with top petroleum engineering schools
Over the past few years, Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has partnered with several prestigious universities, including two of China’s most prestigious petroleum universities – China University of Petroleum-Beijing (CUPB) and China University of Petroleum East China (UPC).
This past June, UPC and Memorial signed an exchange student agreement. Currently, six students with high academic standing from UPC are now studying engineering at Memorial. The students will be here until June 2015. They are taking undergraduate engineering courses and participating in process and environmental engineering research projects.
Memorial engineering is also collaborating with CUPB. Recently, Dr. Faisal Khan, department head of process engineering, and the faculty’s international student officer Jinghua Nie travelled to China and met with the university’s head of petroleum engineering to discuss collaborative partnerships. Memorial also signed an exchange student agreement with that university.
Memorial’s relationship with CUPB goes back to 2007 when delegates from Memorial visited the CUPB campus for the first time. To date, 17 CUPB undergraduate students have studied at Memorial as visiting students. Many have joined thesis-based or course-based master’s programs in the faculty.
“The collaboration is a win-win success,” said Dr. Khan. “Some of the best graduate students in our oil and gas engineering graduate programs have been from CUPB. For CUPB students, it is an opportunity to study abroad and enhance their learning experiences. For Memorial students, the interaction with top students from a partner university has enabled them to work comfortably in teams with students from different backgrounds – an essential skillset that employers are increasingly seeking from graduates.”
CUPB student Shuting Wei studied for two semesters at Memorial as a visiting student. She was very excited to return to St. John’s this past September to join the Master of Applied Science in oil and gas engineering program at Memorial.
“It's impressive to feel the spirit of exploration and innovation here,” she said. “The culture and activities here are fascinating, and the people here are really nice and friendly.”
There are curriculum and accreditation requirements of undergraduate engineering programs and resulting limitations in terms of Memorial’s engineering students taking courses overseas. However, several students have co-operative work term experiences overseas.
“Students from Memorial, engineering or otherwise, can visit CUPB for short periods to enrich their learning experience,” said Ms. Nie. “With the new exchange student agreement, CUPB students can now secure China Scholarship Council (CSC) funding to visit Memorial.”
Professor Sun, director of CUPB’s International Office, is happy with their collaboration with Memorial.
“We would like to develop closer collaboration with Memorial in terms of joint research and faculty exchange.”
During their recent visit to CUPB, Dr. Khan and Ms. Nie invited additional funded students to work at Memorial. Dr. Khan gave a seminar on oil and gas development in harsh environments and also met with CUPB students and faculty members.
“The successful collaboration between Memorial and CUPB provides mutual benefits,” echoed Dr. Leonard Lye, the faculty’s associate dean of graduate studies, who played a key leadership role on the partnership with CUPB. “I certainly would like to see further initiatives taken to promote the partnerships and resulting excellence in education and research at both universities.”
Delegates from CUPB plan to visit Memorial again later this year to pursue additional partnerships and joint projects.