Thapar Institute, Virginia Tech to build Center of Excellence
KS Diwan/ royalpatiala.in/ Patiala
Virginia Tech and Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET) which is one of India’s leading private universities in India, have agreed to a $2 million investment to build a collaborative research center-the Thapar-Virginia Tech Center of Excellence in Frontier Materials.
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with Gautam Thapar, president of TIET.
Gautam Thapar and senior officials visited Blacksburg earlier this week to formalize the agreement covering a project that both parties said had been in discussion for years.
Through Outreach and International Affairs, the institute will commit $1 million to fund a Thapar Institute Professorship at Virginia Tech. Thapar Institute will dedicate an additional $1 million to build and equip the center on its campus in India, cover the travel and housing expenses of the Thapar Professorship, and fund doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows.
Gautam Thapar said, “The team plans to have the center up and running within three months. “This is a big attraction for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in India because there are very few engineering and science institutions that actually are doing this kind of work.”
“The pioneering creation of the Thapar-Virginia Tech Center of Excellence in Frontier Materials has emerged in the context of Virginia Tech’s VT, India initiative,” said Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs.
“This vital research initiative represents the extension of Virginia Tech’s global presence to the northern part of the subcontinent.”
Roop Mahajan, former director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, will serve as the inaugural Thapar Institute Professor, a position designed for a full-time faculty member at Virginia Tech who will also spend more than three months annually in India.
The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech works on using cutting-edge materials in new ways. The center’s work is designed to generate “engineering solutions for real-world contemporary research problems,” reflective of the commitment in Virginia Tech’s strategic plan to tackle “large and complex problems” in ways that “span a wide range of disciplines to engage research scholars and students.”
“We are building a longstanding relationship with Thapar Institute, and in many ways we’re evolving on parallel tracks,” Sands said. “Co-investment in areas of shared interest and leadership from individuals who reside in both locations are the building blocks of a great partnership. I’m excited about the alignment of our aspirations for the future.”
Virginia Tech will advise the center on equipment and the laboratory requirements. “The idea is that we don’t replicate everything. If you’re going to do joint research, this part can be done here and that part can be done in India. Today, in a virtual world, we can put everything together,” Thapar said.
Future collaborations may include a data analytics specialization for students at the center, student exchange programs, and an immersive study abroad program in India for Virginia Tech students.
Ghosh said “Thapar Institute’s embrace of Virginia Tech is a shining example our faculty expertise and their extensive track record in cutting-edge research.”
Professor Gopalan, Director TIET stated that “ this is another step in our strategic goal to ensure that our students are enabled to get the best of global standards in higher education”
TIET founded in 1956, is housed in a 250-acre campus in Patiala, Punjab. It is globally ranked at World’s most influential university rankings. TIET has a deep contemporization partnership with Trinity College Dublin.
TIET is committed to developing high quality, professionally groomed technical and engineering manpower possessing multifaceted personality with respect for professional and social ethics, national values and the spirit of human emancipation. TIET believes in providing opportunities to students to broaden their horizons and develop cross-cultural perspectives enabling them to engage in the adventure of learning and discovery. http://www.thapar.edu/aboutus