College helps celebrate UTEC opening

Toasting the Purdue-UTEC partnership during the UTEC campus inauguration, Dec. 29, 2014, were Gary Bertoline, dean of the College of Technology at Purdue University; Eduardo Hochschild, founder of the UTEC; Carlos Hereen, CEO of UTEC; Robert Cox, associate dean for globalization in the College of Technology at Purdue University; Mike Brzezinski, dean of international programs at Purdue University. (Courtesy photo)

A Peruvian university that Purdue’s College of Technology helped create celebrated its opening in December 2014.

The founders of UTEC - University of Engineering and Technology – relied on Purdue’s faculty expertise to design the university’s curriculum in applied engineering. With the help of several Purdue faculty trips and an on-site director, UTEC initially hopes to offer bachelor’s degree programs in energy engineering, electronics engineering and mechanical engineering.

In addition, the curriculum will allow UTEC students to apply for admissions to  Purdue for a fifth year of schooling and earn a second bachelor’s degree. Purdue should see the first UTEC students on campus by Fall 2017.

College of Technology Dean Gary Bertoline attended the opening celebration in Lima, Peru, along with Robert Cox, associate dean for globalization, and Mike Brzezinski, Purdue’s dean of international programs.

“The vision of the UTEC’s founder and leaders is inspiring, and I’m extremely excited that they asked us to be a major partner in this endeavor,” Bertoline said. “It’s a rare opportunity to start a program from scratch, and our faculty and staff have worked hard to help make the University and its programs a reality.”

Before his retirement, Don Buskirk, international programs officer for the College of Technology, served as the resident director for the UTEC partnership. Other faculty who provided expertise were:

  • Joe Kmec, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering technology, who was the first Technology faculty to teach for UTEC for a semester; he taught Thermodynamics and Strength of Materials from March to July 2014.
  • Brian Alenskis, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology in Richmond, taught Machine Components Design and mentored a UTEC faculty in developing the ensuing course, Machine Components Design 2. He was in Peru July 2014-January 2014.
  • Phil Sanger, professor of electrical and computer engineering technology, offered a two-week workshop on industry-sponsored senior capstones in February 2014.
  • Glenn Blackwell, professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering technology, offered a two-week workshop on surface-mounted technologies in August 2014.
  • Athula Kulatunga, professor of electrical engineering technology, offered a two-week workshop on sustainable energy systems in August 2014.

Eduardo Hochschild, founder of the UTEC, accepts a Purdue flag from College of Technology Dean Gary Bertoline. (courtesy photo)During the upcoming semester, the college has faculty participating in a hybrid method of course implementation, working via distance with UTEC faculty in their courses throughout the semester. That will be followed by four weeks of intense instruction in Lima in June. Haiyan "Henry" Zhang, professor of mechanical engineering technology, will work on implementation of the Modeling and Simulation course. Xiumin Diao, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology, will work on developing the Process Controls course

In all, the College of Technology will help implement 10-12 courses from its School of Engineering Technology curriculum. UTEC students who take those courses will be able to apply for a fifth year at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus where they could earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology or electrical engineering technology.

The Purdue partnership with UTEC is larger than its connection to the College of Technology, too. Brzezinski has been involved with the partnership for several years.

“I was pleased to represent Purdue’s International Programs at the UTEC campus inauguration and experience firsthand their wonderful facilities,” he said. “There will be significant opportunities for our students and faculty alike once it is fully functioning. I am particularly excited about study abroad options for our students.”