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Agreement between Engineering, Universidad de Chile Encourages Academic Exchange

Nina Welding • DATE: June 29, 2016

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at the University of Notre Dame has entered into a five-year agreement with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (DIQBT) of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile, that encourages academic exchange and collaborative initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In addition to joint projects, the partners will exchange postdoctoral students, submit joint applications for research grants and create new programs to help integrate and expand the research in chemical engineering at both institutions. Undergraduate students from each institution will spend up to eight weeks working in a research capacity in the partner university. A similar program will be instituted for graduate students; however, the graduate program, which would be more focused in nature, would involve up to 12 weeks of participation and be included as part of a graduate thesis.

Faculty members will round out the exchange as they participate in a rigorous seminar program at the partner institution in addition to working together on specific research projects in core facilities such as the Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility, the University’s Integrated Imaging Facility and its Materials Characterization Facility.

Notre Dame’s Eduardo Wolf, the Anthony Earley Professor of Energy and the Environment; Hsueh-Chia Chang, the Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; and Alexander Mukasyan, the director of the Laboratory for Advanced Electron Microscopy, were present at the signing. Also present were Patricio Aceituno, dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at the Universidad de Chile; Paulo Araya, director of DIQBT; and professor Francisco Gracia from DIQBT.

Although the agreement is between two institutions, the partnership and collaboration is not new among the faculty as several faculty members at Universidad de Chile are Notre Dame alumni, including Gracia and adjunct professor Sichem Guerrero, who also serves on the faculty at the University of the Andes. Araya has been conducting research with Notre Dame faculty. This agreement formalizes those efforts and extends opportunities to other areas of chemical engineering, bioengineering, and biotechnology that are of mutual interest to the partners.