You might not think so at first glance, but there are plenty of similarities between India's College of Engineering, Pune, and Tennessee Tech.
Established in 1854, the College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) was one of the first universities established on the Indian subcontinent by the British. CoEP has an enrollment of around 4,000 students and offers degree programs in many of the same disciplines as TTU's College of Engineering. Both schools have robust undergraduate and graduate research work, a strong alumni network, industry support, and a firm commitment to turning out students who are job-ready and prepared to take on societal challenges and problems.
In October, CoEP Director Anil Sahasrabudhe and Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering Professor and Dean of International Affairs Dr. Mukul Sutaone visited TTU's campus, as part of an itinerary that also included visits to Purdue University, Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.
Accompanied by Dean Joseph Rencis, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Vahid Motevalli and Mechanical Engineering Chair Mohan Rao, the two visitors had meetings and toured TTU's COE facilities, as well as Baja and Formula SAE labs.
Rao noted that the two institutions have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and are drawing up plans for a collaboration between TTU, CoEP, Cummins Filtration and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The agreement could include faculty sabbaticals, exchange student programs, co-op opportunities and cultural exchange programs., Plans are being made to send the Mechanical Engineering Baja team to Pune next summer or fall.
The city of Pune itself is the eighth largest metropolis in India and the second largest in the state of Mahrashtra. Pune would prove a wide-open market for co-op students, as it is home to testing facilities and proving grounds for Caterpillar, John Deere, Sharp, Whirlpool, Tata, Thyssen Krupp, Daimler-Benz, Ford and General Motors, as well as a large Cummins India plant.
"We think it's very important for future engineers to be acclimated to other cultures in the global marketplace," said Rao. "This is an excellent way for them to make that leap. There will be some initial culture shock, but we feel it will be a very enriching experience for students to broaden their educational experience."
CoEP offers a broad spectrum of activities, student groups and intramural and varsity sports for foreign and domestic students. A few fun facts about CoEP:
• CoEP boasts the world's largest continuous painting, a mural that stretches for more than 600 meters
• CoEP holds the world's record for the most people to simultaneously work on the Rubik's Cube puzzle – 3,267, with 3,248 finishing in the allotted time
• The largest number of people skipping on the same rope is another record held by CoEP – 29