NCKU Delegation Visits Purdue University, Strengthening a Long-Standing Partnership and Creating New Links Across a Range of Academic Disciplines
Written by Atelier Future. Image credit to Atelier Future & Office of Strategic Planning
NCKU delegation visits Purdue University on August 29 and 30 (Indiana, US) and engaged in academic exchanges across multiple fields.
Between August 29 and 30, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) President Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su led a delegation to visit Purdue University. The delegation met with the current President of Purdue University Mitchell E. Daniels and President-Elect Dr. Mung Chiang. With over 40 administrators, experts, scholars, and student affairs professionals, the NCKU delegation and Purdue University celebrated 70 years of collaboration and a closer and longer-term strategic partnership in the future by signing two collaboration agreements and engaging in academic exchanges across multiple fields.
Recognizing a Significant Partnership and President Su's Achievements
NCKU and Purdue University celebrates the 70-year collaboration and a closer and longer-term strategic partnership.
Kicking off NCKU Night on August 29 was the opening of an exhibition commemorating the significant history of collaboration between NCKU and Purdue. Director of the NCKU Museum and Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Planning, Ping-Sheng Wu, presented the extensive research accomplishments accumulated over years of intensive collaboration throughout various academic disciplines. As he spoke, each black and white photo told a visual story, transporting the presidents of both universities through time to revisit the two universities' impressive collaborative achievements across seven decades.
NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su commends the achievements from the partnership between NCKU and Purdue.
As the celebration officially began, NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su noted, “It must have been fated for NCKU and Purdue University to have become such close partners despite the boundaries of time and distance." After all, she explained, the two universities share similar roles in their respective nation's history. Established initially as Tainan Technical College in 1931, NCKU emerged in response to the demands of national industrial development. Similarly, Purdue University, as a land-grant university, has also shouldered the critical task of supporting U.S. national development of the agricultural and mechanical industries. Under mid-century policies offering U.S. aid in the Asia-Pacific region, Purdue University extended its expertise in supporting national development to NCKU by providing upgraded technology and equipment.
President Su expressed that she believes a thriving university provides knowledge, develops forward-looking insights, and ensures that the experience of one generation is passed down to the next. In this regard, Purdue and NCKU hold shared aims and, through innovation, continue to give back to society. President Su stated she looks forward to the fruitful results of NCKU and Purdue's strategic partnership to cultivate talent and complete research in data science, aerospace, semiconductor technologies, and health care. In closing, she expressed her firm belief that this sustainable partnership will bring a better and positive impact on the world.
Mark Lundstrom, Interim Dean of the Purdue College of Engineering describes the partnership between Purdue and NCKU as everlasting.
Mark Lundstrom, Interim Dean of the Purdue College of Engineering, remarked he was delighted to see the start of a summer session at the NCKU Academy of Innovative Semiconductor and Sustainable Manufacturing (AISSM) and the admission of the third class of NCKU-Purdue dual degree students. Lundstrum stated he believes the consensus and endeavors of the two universities will significantly benefit both Taiwan and the U.S. by cultivating exceptional talents in the field of semiconductor technologies. As he reflected on the rich history of Purdue and NCKU's partnership, Lundstrum spoke of Purdue sending a team of professors headed by Professor Norris Shreve to serve as advisors to NCKU between 1953 and 1956, where they helped to improve teaching practices, strengthen course labs, and enhance lab facilities. He concluded his remarks by emphasizing, “The partnership between Purdue and NCKU is everlasting."
Purdue President-Elect Mung Chiang opens with a warm welcome to the NCKU delegation and said he looks forward to building new bridges between the two universities.
Purdue President-Elect Mung Chiang, who will take office on January 1, 2023, opened with a warm welcome to NCKU President Su. Dr. Chiang recognized the long-standing cooperation between the two universities and warmly welcomed the NCKU delegation "home," stating he hopes NCKU will "come home" more often in the future.
Dr. Chiang, then Dean of the Purdue College of Engineering, visited NCKU in November 2018, where he signed an agreement with the NCKU College of Engineering and the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to establish a dual degree program and innovative model of collaboration through online coursework. During NCKU Night, Dr. Chiang added to the historical narrative woven throughout the celebration by looking back at how the 70-year partnership began. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) asked Purdue University to help update academic institutions in Taiwan and transform the island's industries. In response, then-Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde led several faculty members to teach at NCKU, including the "mother of modern management" and Purdue's first female engineering faculty member, Professor Lillian Gilbreth.
NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su presents a print of the NCKU Future Venue, a symbolic construction during the USAID period, to Purdue President-Elect Mung Chiang.
