Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Chair Travels to Latvia and Lithuania
Mumtaz Usmen, professor of civil and environmental engineering and interim chair of electrical and computer engineering, traveled to Latvia and Lithuania in September for a series of lectures on construction safety, quality and productivity delivered to civil engineering students and faculty at Riga Technical University (RTU). The program, which was sponsored and funded by the Baltic American Freedom Foundation, also included several site visits to major construction projects in Riga (the capital city of Latvia) to exchange information with project leaders on construction technologies and project management practices; a seminar to the civil engineering faculty and students on curriculum accreditation and future trends in civil engineering; and a presentation to the engineering practitioners on "construction failures, their causes and prevention", which was organized by the Latvian Association of Civil Engineers (LACE). This was followed by an open discussion session on future research topic to be pursued jointly by Usmen and faculty collaborators from RTU. After completing the Latvian part of the program, Usmen traveled to Lithuania to visit the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) located in the capital city of Vilnius to explore forming academic and research collaborations between WGTU and WSU. Study abroad and faculty exchange possibilities were discussed. Usmen expects the mentioned collaborations to become a reality with both RTU and VGTU. Some initial follow up on communications have already begun and progressed.