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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 28, 2011

NOTE TO EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that a student from your readership area has participated in the VIPT program. Students are listed alphabetically by state/hometown, with Iowa recipients listed first.

College of Engineering hosts French students, faculty from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5

The University of Iowa College of Engineering will host three students and one faculty member and his wife from Polytech Marseille, University of Provence in Marseille, France, in connection with the UI's Virtual International Project Team (VIPT) program from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5.

The visitors will tour UI laboratories and other facilities in eastern Iowa as part of VIPT, which enables teams of UI undergraduate students to work for one year with their French counterparts on a real-world engineering project.

The French portion of the team project for fall semester this year involved a computational fluid dynamic analysis of the 50-meter competitive swimming pool and 18-foot-deep diving well at the UI's new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

Among other things, the French students are scheduled to tour Deere Technology Center, Moline, Ill., and Acciona Energy, West Branch, Iowa, on Feb. 1; visit Whirlpool Corporation, Amana, Iowa, Jan. 3; and attend the Iowa Hawkeye men's basketball game against Michigan State University Feb. 2.

For the 10 UI seniors involved in VIPT, the project fulfills the College of Engineering's senior design course requirement, according to course instructor Daniel L. Mineck, retired vice president, Performance Engineering and Environment at Alliant Energy Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "The UI students are highly motivated and all are self-starters. I serve only to proctor the course," said Mineck.

VIPT began as a pilot program in 1999 under the guidance of Dean Barry Butler, currently serving as interim UI provost, and has continued as a two-way exchange program in most years since then. It recognizes that engineering is a global profession in which many companies depend upon international collaboration for product design, manufacturing, marketing and other services. At the core of the program is the idea 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 enjoy each year during a trip to France.

During the academic year, VIPT students communicate by Internet, e-mail, video-conferencing, shared websites, 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.

(Student name) of (hometown) and majoring in (major) is participating in the VIPT program.

Cedar Rapids: Timothy Keleher, industrial engineering.
Eldridge: John Hennigan, mechanical engineering.
Inwood: Allison Bruggeman, mechanical engineering.
Sioux City: Rene DeAnda, industrial engineering.

Bartlett: Kaitlyn Liepelt, industrial engineering.
Downers Grove: Stephanie Swanson, mechanical engineering.
Gurnee: Robin Donegan, industrial engineering.
Western Springs: Brian Sulak, mechanical engineering.
Wheaton: Kyle Kohn, mechanical engineering.

Jefferson City: Julie Wisch, mechanical engineering.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Daniel L. Mineck, instructor,; Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,