Oct. 23, 2018
MSU signs dual PhD agreement with National Technical University of Athens in Greece
Michigan State University signed a dual PhD agreement with the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) for the preparation and training of engineers at both academic institutions during ceremonies on Sept. 28 in Greece. All eight of MSU’s engineering and computer science departments are included in the agreement.
NTUA is an internationally recognized public university with an emphasis on advanced higher education in science and technology. It is structured according to the continental European system for training engineers and it is the top engineering university in Greece.
NTUA Rector and Professor Ioannis (John) Golias, who signed the dual agreement, said: "By signing this agreement with MSU, we enhance cooperation with top engineering schools and broaden the horizons of global communication among professionals across the continents. Only positive impacts can arise for the two institutions concerning both the academic personnel and, of course, the graduates,” he added.
Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering, and MSU Foundation Professor John Papapolymerou, who chairs the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), signed the dual agreement for MSU. It is designed to attract some of Greece’s most talented students to MSU and place Spartan-trained academics at one of Greece’s leading technology institutes.
Kempel said participating PhD students will graduate with dual doctoral degrees, one from MSU and one from NTUA.
“MSU Engineering is expanding the model of international education to attract and prepare the next generation of scholars around the world,” Kempel said. “Innovative dual degree programs, like this one with NTUA, allow students to build global networks through research experiences at partner institutions.”
Papapolymerou said another goal is to strengthen research collaborations between faculty members in Greece and the United States.
“The recruitment and training of tomorrow’s scholars is only one aspect of this. The outreach opportunity for current faculty members to connect with fellow academics and industry partners in each country is tremendous. It builds the kind of technology and cultural bridges that MSU is famous for around the world.”
The dual degree program in Greece is MSU Engineering’s second international agreement. It will help Greece fill its growing need for more PhD-trained researchers and open the door for MSU at one of the world’s best technological institutions. MSU Engineering signed a similar agreement with India’s Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2017.
PhD students from Greece will study at MSU for two to three years and complete degree requirements before returning to Greece to finish their advanced studies. Faculty members from both institutions will serve as advisors on each student’s committee. Only one thesis will be required. The students will receive a PhD from both Michigan State and NTUA when they graduate.
Students in the dual-enrollment program will have access to some of the best science and technology resources and facilities in the two countries. As these newest Spartans begin to fill key academic positions in Greece’s science infrastructure, MSU will have strengthened recruiting, research and industry connections.
Professor Nectarios Koziris, dean of the NTUA School of ECE, signed on behalf of the School and said: “This agreement strengthens the connections we are establishing with top Schools of Engineering in the U.S., like the one at Michigan State University.
"Our School consistently ranks very highly in all academic rankings and is the top School of ECE in Greece. The dual PhD program with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at MSU implements our plan to offer to our PhD students access to leading research groups in the domain.
"Additionally, it opens our research excellence to the students from MSU who have the opportunity to work and collaborate with peers from Greece.”
PhD students will begin at MSU in the 2019—2020 academic year.