Word Travels Fast

11.02.2012 | Research, Energy and Environment, Engineering

Word traveled fast when the University of Dayton started its renewable and clean energy master's program in 2009, attracting three times the projected number of students.

Now word is reaching around the world, attracting some of the world's best and brightest.

"To the best of my knowledge, for the first time ever, we have three Fulbright scholars on campus enrolled in one single graduate program," said Provost Joe Saliba, a 35-year veteran of the University of Dayton community who was dean of the School of Engineering when the program started.

It didn't take long for Ahmad Murtaza Ershad, a Fulbright scholar from Afghanistan, to make his decision.

"I learned the University of Dayton is one of the pioneers of renewable energy education in Ohio and the United States through my web search of the best engineering schools offering masters degrees in renewable energy," he said.

Adam Adiwinata, from Indonesia, said he has a big passion for energy efficiency and geothermal technology. He was working as an environmental consultant and wanted to continue his study in renewable and clean energy.

"I heard that UD, especially in my program, has the best people in the energy efficiency field. That is the reason why I chose UD to pursue my master," Adiwinata said. "I really hope that after completing my degree in RCL, I can have a solid understanding and skills in energy efficiency or the geothermal energy to be able to implement them in my country. I am sure I am in the right hands that will help me to achieve them."

Another student, Bjoern Winter from Germany, is taking a break from his studies here to pursue a related degree in Germany; he is scheduled to return in 2014.

"Congratulations to Dr. Vinod Jain (mechanical engineering graduate program coordinator), Dr. Kelly Kissock (current department chair) and Dr. Kevin Hallinan (the chair when the program started) for such an accomplishment," Saliba said.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the U.S. for graduate study. Many foreign Fulbright grantees are early-career professionals who will return to take leadership positions in their home countries, often working at universities or in government service. More than 1,800 new Foreign Fulbright Fellows enter U.S. academic programs each year.

"I only wish more Fulbright scholarships were available so more deserving students could join our studies and further broaden our collective understanding of both the global nature of the problem and the uniqueness of the required solutions," Kissock said. "The mix of students in the program from Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe creates a rich and stimulating learning environment in which we all learn from each other."

Kissock believes students are drawn to the program because it's one of the few programs that focuses on the engineering design and analysis of these systems.

The University of Dayton started the program in 2009. It operates within the mechanical and aerospace engineering department but draws on expertise from the various engineering and science departments.

Classes focus on energy-efficient buildings and manufacturing, and solar, wind, geothermal, biofuel and fuel-cell energy engineering.

The University of Dayton performs about $18 million of energy-related research within the School of Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Dayton Research Institute.
For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.