DIT and University of Houston sign MOU

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President Brian Norton (DIT) and President Renu Khator (UH)

31st March 2010

The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton visited the University of Houston, Texas last week to meet with President Renu Khator of UH and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions. The MOU is the result of discussions that have taken place between faculty members of both DIT and UH over the last two years and the purpose is to strengthen links between the two institutions in order to provide opportunities for cooperative research and education in a variety of areas and with a focus on energy. The MOU sets out the basic framework for future collaboration, and separate program agreements will be created over the coming months to define terms on a project-by-project basis.

Professor Seamus Curran, Director of the Institute for NanoEnergy and an Irishman now working at the University of Houston, and his colleague Professor Pinsky, Chair of the UH Physics Department, have been working closely with Irish academic institutions in a variety of areas, in particular in energy. Following a number of visits to Ireland and to DIT, it was agreed that the Presidents of DIT and UH would meet to progress the relationship to a more formal level.

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The Signing Ceremony and reception

The agreement between DIT and University of Houston will identify three discipline areas for joint collaboration; will explore a system of full credit transfer for undergraduate, postgraduate and research students; will investigate the merits of faculty and research exchanges to facilitate collaborative research programmes; and will seek out joint funding opportunities in relevant areas. One of the discipline areas which has already been identified is energy and this will be the main focus for the Institute for NanoEnergy and its existing ties with DIT. During the various meetings held during the visit to the UH campus, there was significant discussion about energy, in particular in the area of materials science as it relates primarily to wind energy and solar power, but also to tidal and wave power.

Professor Norton was accompanied at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by Professor Michael Devereux, Director and Dean of the College of Sciences, and Professor Hugh Byrne, Head of the Focas Institute at DIT. In addition, the Irish Consul General, Martin Rouine participated in the signing, and commented on the importance of such international collaborations for Ireland at this point.

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James Glennie (Business Director, INE), Prof Hugh Byrne (Director of 
FOCAS), Prof Seamus Curran (Director of INE), Dean Michael Devereux 
(Dean of Science, DIT), President Brian Norton (DIT) and Dean John 
Bear (Dean of College of Natural Science and Mathematics)

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