Focus on joint research and competitive education for students
The University of Houston recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE), declared by the Indian Parliament as an “institution of national importance.”
IIPE, which was initiated by the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, was established in 2016 in the state of Andhra Pradesh. At present, it offers undergraduate degrees in petroleum and chemical engineering and is planning to offer various graduate program in energy-related fields.
The aim of this MoU is to build scientific and technical knowledge through joint research, as well as equip students at both institutions with skills and knowledge so they are able to compete in the dynamic energy industry.
The agreement was signed by V.S.R.K. Prasad, founding director of IIPE, Sudarsan Neogi, IIPE administrative liaison, Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the Cullen College of Engineering at UH, Jaime Ortiz, UH vice provost for global strategies and studies. Both parties looked forward to collaboration and opportunities.
Ortiz vowed to build on the collaboration and “make sure that we end up with meaningful and concrete outcomes and results.”
At the signing, Prasad thanked his UH counterparts and urged them to “groom” the young institute. “We wish that this institute should develop an international level of globalization of research within the energy industry such that any person with any energy problem should look towards this institute,” he said.
The agreement covers four key areas of possible collaboration:
1. Faculty exchanges, especially in subsea engineering, offshore and onshore petroleum engineering, process control systems and process safety in all chemical engineering fields and non-conventional energy areas.
2. Possible student exchanges for short-term visits and learning.
3. Joint research projects, and
4. Joint academic events and activities, including short courses, seminars, workshops and/or conferences based on mutual interest and institutional expertise. The two may also explore research and projects involving distance and computer-based learning.
Also, present at the signing: Phaneendra Kondapi, director of UH’s subsea engineering program and the person responsible for coordinating this MOU, Suresh Khator, Cullen College associate dean for graduate programs, Mohamed Soliman, chair of UH Petroleum Engineering and Michael Nikolaou, professor of Chemical Engineering.
IIPE professors also met separately with other UH chemical engineering and petroleum engineering faculty and the UH Energy team – including Ramanan Krishnamoorti and Ganesh Thakur – to strengthen relationships and discuss possible projects.
“We continue to build global alliances with academic and research partners around the world,” said Tedesco. “IIPE is an excellent university and we’re very proud to have this opportunity to work together.”
See photos from the signing ceremony here.