Integrated research, mentoring and culture experiences will be offered to eight undergraduates per year in Shanghai, China. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) senior students will be engaged in research on water treatment in an economically growing region - Shanghai, China. The students will spend a total of eight weeks at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and complete their degree-required research projects under the supervision of both WPI faculty and faculty at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at SJTU. WPI is developing a research center in Shanghai that enables these opportunities for students. This grant will further strengthen the development of this center. The center will leverage WPI's infrastructure for these international research projects.
There is an increasing trend for US companies to develop manufacturing and research relationships with corresponding industries in China. From the perspective of environmental engineering, the recognized environmental challenges in China provide opportunities for non-Chinese entities to develop businesses in addressing the solutions or prevention of environmental problems. Therefore, a program that provides opportunities for US undergraduate students to participate in research in China under the mentorship of Chinese researchers and to learn about the Chinese perspectives in understanding the nature of technical issues, the challenges faced, and the Chinese approach to decision making and problem resolution could be very valuable for the participating students. Both WPI and SJTU faculty members involved are committed to mentoring undergraduates in research and professional development. Experiences by undergraduates working in a research setting in China will be valuable in broadening their understanding and forming a more effective foundation for future technical collaborations.