UTEP College of Engineering and Czech Technical University Dual Master’s Degree Program Strives to Advance Students’ Academic Success
Anahy Diaz | October 21, 2020
The partnership between the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso and the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, continues to grow through the universities’ dual master’s degree program and newly proposed digital twin laboratory.
This partnership has lasted more than a decade, as the College of Engineering has collaborated with the Faculty of Transportation Sciences at CTU in the past on a Trans-Atlantic Dual Master’s Degree Program in transportation science and logistics systems.
“Czech Technical University is the best, if not one of the best engineering programs in central Europe,” said Kelvin Cheu, Ph.D., professor of civil engineering and director of the UTEP and CTU Dual Master’s Degree Program. “The collaboration has created a presence of UTEP and our alumni in Europe. It allows faculty and students from UTEP to bring in new engineering solutions from Europe.”
This alliance grew in 2018, when the universities decided to jointly develop a Dual Master’s Degree Program in Smart Cities. The smart cities concept aims to use modern technologies to coordinate a city’s systems like transportation, security and administration, with the common desire to improve quality of life for its residents.
The newly established program allows students to earn two graduate degrees in two years. In addition to this, students can travel to Prague for two semesters and experience a different academic system, language and culture.
“We are happy to call our UTEP colleagues our friends. The partnership between UTEP and CTU is unique, the cooperation with our UTEP colleagues includes the creation of the first dual degree program in the UT Texas System, student and faculty exchanges and research cooperation,” said Tomáš Horák, Ph.D., head of the logistics and transportation management department at CTU.
According to Cheu and Horák, UTEP is set to welcome five CTU students to study under the program in Fall 2021. Students will learn the concept and challenges of smart cities across the world by applying engineering knowledge and skills to create solutions in an interdisciplinary team. In support of this, CTU has invited UTEP to participate in a proposed joint laboratory that could be used by the common Dual Master’s Degree Program, expand research efforts and seek new funding opportunities.
The Digital Twin laboratory, set up in CTU’s Department of Logistics and Transportation Management of the Faculty of Transportation Sciences, houses a virtual model of the city of Prague and its District 6. The models serve as tools that can help display various scenarios such as the effect of road closures, public transit system emergencies, energy grid failures, water supply issues and others, depending on the programming of the model’s software.
“The UTEP-CTU Lab will facilitate the development of joint research projects in the field of Smart Cities and will provide undergraduate and graduate students a venue to test, visualize and better understand the technical models that help engineers address infrastructure problems,” said Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D., department chair and professor of civil engineering at UTEP.
This joint project would work to enhance UTEP and CTU’s research initiatives and programs that seek to advance students’ academic careers. “Our relationship with CTU is a great example of what an effective international collaboration should be,” Ferregut said. “One in which all participants synergistically contribute to its success.”
For more information on the College of Engineering’s Dual Master’s Degree Program, please visit: http://engineering.utep.edu/dualdegreeprograms