WPI Signs Academic Agreement with Chinese University

Plans Call for Academic Exchanges and Joint Ph.D. Program with Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WPI associate provost and vice president for research William W. Durgin and Peigen Li, HUST vice-president for academic affairs, sign the agreement at WPI's Higgins House.

WORCESTER, Mass. -- December 16, 2004 -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has signed a memorandum of agreement with Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China, to formally establish cooperative relations between the two institutions, especially to develop academic and cultural exchanges for joint educational and research activities.

The agreement calls for the exchange of faculty members; undergraduate student project activities; joint supervision of postgraduate student projects; joint applications for research; participation in seminars and academic meetings; exchange of academic materials; and other mutually beneficial activities.

William W. Durgin, WPI associate provost and vice president for research, signed the agreement on behalf of WPI, and Peigen Li, HUST vice-president for academic affairs, signed on behalf of HUST.

Most notably, beginning in 2005, selected mechanical engineering undergraduates from each university will have the opportunity to carry out either a senior project or an internship training program for undergraduate students in mechanical engineering. For WPI students, this will be an opportunity to work on their Major Qualifying Projects (MQP) at one of the top engineering universities in China.

In addition, WPI and HUST are planning on developing a joint graduate degree programs in manufacturing engineering. The objective of the M.S. and Ph.D. programs will be to provide a bridge between manufacturers in China and companies in the United States by educating students firmly grounded in both cultures. When approved, it will be WPI's first joint Ph.D. program with an international university.

This MOA signing builds upon on numerous research agreements and individual cooperation between the universities over the last five years. Several high-level HUST delegations have visited WPI. WPI professor of mechanical engineering Yiming (Kevin) Rong has been an affiliate professor of HUST since 1996, and he visits HUST every year. Additionally, WPI has many graduate students from HUST.

About Huazhong University of Science and Technology

HUST, located in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, ranks among the top Chinese universities. It offers a variety of programs, including 69 undergraduate programs, 200 master's programs, 139 doctoral programs and 17 postdoctoral research centers. In addition, HUST includes several distinguished research centers: four National Engineering Research Centers, three National Leading Laboratories, and two National Specialized Laboratories. For more information about HUST, visit the HUST Web site.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 as one of the nation's first technological universities, WPI is renowned for its innovative project-based undergraduate curriculum and global projects program. With 2,770 undergraduates and 1,040 full- and part-time graduate students, WPI offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Working in more than 30 research institutes, centers and laboratories, the university's faculty and students are engaged in cutting-edge research in a broad range of fields.