West Lafayette, Indiana - The Office of Global Engineering Programs and the College of Engineering schools and programs continue work to expand the overseas reach of Purdue University.

Global Engineering is the center of the college's efforts in international education, research and engagement. It offers a number of opportunities through the East Asia Program, the Exxon Mobil Foundation-supported Engineering in Latin America Program and a minor in global engineering.

East Asia Programs manager Wei Qiu said studying abroad is a great way for Purdue engineering students to become leaders and collaborators.

"East Asia and the United States have a high stake in each other's success because of economic collaboration," she said. "We need more engineers as collaborators and leaders to create a peaceful and better future together."

As part of this effort, Global Engineering Programs recently was awarded $50,000 by USA Study Abroad, a branch of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

The Minority Engineering Program, Women in Engineering Program and several Engineering schools worked in conjunction for the grant, which engages ROTC, women and minority students in engineering by offering innovative courses abroad. The project focuses on East Asia.

Capacity Building Grants were awarded to 18 colleges and universities out of more than 160 applicants.

Eight Purdue colleagues worked to earn the federal award: Andrew Brightman, assistant head, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering; Patrick Brunese, senior academic administrator, School of Industrial Engineering; Darryl Dickerson, associate director, MEP; Jeffery Gray, associate professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Beth Holloway, WIEP; Wei Hong, director of the Chinese Language Program and the Confucius Institute; James D. Jones, associate head, School of Mechanical Engineering; and Lt. Col. James Scrogin, branch commander for Army ROTC.

The project is titled "Diversifying and Scaling Purdue Engineering Study Abroad in East Asia." Through it, Global Engineering Programs will focus on Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Partnerships with universities in Japan, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China will allow students to study programs such as robotics in Japan.

East Asia is a large trade region and offers an important market for students to gain exposure and practice experience.

"With this grant, I believe the opportunity is more ready than ever before for Boilermakers from diverse backgrounds to immerse themselves in the fascinating cultures of China, Japan or South Korea," Qiu said.

"Our students will become classmates, labmates and friends with many young people in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Tokyo while abroad. We want to make sure that women, minorities and ROTC engineering students enjoy equal access to these kinds of transformative opportunities."