School of Engineering Lands Overseas Partner

06.16.2005 | A partnership between the University of Dayton School of Engineering and an Italian university will enhance study abroad opportunities, as well as research and employment opportunities with Boeing Co.

Starting in summer 2006, about two dozen University of Dayton engineering students will take general engineering courses at Universita Politecnica delle Marche in the Adriatic Sea port city of Ancona, located about 100 miles north of Rome.

Boeing contacted UD School of Engineering [] Dean Joe Saliba about recruiting on campus and inquired about the school's international partnerships. Saliba said Boeing was encouraged about the opportunities at UD after hearing about talks with the Italian university.

Boeing does a lot of work for Italy and its government, and expects Italy to help Boeing's research through collaborations among the nations' research universities.

The international partnership gives UD students additional job opportunities with an industry leader and makes them more marketable in today's global economy.

The UD-Universita Politecnica connection grew from an Italian Education Ministry request for Universita Politecnica to find an international research partner.

The common ground, timing and research goals among Boeing and the two schools helped seal the relationship.

Saliba said the arrangement also answers a desire for international study opportunities in engineering expressed by current and prospective students.

He expects UD students in Italy will not face any costs greater than a normal summer semester on campus.

Saliba said the classes, taught in English by UD and Universita Politecnica professors, will draw on Italian cultural and engineering strengths like structures and hydraulics. Additional opportunities for students to take Italian art and history classes will be available.

While in Italy finalizing the deal, Saliba visited Marianist Superior General David Fleming to discuss expanding UD's Engineers in Technical, Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-learning (ETHOS) program.

"We want to make all the resources of a Catholic Marianist university open to the international Marianist community," Saliba said. "It's all about making a difference in people's lives."

Saliba envisions students completing their Italian summer semester then heading across the Adriatic for a semester of service in eastern European nations struggling with infrastructure problems stemming from the fall of Communism and subsequent wars.

UD is Ohio's top university for U.S. Defense Department-sponsored research and development (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2004-05 Almanac), leads all other Ohio universities in aerospace research (Ohio Aerospace Institute), and is the nation's top Catholic university for non-medical research (National Science Foundation, 2004).

For more information, please contact Shawn Robinson at (937) 229-3391.