Engineering undergraduates study in China this summer

Ruth Chen, Ph.D., research associate in the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, and Jay R. Turner, Ph.D., associate professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering, are leading an international exchange program for the department this summer to Beijing.

In this inaugural International Experience Class, the purpose is to enhance and enrich the global experience of undergraduate engineering students in areas of energy and environment. Chen and Turner, along with 11 undergraduate students, will be in China from June 25-July 12.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science prepared the students by hosting orientation lessons on China conducted by WUSTL students who have lived in China. The department paid for Chinese classes and cultural exposure at the Chinese Academy of St. Louis. The students took part in seminars on history and politics, transcontinental transport of air pollution, environmental informatics and power supply in China.

They will visit government air-quality monitoring stations, travel to key state air pollution control laboratories, visit Emerson electronics manufacturing sites and partake in classes at Tsinghua and Peking universities — both members of the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership (MAGEEP). WUSTL also provided scholarships, visa services and vaccination advice and enabled internships with Emerson Network Power.

After summer classes at MAGEEP partner schools, the program continues the following fall semester and students engage in project execution — including presenting seminars and writing reports — under the supervision of WUSTL professors and the partner universities.

The program will be ongoing. Each year, new students will be selected and guided by energy, environmental and chemical engineering faculty by learning topics in energy and environment as well as the history, culture and language of the country of the partner university.

This program provides an international experience, global perspectives in energy and environment and teamwork and leadership skills development and also promotes student exchange and faculty collaboration.

MAGEEP is a consortium of 25 universities and corporate partners, including WUSTL, that work together in energy, environmental and sustainability education and operations. It was formed in 2007.