The Catholic University of America

April 16, 2013

Memorandum of Understanding is Signed with Chinese University

  MOU with Southeast University

At left is Hong Yi, president of Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, shaking hands with President John Garvey after signing the Memorandum of Understanding.

Catholic University President John Garvey and President Hong Yi of Southeast University (SEU), located in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on April 10 that puts into place the foundation for future educational and cultural exchanges between the two universities in the area of civil engineering, specifically the study of transportation issues.

The MOU notes that both universities agree to establish a joint International Institute for Safe, Intelligent and Sustainable Transportation & Infrastructure (IISISTI) to explore collaborative research and education activities.

The universities will “make every reasonable effort to encourage direct contact and research cooperation between their faculty members, departments, and research institutes,” notes the MOU.

CUA Provost James Brennan; Charles Nguyen, dean of the School of Engineering; and Professor Lu Sun, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, attended the signing. Several vice presidents and officials of SEU also attended.

MOU Engineering signing  
Members of the SEU delegation present a print to the University.  

“This MOU will establish a foundation for SEU and the School of Engineering to establish a joint research center in intelligent and sustainable transportation, which is a very important problem both in China and here at home,” says Nguyen.

“The joint center will help attract grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Our graduate students will definitely benefit from this joint research center in terms of scholarship and research assistantships,” he says.

Sun, who is the new director of the IISISTI, said that the exchange will allow faculty and students to learn more about the transportation and infrastructure problems facing both countries and work toward common solutions.

“Great changes have taken place in the transportation system in China during the last 50 years,” he says. “China now has developed a comprehensive system of modern transportation that includes civil aviation, railway, road traffic, and water transportation. The transportation system in China is advanced, fast, convenient, and safe. However, it still faces many challenges in terms of safety, efficiency, and sustainability.

"Both the U.S. and China have made tremendous investments in infrastructure," Sun adds. "The U.S.'s infrastructure is now demanding huge investments for repair and rehabilitation in order to keep it in good condition and performance." IISISTI will take advantage of modern technologies in sensors, telecommunications, and computing, as well as advances in structural and material engineering, to create improved transportation and infrastructure systems, he says.

Sun says the agreement will help foster undergraduate and graduate exchanges between the two universities, increase enrollments of visiting students and scholars, and open research opportunities in China for CUA faculty.

Founded as Sanjiang Normal College, Southeast University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China. Departments include science, art, social sciences, law, economics, management languages, and engineering.


More news from CUA