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     US delegation meets PEC faculty

Chandigarh, June 7th 2007, Tribune News Service

Although the number of colleges offering engineering degrees in India runs in thousands, there are not enough well-qualified professors in the country. In the US, the problem is just the reverse. This was one of many issues discussed today by a US delegation of educators from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). The delegation met with members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and faculty members of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Sector 12, at the college, here today.

The five-members of the delegation - Ashok Saxena, dean, university of Arkansas; Kalpana Jain, vice-president, academic affairs, Vaughn College; Barbara Olds, associate vice-president and professor, Colorado School of Mines; Krishna Vedula, professor of chemical engineering, University of Massachusetts; Satish Kulkarni, counsellor, US embassy and Anne Lee, assistant cultural affairs officer, US embassy - were here as part of the ASEE’s initiative to strengthen US-India collaborative efforts at accreditation, curriculum and technology enhanced learning, research and development and innovation and entrepreneurship in both the countries.

On the occasion, professor Uma Batra of the PEC was officially nominated as the first woman engineer representative to the US Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Impressed by the number of women faculty members at the PEC, professor Krishna Vedula remarked, “In the US, the percentage of women engineers is very small as most of the women are not inclined towards taking up mathematics and science at the college level.” The Americans should take a cue from their Indian counterparts on how to attract more women to the profession, he added.

To bridge engineering education in India and the US, the delegation also participated in a two-day workshop at the Infosys campus in Mysore to develop an action plan on future collaboration in engineering education.

In order to pay homage to Indo-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, Barbara presented a badge and a document of the project that Kalpana was working on with the Colorado School of Mines. The project, ‘Mist’, was launched to study the effects of droplet size and water concentration on the speed of a propagating propane air flame.


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