University of Iowa

In the news: UI College of Engineering partners with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for annual design challenge

April 11th, 2017
Matias Perret (second from left), lecturer in the University of Iowa Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, assists UI engineering seniors Wenbo Wang and Samuel Fox while teaching assistant Brennen Wears observes. They are working with Hong
Matias Perret (second from left), lecturer in the University of Iowa Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, assists UI engineering seniors Wenbo Wang and Samuel Fox while teaching assistant Brennen Wears observes. They are working with Hong Kong University students to design a bucket-and-water–powered pulley system that could be used to handle iron ore. Photo by Justin Torner.

By Lynn Anderson Davy, Iowa Now

An innovative program that puts University of Iowa engineering students in the driver’s seat of an international design project has a new academic partner—the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology—and a renewed commitment from long-time partner Aix-Marseille University of France.

Since it was founded by the University of Iowa and Aix-Marseille University two decades ago, the Virtual International Project Team (VIPT) program has helped many engineering students experience the challenges of working on an international project with teams from different cultures and in different time zones. College of Engineering administrators say that the addition of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) will give the program a broader international scope and provide students with more study options.

“Hong Kong is not only a vibrant and culturally diverse city, but also a major financial hub,” says Ching-Long Lin, professor and departmental executive officer of the UI’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. “This new partnership with the HKUST will allow our students to interact with students who have different but also very complementary perspectives. We believe this new partnership will further enrich students’ design challenge experience.”

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