The University of Dayton China Institute opened Aug. 8 in Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, China.
Ceremonies were held to celebrate the opening and included performances by University of Dayton students and faculty, according to a university press release. University President Dr. Daniel Curran said over 100 dignitaries, including Suzhou Park leaders and former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, were present along with other audience members.
Located near a third of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, Curran said UDCI’s location promotes potential professional relationships to benefit the institute, UD students and industries. Current companies involved with institute research projects include General Electric, Emerson, Eli Lilly, Makino, Ethicon and Delphi, according to Philip Doepker, UDCI coordinator for industrial and technical relations.
An invitation from SIP to open a facility in China gave UD the opportunity to conduct research and product development for the surrounding industries, Curran said. Although UD’s study abroad programs are extensive, Curran said UD’s previous work with American industries located in SIP will create an even stronger global presence.
“With UDCI, we intend to build our international reputation, allowing for academic and employment opportunities for UD,” Curran said. “We are striving to create a platform for excellence for our students and faculty.”
Weiping Wang will serve as the executive director for UDCI. Knowledge of Chinese and Jiangsu provincial law expedited the development of the institute, Curran said. Through studies in Australia and China, Wang understands the importance of global connections and intercultural experiences, he said.
“I believe UDCI is going to be a home for the China Initiatives,” Tina Manco Newton, the associate director for partnership and exchange for the Center for International Programs, said in an email to Flyer News. “With the leadership of Dr. Wang, [UDCI] is well positioned to take our relationship with China to a whole new level.”
As company engagement efforts continue, linking students with future employers through “Hire a Flyer” is a main priority. An international experience proves beneficial to successful employment in the current economy, according
“The collaboration work we are doing at UDCI will have a big impact on the multinational companies we are helping,” Doepker said. “We are hoping to involve UD students through courses, internships and co-op positions so they can remain on track academically but with a unique, cultural learning experience.”
Doepker said UDCI is similar to Kettering Laboratories with an innovation center on the first with a design studio, break out rooms, and a prototype lab.
“UDCI contains five floors of research equipment, classrooms, faculty offices, and conference and lecture areas for technical society guests,” Doepker said.
A Marianist heritage center is on the second floor to inform students and faculty about UD’s mission, according to the UDCI
In addition to professional
connections, partnering academic institutions include Nanjing University, Shanghai Normal University, Zhejiang University and others, according to the UDCI
Curran said the Middle East and Europe are potential locations for future UD institutes.
“We need to enlighten our students with a global perspective,” Doepker said. “Our current global economy tells us there are no boundaries and we need to penetrate such an open market.”
For more information on UDCI, go to http://bit.ly/SoMan1.