UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Montan University Leoben, in Leoben, Austria, to develop a student exchange partnership that will link two educational institutions known for their expertise in sustainable approaches to materials sciences, mining and geosciences, with additional partnership opportunities with Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute.
The program initially will open a higher-learning pipeline for undergraduate students majoring in materials science and engineering but could expand to include graduate students and research endeavors. The partnership also could expand to include other areas such as mining and geosciences.
As part of the agreement the universities will explore:
- Professional training programs
- Faculty and postdoctoral scholar exchanges
- Undergraduate and graduate student programs
- Joint research and education programs
- Exchange of scientific materials, publications and information
- Joint seminars and other academic events
“Our materials science program is dedicated to sustainable solutions for tackling the world’s most pressing problems,” said Lee Kump, dean of the College of EMS. “Partnering with Leoben, which shares both our expertise and core values, allows our students to broaden their perspectives in science and culture and affords their students the same opportunity.”
Leoben is centrally located in Europe and offers access to numerous materials science facilities across the continent. EMS offers students access to a tier-one research university in a top-ranked materials science program.
“This partnership combines expertise of both universities and our experience has always been that if you put together areas of expertise from different backgrounds — where we see things from different viewpoints — you create something new that is of higher value than the work of those two partners working alone,” said Peter Moser, vice-chancellor of Montan University Leoben. “Innovation in sustainability needs to combine people of different disciplines, diversities and cultures, to have different thoughts about the common challenges. This student exchange will connect researchers, and once the researchers are connected, this gives way to additional joint education programs.”