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Oct. 4: Carnegie Mellon and KAIST To Launch Dual Degree Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Chriss Swaney                       

Teresa Thomas

Carnegie Mellon and KAIST To Launch Dual Degree
Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering

PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a new dual degree program for Ph.D. students in civil and environmental engineering.

Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon is scheduled to sign an official agreement for the program Oct. 5 during a gala celebration at KAIST, 90 miles south of Seoul, Korea. The agreement is the result of discussions begun in 2006 at the urging of KAIST President Suh Nam Pyo, who received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 1964.

"Carnegie Mellon is well-suited to collaborate with KAIST. We believe this agreement will be a catalyst for future educational and research opportunities. I am especially pleased that this partnership is with an institution of KAIST's stature," said Cohon, a leader in developing the university's growing global reach.

"I am delighted to sign this memorandum of understanding between the two universities for student/faculty exchange programs, joint research, and the dual-degree program in civil and environmental engineering. We hope to expand our scholarly collaboration to other areas in the future. Our goal is to generate future leaders who are able to lead global enterprises and conduct interdisciplinary research," said KAIST President Suh.

KAIST was established in 1971 as Korea's foremost center of science and engineering research and higher education. The agreement with Korea's top technology institute requires all courses to be taught in English with each candidate meeting the admission standards of both institutions. The program also will be structured so that candidates will spend part of their time at both Carnegie Mellon and KAIST.

"This agreement with Korea is an integral part of the international strategy for the College of Engineering," said Pradeep K. Khosla, dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering. "It complements and strengthens our other existing international partnerships."

James H. Garrett Jr., head of Carnegie Mellon's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, said the new program will take advantage of the breadth of potential intellectual collaborations between the two departments at Carnegie Mellon and KAIST.   

"We have a successful working relationship with KAIST Associate Professor Hoon Sohn, who was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon before heading back to his homeland," said Garrett. Sohn remains an adjunct faculty member at Carnegie Mellon.  Both Garrett and Sohn will act as the program's primary contacts.

Carnegie Mellon officials also say the agreement is significant because it reflects the commitment to explore new research opportunities. KAIST is located in Daedeok Science Town, which is home to more than 60 government-funded and private research institutes, universities and a myriad of venture capital businesses.  KAIST alumni play a leading role in science and engineering research organizations worldwide.