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Lehigh CEE professors visit Indonesia to discuss academic collaboration

Three Lehigh professors met with peers this summer in Indonesia to develop new research partnerships and explore potential areas of collaboration. The workshop, held June 16-18, was the first major activity planned by the US-Indonesia Partnership Program (USIPP) Consortium, a binational group of 12 colleges and universities committed to advancing U.S.-Indonesia academic collaboration.

Representing Lehigh were Tara Troy, assistant professor of water resources engineering, and James Ricles, professor of structural engineering, both in the department of civil and environmental engineering; and Nik Nikolov, assistant professor of architecture in the department of art, architecture and design. They joined 15 other professors from five U.S. institutions, plus more than 30 from Indonesian schools.

Nearly 60 professors met at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta and they focused on two areas that affect both countries: sustainable environment and resilient community. Each area was divided into several narrower fields. Sustainable environment included eco-art; marine biology and biodiversity; energy and environment; and food, water and health. Resilient community included natural disaster risk reduction and management, cross-cultural and international relations, and democracy and religious pluralism.

The faculty members discussed potential research topics for joint collaboration and new programs, and developed follow-up plans as outlined in six concept papers, one for each sub-theme. For example, Troy’s group—Water, Food and Health—plans to address issues surrounding water scarcity to improve the lives of vulnerable populations in both countries.

“Lehigh University and Gadjah Mada University’s dedication and work have created sustainable partnerships that will build lasting ties between higher education institutions and the people of our two nations, thereby contributing to our collective economic prosperity and national security,” said Meghann Curtis, the deputy assistant secretary for academic programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“I am so pleased that our study abroad capacity building grant provided the seed for these institutional bonds.”

Read the full story in the Lehigh University News Center.

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