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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 4, 2008

College of Engineering hosts French students, faculty Feb. 4-7

The University of Iowa College of Engineering is hosting two students and two faculty members from Marseille Polytech in Marseille, France, in connection with the UI's Virtual International Project Teams (VIPT) program Feb. 4-7.

The four, who will tour UI laboratories and various private industry facilities in eastern Iowa, are participants in the college's VIPT program, which enables teams of UI undergraduate students to work for one year on a real-world engineering project with their French counterparts.

College of Engineering Dean Barry Butler said that the VIPT program, which began as a pilot program in 1999 and has continued as a two-way exchange program in most years since then, recognizes that engineering is a global profession in which many companies depend upon international collaboration for product design, manufacturing, marketing and other services. He noted that success in the international workplace requires, in part, the respect and appreciation for other cultures that can be gained only by traveling abroad, an experience that UI participants enjoyed during a 2005 trip to France.

The college's French guests are scheduled to visit:

--Feb. 4, Deere Technology Center, Moline, Ill.; Alcoa-Davenport Works, Bettendorf; and Deere-Davenport Works, Davenport.
--Feb. 5, Clipper Wind Turbine Works, Cedar Rapids; and the UI's IIHR--Hyudroscience & Engineering, Iowa City.
--Feb. 6, UI Center for Computer-Aided Design, Engineering Research
Facility, Iowa City; UI Operator Performance Laboratory, Iowa City Airport Hangar; National Advanced Driving Simulator, Oakdale
Research Park, Coralville.
--Feb. 7, UI Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging, Iowa City; and UI Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Iowa City.

During the academic year, VIPT students communicate by Internet, e-mail, video-conferencing, shared Web sites, and other electronic means. The VIPT program allows students to share a team-based project experience; gain an understanding and appreciation of engineering standards, common engineering practices, and French culture; develop the personal skills necessary to work on a team with students from another country on a common project; and understand and master the difficulties of communicating clearly and concisely through electronic media.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,