This partnership has thrived, said Dr. Chiang, because both Taiwan and the United States value democracy, human rights, and a free market economy. Furthering the cooperation, on August 23, less than a week before this visit, NCKU and Purdue, under the witness of the governor of Indiana, signed a Letter of Intent in Taipei. This letter leverages education to promote industrial upgrades and talent cultivation in Taiwan and the United States. With a shared consensus during the delegation's visit, Dr. Chiang expressed that he looks forward to the new bridges between the two universities: more NCKU students choosing to study at Purdue in the future and, through NCKU's close industry ties, Purdue students interning in Taiwan.
NCKU Museum Director Ping-Sheng Wu introduces the exhibition about the history of collaboration between NCKU and Purdue.
After the remarks of the two university presidents, NCKU Museum Director Ping-Sheng Wu presented the two universities' 70-year partnership. Purdue was chosen through the Foreign Assistance Act of 1950 to help assist developing countries. Between 1952-1965, Purdue University provided this assistance to NCKU, transforming the university into an economic and academic driver behind Taiwan's economic miracle. This assistance helped lay the foundation for NCKU to become a comprehensive research university in the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. Over the past 70 years, Purdue and NCKU have built a prosperous collaborative partnership. In 2018 alone, NCKU was visited by Purdue University's Professor George Chiu from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Tom Shih from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Dimitrios Peroulis, then-Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. Furthermore, in 2009, NCKU President Michael Ming-Chiao Lai led a delegation of senior administrators to visit Purdue University. There, he signed an MoU. The NCKU Museum also curated an exhibition on Purdue and NCKU's collaboration during the USAID era. There have long been close ties between the two universities' faculties. Of the 602 NCKU professors who graduated from U.S. universities, 29 are Purdue alumni, making Purdue the most common alma mater among faculty. Their expertise includes chemical engineering, electrical engineering, engineering science, and biomedical engineering.
NCKU and Purdue Faculties Deepen Cooperation Across Multiple Fields to Achieve Fruitful Results
The NCKU delegation includes NCKU President Su, Qisda CEO Peter Chen, Vice President Fong-Chin Su, and AISSM Dean Yan-Kuin Su.
On the second day of the visit on August 30, NCKU President Su, along with Qisda CEO Peter Chen, Vice President Fong-Chin Su, AISSM Dean Yan-Kuin Su, and Research Associate Professor Joy Chia-Yi Lin (also the Director of Strategic Planning and Development), participated in a bilateral dialogue with Purdue University President Daniels and President-Elect Dr. Mung Chiang. During the meeting, President Daniels affirmed the historical significance of the cooperation between Purdue and NCKU. He was proud of the remarkable partnership between Purdue and NCKU and admired former President Hovde for his vision. President Daniels also shared his experience in Asia and stressed the critical role Taiwan can play in the global arena. Both universities have built a strong, robust partnership through the shared values among NCKU and Purdue almni. On behalf of Purdue University, President-Elect Dr. Mung Chiang reached a broad consensus with the NCKU delegation on semiconductor cooperation and expanded collaboration with all other disciplines through dual degree and student exchange programs. Both sides are committed to building a regular performance review system to ensure practical cooperation and program implementation.
NCKU delegation, led by President Su, visits Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels.
On August 23 in Taipei, NCKU AISSM and Purdue College of Engineering signed a Letter of Intent for cooperation. During this visit, AISSM Dean Su and Professor Lih-Yih Chiou of the NCKU Department of Electrical Engineering finalized the bilateral cooperation agreement. Purdue University will identify researchers to participate jointly in IC design, semiconductor manufacturing, and packaging projects. Both sides will hold student competitions and academic seminars and arrange exchange visits among faculty members. Interim Dean Lundstrom of the Purdue College of Engineering described how the two universities' strong connection with industrial partners would be a great starting point for cooperation. On this foundation, Purdue and NCKU will continue to promote industry-academia cooperation and strengthen student exchange and dual degree programs, especially in the semiconductor field.
NCKU AISSM faculty has lunch with colleagues from Purdue College of Engineering; NCKU marketing and communications team visits its Purdue counterpart.
NCKU also led its marketing and communications teams to visit its Purdue counterpart, including NCKU Deputy Director Ping-Sheng Wu of the Office of Strategic Planning, Executive Director Po-Min Kung of CPD Design Center, and CEO Leslie Tsai of Atelier Future. Both parties engaged in in-depth discussions about action plans for brand collaboration. "Don't create a marketing department; build a production company for what you can control," said R. Ethan Braden, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Purdue University and Purdue University Global. Braden leads its team to position the Purdue brand and portfolio worldwide, and he shares this experience and work philosophy with the NCKU team.
