Global Engineering Programs

MSU Engineers are advancing knowledge and transforming lives as they engage with partners around the world. Our scientists are working on sustainable energy research, environmental and water solutions, engineering design challenges and next generation cyber technologies that lead developments in academic, public sector and private corporate advances. Collaborative research and applied learning opportunities form the basis for global partnerships centered around problem solving.


In The News

Shuffling water hotspotsSometimes water management techniques just shuffle the world's water hotspots, warns Yadu Pokhrel.

Yadu Pokhrel is helping assess the worldwide impact of human intervention on water scarcity.

Water management techniques like reservoirs, dams, and irrigation measures have improved water availability for many around the globe, but they can sweep water scarcity problems downstream for those who live there. 

That’s the finding of international research that included the work of MSU water expert Yadu Pokhrel and made public June 15 in the journal, Nature Communications

“This study used five global hydrological models to examine the movement of water scarcity. One was a model that I developed,” said Pokhrel, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and participating member in the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project.

“Mine is one of the five modeling groups that provided the data presented in the paper.” 

Pokhrel said the overuse of groundwater around the world is an unseen drought. 

Read the full article about Yadu Pokhrel's water research.


Mary Anne Walker, director of global engineering, will tour German universities on a DAAD academic research exchange in June.
German academic exchange

Mary Anne Walker to promote engineering collaboration as guest of German Academic Exchange Service.

Mary Anne Walker, director of global engineering, has been awarded a DAAD academic research exchange.

She will visit key partner institutions in Germany from June 18-24 as a guest of the German Academic Exchange Service.

Walker will tour Bonn, Cologne, Bochum, and Hamburg in a special information program on "Promoting Research and Cooperation in the University Scene: Germany's Excellence Strategy and Cluster Policy.”

She is one of 23 educators from the U.S. and Canada selected for Germany Today 2017.

Read more about Mary Anne Walker's work as Director of Global Engineering.


Biosystems engineering major Thiramet "Dream" Sotthiyapai is one of 7,000 international students at MSU.

Thiramet 'Dream' Sotthiyapai

Student’s green aspirations being fulfilled at MSU 

As a sophomore studying biosystems engineering, Thiramet “Dream” Sotthiyapai’s life plans immediately changed the day he found out he was being awarded a scholarship from Thailand’s government. 

After a conversation that connected him to a Michigan State alumnus drew him to the College of Engineering’s website, Dream became 100 percent certain MSU was where he wanted to be.

Dream, having never experienced life so far from home, responded with: “It’s going to be a big journey, a big change to my life...I think it’s gonna’ be a good journey.”

See the full article and YouTube video about Sotthiyapa's green aspirations.


Lessons in getting academic research funded are available on April 13 during the 2017 Campus Convening at MSU.2017 Campus Convening

Academy for Global Engagement to host experts in research funding at Kellogg Center

MSU faculty members can meet with senior advisors from the World Bank, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of State, and other research funding agencies during the 2017 Campus Convening of the Academy for Global Engagement on Thursday, April 13.

Participants are invited to meet and interact with program officers from Washington, D.C., to learn about upcoming funding opportunities, as well as the nature of the funding landscape, during the 8-11:45 a.m. in the Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Center.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Dean Ronald Hendrick of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Associate Dean John Verboncoeur of the College of Engineering will offer remarks during the session, that includes:

  • the panel discussion: Understanding Federal Funding, Congressional Appropriations and Agency Priorities and
  • a panel with breakout sessions on Establishing Relationships with Funders–How to Talk about Your Work in a Compelling and Intriguing Way So That Funders Listen and Remember.

Read more about 2017 Campus Convening Featured Speakers.


Honoring John Thome '75

John R. Thome

A Spartan Engineer is featured as England's University of Surrey celebrates a 50th anniversary

You never know how far your experience studying abroad will take you. 

When the University of Surrey in the south of England celebrates the 50th anniversary of its bioengineering program this fall, the historic role of a Spartan Engineer will be part of the festivities.

John R. Thome, a Michigan native, was an undergraduate mechanical engineering student when he became the University of Surrey’s first exchange student from Michigan State in 1974. That quiet, yet exclusive role is currently part of a display at the university in England. 

“The year I spent at the University of Surrey was a very enjoyable and challenging year as the first student in this program from Michigan State University,” Thome is quoted in the “Open Borders” exhibit at Surrey. “I lived on campus and had a great time.” 

Read the full article about Spartan Engineering John Thome.


“Once optimized, LemurFaceID can assist with long-term research of endangered species by providing a rapid, cost-effective and accurate method for identification.”  - University Distinguished Professor Anil JainLemurFaceID

Anil Jain and team modified the human facial recognition system to protect lemurs using LemurFaceID

Facial recognition is a biometric system that identifies or verifies a person from a digital image. It’s used to find criminals, identify passport and driver’s license fraud, and catch shoplifters. But can it be used to identify endangered lemurs in the jungles of Madagascar? 

Yes, said Anil Jain, biometrics expert and university distinguished professor of computer science and engineering at Michigan State University.

Jain and his team modified their human facial recognition system to create LemurFaceID, the first computer facial recognition system that correctly identifies more than 100 individual lemurs with 98.7 percent accuracy. 

“Like humans, lemurs have unique facial characteristics that can be recognized by this system,” Jain said. “Once optimized, LemurFaceID can assist with long-term research of endangered species by providing a rapid, cost-effective and accurate method for identification.” 

Read more about Anil Jain's facial recognition research.


Click here to read more Global Engineering Program News Stories (Archive).