NMIMS Deemed-to-be University hosted a senior leadership delegation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) at its Mumbai campus on 13th and 14 February 2023. The event was aimed at bringing together academic experts to discuss and promote collaborative applied research, curriculum development, internships, and placements for students.
NMIMS Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering and Virginia Tech already enjoy a fruitful collaboration for their various programs, like the NMIMS MPSTME 3+1+1 Coordinated Program and NMIMS Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics dual degree program, which is the first in India to offer such a program.
The Virginia Tech delegation comprised Dr. Cyril Clark, Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Daniel Sui, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, Dr. Guru Ghosh, Vice President of Outreach and International Affairs, Dr. Tarun Sen, MD & Professor Emeritus of Accounting and Information Systems, and Mr. Harold Brayman, Foreign Commercial Officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mumbai among other senior academics and scholars.
The eminent members representing SVKM and NMIMS included Shri. Amit Sheth, Hon. Secretary, Managing Committee of SVKM, Shri. Shalin Divatia, Committee Member of SVKM, Dr. Ramesh Bhat, Vice Chancellor, SVKM’s NMIMS, Dr. Sharad Mhaiskar, Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Meena Chintamaneni, Pro Vice Chancellor and several department heads members, Deans, Associate Deans, and professors of the SVKM’s NMIMS were also present on the occasion.
The event began with Dr. Sharad Mhaiskar welcoming all the guests, followed by Dr. Guru Ghosh speaking about the NMIMS-Virginia Tech partnership. This was followed by Dr. Cyril Clark talking about Hokies collaborating with diverse team members and crossing the traditional lines between fields and disciplines to tackle global-scale problems, and Ms. Meena Saxena, Director International, NMIMS, introducing Mr. Harold Brayman, who spoke about the importance of industry-academia collaboration, emphasising its benefits for both parties. Two students from B Tech 3+1+1 & Certificate program shared their experiences of the unique program.
The highlight of the two-day engaging sessions was the university’s vision on research. It saw presentations on research conducted by both institutions. Dr. Sharad Mhaiskar and Dr. Daniel Sui highlighted the university’s emphasis on research and their achievements in terms of areas of research, spanning schools, citations, the number, and quality of papers presented over the years, the patents awarded and funding received. They presented their shared goals, objectives, and priorities regarding research while exploring new research frontiers. Dr. Mhaiskar also spoke about the stellar work done by the Atal Incubation Centre, encouraging research and a startup temperament.
This was followed by a meeting of the Virginia Tech delegates with Dr. Ramesh Bhat for further discussions on research collaboration. Dr. Viswanath Venkatesh, Eminent Scholar and Verizon Chair of Business Information at Virginia Tech also led a discussion on faculty development and research with the NMIMS Business School Dean, Dr. Prashant Mishra in the presence of Dr. Ramesh Bhat, and other senior faculty members from NMIMS, including the Dean of Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, Dr. Alka Mahajan.
A meeting led by Dr. Azim Eskandarian, professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, discussed the details of the proposed VT NMIMS 3+1+1.5, Integrated Master’s Mechanical Engineering Program while, Dr. Sharad Mhaiskar led a discussion on the NMIMS-Virginia Tech Certificate program. The Data Science – Virginia Tech Certificate Award Programme was also held, led by Dr. Aimee Suprenant, Dean of Graduate Studies at Virginia Tech.
The guests from the US were also given a glimpse of India’s rich culture and hospitality with a mesmerising performance by Dr. Tina Tambe and her troupe, even as they relished the Indian delicacies at the gala dinner organised for them.
Speaking on occasion, Mr. Harold Brayman, Foreign Commercial Officer at U.S. Department of Commerce, Mumbai said, "By working together, we can create a more skilled and competent workforce that can meet future challenges. Collaboration of Industry-academia is crucial for bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are needed in the industry.
Dr. Ramesh Bhat commented, “The partnership between NMIMS and Virginia Tech reiterates our commitment to fostering an ecosystem that promotes knowledge sharing, research, and innovation. Through this invaluable association, our students will not only benefit from the latest knowledge, techniques, and skills but will also be exposed to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. We are delighted to have hosted the esteemed delegation from Virginia Tech and look forward to strengthening our association with them in the years to come”
Dr. Cyril Clark, Executive Vice President and Provost, Virginia Tech, commented, “It is a pleasure and privilege to be in India again. This is my third visit to India, but I feel like I have been learning about India for the last 40 years or so, because of the relationships and collaborations that I’ve had in mentoring Indian students as well as working with Indian colleagues. Virginia Tech is one of 50 land-grant universities. Land-grant institutions were established in the United States to advance the mechanical and agricultural arms and to also provide liberal and practical education. Land-grant universities are characterised not only by their history but also by what’s called a tripartite mission. This includes three basic missions: to educate the population, to conduct impactful research and discovery, and then to take the outcome of their education and research and transfer it to the betterment of society”.
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