In terms of academic cooperation, the faculty members from both universities engaged in fruitful discussions on joint research programs, including in the areas of semiconductors, industrial innovation, electrical engineering, computer science, aeronautics and astronautics, physics, nursing, Asian studies and languages. Before the delegation's departure, NCKU President Su and Professor George Chiu, Assistant Dean for Global Engineering Programs at Purdue University, co-chaired a final report meeting, during which NCKU professors from various disciplines shared the results of their encounters with their Purdue counterparts.
NCKU Department of Electrical Engineering Professor Hsun-Ping Hsieh visited Professor Scott D. Sudhoff, Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs. Discussed the cooperation details of the student and faculty exchange programs. Professor Hsieh also met with Dr. Jennifer Neville, Professor of Computer Science and Statistics at Purdue University, and her Ph.D. students, during which both sides shared their research results on information data analysis and agreed to work together in the area of industry-university cooperation.
NCKU Department of Electrical Engineering Professor Hsun-Ping Hsieh and Associate Professor Chia-Hsiang Lin meet with Purdue faculty.
NCKU Department of Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Chia-Hsiang Lin, who specializes in hyperspectral image inpainting, talked about possible joint research programs with the three following Purdue faculty members: Professor Chih-Chun Wang on the backscattered communication application of 5G remote sensing and blind source separation; with Professor Kevin J. Webb on fundamental machine learning topics and nonperiodic material structure design; and with Professor Gesualdo Scutari on the technical collaboration of using hyperspectral satellite images for national defense.
Associate Professor Yi Yang of the Department of Physics specializes in high-energy nuclear physics and has participated in many important international collaborative experiments, including AMS-02 and STAR. During this visit, Professor Yang discussed with Professor Andreas Jung and Professor Gabor Csathy from the Purdue Department of Physics the Time-of-Flight Detectors at the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC), including its main structural design and construction. Both sides, under the cooperation framework between the two Schools of Science, talked about ways to develop student exchange and dual degree programs that leverage the strengths of the physics department.
NCKU Department of Physics Professor Bing-Chih Chen and Associate Professor Yi Yang has lunch with Purdue faculty;
Professor Shau-Shiun Jan, Chair of the NCKU Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Associate Professor Chih-Yung Wu meet with Professor Tom Shih.
Professor Shau-Shiun Jan, Chair of the NCKU Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Associate Professor Chih-Yung Wu met with Professor Tom Shih of Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. They agreed to strengthen the ongoing research projects and discussed possible plans for further cooperation. A special meeting was also arranged with the NCKU alums currently pursuing their Ph.D. studies at Purdue.
Professor Bing-Chih Chen of the NCKU Department of Physics visited the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and identified three main areas for collaboration, including extreme weather phenomena, earth observation, and lunar exploration. Both sides can develop research topics and instruments of science payloads. In talent cultivation, both universities can provide joint English courses, and guide students to participate in international space mission competitions.
Professor Mei-Feng Lin, Professor Ching-Lan Lin, and Professor Hsing-Mei Chen of the NCKU Department of Nursing met with colleagues from Purdue University's School of Nursing, including Professor Coleman Christopher, head of the School of Nursing, Professor Nancy Edward, and curriculum administrators, to discuss plans for future cooperation between the two departments. The two parties have agreed and will sign a Letter of Intent for bilateral cooperation, including programs that offer summer student exchange, dual degrees, and teacher exchange. Such partnership is also expected to advance the curriculum and internship design of NCKU's in-service master's degree program in nursing.
Professor Mei-Feng Lin, Ching-Lan Lin, and Hsing-Mei Chen of the NCKU Department of Nursing meet with colleagues from Purdue University's School of Nursing;
Ming-Long Yeh, Director of NCKU Start-up Accelerator, and Ming-Qin Ho, head of the administrative team visit Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.
Ming-Long Yeh, Director of NCKU Start-up Accelerator, and Ming-Qin Ho, head of the administrative team, met with Dr. Arnold Chen and Professor Yung-Hsiang Lu from Purdue University's Department of Electrical Engineering. They discussed the start-up climate at Purdue, their personal entrepreneurial experiences, and the role of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in supporting technology commercialization on campus.
Professor Mei-Ying Wu from the NCKU Department of Taiwanese Literature visited Professor Wei Hong, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Director of Chinese Language Program of the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Margaret Tillman, Director of Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History of the College of Liberal Arts. Both parties discussed developing a college-level exchange program, including guest lectures by professors from both universities and a program that brings Purdue University students to NCKU.
“What a privilege for all of us engaged in the past, present and future of this NCKU-Purdue partnership,” said NCKU President Su as the delegation ended this visiting trip. After 70 years, NCKU can finally say that we proudly shoulder our social responsibility as a higher education institution. Our return trip to Purdue is our sincere tribute to our compassion from our U.S. friends and our profound commitment to building a visionary future together.
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