The Office of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships was established in 2010 by the Dean of the Cullen College of Engineering and given the charge to initiate programs that promote college priorities and strengthen the University of Houston’s efforts to become a Tier One research institution. Led by Executive Director Lisa Robertson, the focus of the office is to leverage the college’s strengths in key research and education areas including energy, biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, sustainability, infrastructure, and the environment to its external stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial partnerships, and establish the college as an organization of relevance and impact nationally and internationally.
Growing the Research Enterprise
Growing the research enterprise and the continual development of the Energy Research Park are central components of the College of Engineering’s strategy to meet the Tier One research funding criteria, and challenges of reduced funding from the state.
The Office of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships supports faculty with services such as project management and customized business development strategies to identify and obtain industry and/or government funding. Examples of past and current activities include organizing and hosting “industry days” to showcase new technologies and better understand the needs of the market, provide input into the development of industry-funded, student programs, hosting a series of faculty–focused entrepreneurship “boot camps” to increase the transfer of technology and commercialization of research, and establishing global networks of universities to explore and establish new certificate and degree programs.
Partnering with Industry
The Office of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships provides a portal to corporations and businesses to the college and across campus to help them identify and meet their research and workforce needs. Conducting research, especially large, multidisciplinary projects, can be difficult to coordinate and extremely cost-prohibitive. The Office of External Relations and Strategic Partnerships works with its network of faculty, university, and industrial partners to form industry-academic research groups that offer corporate members affordable opportunities to maximize their participation. Flexibility and responsiveness are the hallmarks of the approach to create certificate and executive programs that address specific industry training needs, and internship programs to ensure a pipeline of future employees.
With a lot of help from our friends!
We greatly value the service, leadership, expertise, and enthusiasm of the individuals—alumni and friends of the college—who participate on the Engineering Leadership Board (ELB), The ELB is a diligent working group that provides crucial support to the college and the dean to implement the 2008-2013 strategic plan and advance the college and university.