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University News

Engineering's Global Outreach Efforts Extend to Germany


From Dateline (November 6, 2003)

German mechanical engineerings students, from left, Marcus Frey, Matthias Brautschek, Gorg Weschenfelder and Konrad Henes recently toured the physics/engineering machine shop, where Dave Parsons, center, demonstrated a metal-turning lathe. The tour was part of the students’ visit to the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science recently hosted a delegation of 16 mechanical engineering students and two faculty members from Germany, as part of the university’s continuing efforts to extend its global outreach.

The three-day visit by students and faculty from Fachhochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Sciences – one of the foremost technical institutions of higher learning in Europe – is the latest development in an educational partnership between the two institutions.

During their stay, German engineering professors Manfred Gottschalk and Wolfgang Hoheisel met with members of the engineering faculty, including Jesa H. Kreiner, chair of the Division of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering; Sundaram Krishnamurthy, acting department head and professor of mechanical engineering; and Hossein Moini, professor of mechanical engineering.

Also in attendance were Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of ECS; Dorota Huizinga, acting associate dean of ECS; Keith Boyum, associate vice president for academic programs and professor of political science; and Chaim Gutfinger, a visiting professor from Israel.

The group explored ways to implement student exchange programs and to facilitate the transfer of credits and possible collaborative projects.

“We seek and cherish international ties,” said Boyum. “Cal State Fullerton has international goals that can benefit all parties concerned.” The university has established international agreements with more than 40 institutions of higher learning, Boyum noted.

Kreiner said the university has a strong relationship with Fachhochschule Karlsruhe and wants to explore ways to expand the partnership.

Three years ago, Cal State Fullerton hosted two Fachhochschule Karlsruhe students, who attested to the rewarding academic experience they had in Fullerton. Their experience prompted the 16 German students to visit Cal State Fullerton instead of an institution in Brazil, the other place considered for this trip, said Kreiner.

During their visit, Fachhochschule Karlsruhe students were able to meet
with Fullerton students, said Kreiner. “They ate pizza, played pool and exchanged stories about their favorite and not-so-favorite professors. They also discussed the capstone projects at both institutions, and were favorably impressed with the Fullerton projects, particularly the mini Baja vehicle.”

The visitors toured Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Universal Studios and the Customer Technology Application Center of Southern California Edison.
Last year, Kreiner gave a seminar at Fachhochschule Karlsruhe, located near the Black Forest in Baden-Wurttemberg. He arranged for Krishnamurthy to spend the spring semester at the German institution, where Krishnamurthy taught computer-aided design as a visiting professor and interacted with Fullerton students via the Internet.

Students from the German institution are expected to spend the academic year at Fullerton as part of a future exchange. Alex Naber, a Cal State Fullerton mechanical engineering major, is currently spending the year at Fachhochschule Karlsruhe.

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