Friday, June 21, 2013

Rensselaer at Hartford Students Gain Real-World Perspective During an International Experience in Germany

Twenty Rensselaer graduate students, guided by Dr. David Rainey, Acting Dean and Professor of Practice, Rensselaer at Hartford, and Dr. Sudhangshu Bose, Professor of Practice, traveled to Munich, Germany, in May, to engage in discussions with executives from some of the most successful European corporations. 

The purpose of the week-long trip was to have a truly interactive learning experience and obtain insights and knowledge from cutting-edge leaders in high-tech businesses. The international trip is an integral component of Rensselaer’s M.S. in Management degree program with a concentration in Sustainability and Clean Energy Management, and the M.S. in Engineering Science with a concentration in Environmental and Energy Engineering. The coursework focuses on sustainability and how strategic and technical leaders create innovative solutions and robust systems. Classroom sessions were held at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). TUM is one of the top-ranked universities in Germany. 

Students visited: (1) Siemens’ Energy Sector transformer business unit in Nurnberg. Large 800kV to 1200kV power transformers that weigh as much as 400 tons are produced at this plant. Vice President Robert Stuerzebecher presented Siemens’ strategies, solutions, and the challenges facing its global business. (2) OSRAM Opto Semiconductor facility in Regensburg, which produces state-of-the-art LEDs that provide energy-efficient lighting solutions. Vice President Alfred Haas detailed the technical developments and the process requirements for producing high-tech products. (3) The MAN Truck and Bus operation in Munich is a top-ranked international supplier of commercial vehicles and transport solutions. CEO Anders Nielsen advocates that, “Sustainability is our worldwide responsibility towards society and environment.” (4) The Audi A4 assembly plant in Ingolstadt, where Dr. Antonia Wade, head of Corporate Responsibility, presented a compelling picture of Audi’s sustainability initiatives. (5) BMW’s WELT in Munich showcased their advanced designs such as an e-vehicle and hydrogen car. (6) President Johannes Winklhofer of IWIS Systems, a producer of specialty components in Munich, told the students, “With standard machines you only get standard parts; IWIS modifies machines to make them one of a kind to produce better parts that no one can copy.” And, (7) Porsche’s manufacturing facility in Stuttgart.   

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Rensselaer’s International Scholars Program Awarded a CQIA Gold Innovation Prize

The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Partnership’s 26th Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation was held on June 12. Rensselaer’s International Scholars Program (ISP) was awarded a Gold Innovation Prize for 2013. John Maleyeff, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Practice, represented Rensselaer at the Conference and accepted the award on behalf of all the faculty and support staff who comprise the ISP team.  

ISP is designed to expose young professionals to a first-hand set of international experiences in conjunction with global organizations. Initiated in June 2008, the ISP is a study abroad program for graduate students. It combines coursework, visits to local business and industry sites, expert guest speakers, and a comprehensive project. Credits are incorporated into several Master’s degree programs at Rensselaer. Students are joined by Rensselaer professors who teach courses and coordinate all other events.
A total of 18 outside-of-classroom events take place during the time abroad. The ISP project provides an opportunity for students to solve internationally relevant real-world problems, in conjunction with an organization located in one of the resident locations. 
Since its inception, 91 students have participated in the ISP. As a result, they have enhanced educational opportunities (e.g., many have been offered impressive internships), better employment opportunities (e.g., many have been considered distinct from peers with similar degrees), and they benefit personally and professionally by experiencing life as a global citizen. An unintended benefit for faculty members is their own career development.  They have a renewed awareness of global business, cultural, and industry issues, and have brought this knowledge to the working professional classroom in Hartford. Learn more about Rensselaer’s ISP at:
The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Partnership Inc., America’s first state-level quality award was founded in 1987 utilizing the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence criteria in an effort to advance innovative programs that improve quality performance and marketplace competitiveness. Annually, the CQIA Partnership sponsors Five Steps to the Baldrige Award, with the CQIA Innovation Prize as Step One.