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Wollongong Strengthens Its Research Ties with India

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is significantly strengthening its research and teaching ties with India including the signing of Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with two of the oldest and most prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay). A senior delegation from UOW including the Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, is currently visiting India to develop these strategic alliances.

On 24 April, Professor Wellings and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Joe Chicharo visited IIT Kharagpur to formally establish a framework for future research and teaching collaboration in complementary disciplines that include mining and related engineering areas.

UOW signed a second MOU at IIT Bombay on 25 April. The MOU enhances its existing collaboration with IIT Bombay in electrical power systems to other allied areas including the integration of renewable energy resources. Staff at UOW and IIT Bombay have already begun an exchange of higher degree research students and joint external research grant applications.

These two initiatives further build upon the existing collaborations that UOW has recently developed with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi and the Government of Gujarat in the development of an International Centre of Excellence in Mining.

UOW senior delegates, including Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper, also visited CSIR to progress the collaboration established in 2012 in a number of research themes including innovation in affordable health, low cost energy and sustainable development.

The final component of the visit includes important meetings with Government of Gujarat officials to further advance the five year action plan for UOW’s involvement as the international knowledge partner with the new International Centre of Excellence in Mining (iCEM) in Gujarat, India.

The Government of Gujarat through its Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation is establishing the centre with a focus on mining automation and safety. UOW will be participating with national institutional partners PANDIT Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) and IIT Kharagpur in the development of the centre. TAFE Illawarra has also been accepted to become one of the vocational skill partners.

The Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation is currently building a new facility near Ahmedabad and has committed to meet the significant capital costs for the first five years and support operational costs for a further five to 10 years, plus it will also fund other projects identified as strategic by UOW or national knowledge partners.

The delegation’s visit to Gujarat on 28 April progressed the development of the international centre. UOW’s involvement will include staff and student exchange, developing dual degree and twinning programs at the bachelor and masters level, professional training, conducting guest seminars and workshops and broadly establishing a framework for future research collaboration between all stakeholders. Much of the focus of this collaboration will centre on UOW’s School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering. The collaboration will also involve UOW’s School of Computer Science and Software Engineering and the School of Health and Society.

The UOW team on 28 April also will visit PDPU, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, to sign an agreement that will formally develop both a study abroad and summer program arrangement. In the first instance, 20 students as well as a number of staff will visit UOW in June 2014 to undertake a four-week summer (exposure) program. They will be exposed to a range of introductory subjects from the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts including sociology, political philosophy, international media and communications, research in social sciences and humanities.

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