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Waikato-China Strategic Alliance

Media Release
Date: 1 March 2004

Waikato-China Strategic Alliance

Waikato University associate professors Janis Swan and Deliang Zhang of the department of materials and process engineering have been awarded a $23,000 Asia 2000 grant under the Higher Education Exchange Programme for 2004.

Their project aims to establish a strategic, long-term alliance in materials research and education between the department and the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Harbin Institute of Technology, which is located in Harbin in northeast China.

The first phase involves short exchanges of academic staff from both institutes to discuss research collaboration, staff and graduate exchanges, and to assess cross-crediting arrangements for undergraduate subjects.

It also includes longer exchanges of postgraduate students to the other institute to carry out materials research. The initial collaborative research will be on titanium-based materials, metal-ceramic nanocomposites and nanostructured materials.

The second phase will support collaboration via joint research projects and joint teaching programmes in materials science and engineering. This will allow continued exchanges of academics (in research programmes and in teaching), and students (participating in courses that will be cross-credited to their home institution and in collaborative research at the graduate level).

The department the associate professors are from teaches materials science and engineering to BE and BSc students, and has MSc, PhD level graduate and post-graduate research programmes. The department established the Waikato Centre for Advanced Materials in 2002 to support its materials engineering effort. The School of Materials Science and Engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology is one of the highest ranking materials science and engineering schools (or departments) among the hundreds of materials-related academic departments in universities in China.

The project benefits the participating academics and students via joint research and teaching programmes. There is the flow-on affect of increasing the research capacity of both Waikato University and Harbin Institute of Technology. The exchange also promotes cultural understanding.


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