University of Ulster’s Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett has received international recognition for his leadership skills. The accolade was announced at the annual International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE) in Belfast before hundreds of leading academics and practitioners from around the world.
The ICEE conference was hosted this year by the University of Ulster, making it the first University, north or south of the border ever to host this prestigious event. Each year the board of the International Network of Engineering Education and Research (iNEER) presents a number of awards to recognise highly qualified individuals and educational partnerships for their contributions to advancing international understanding and cooperation in engineering education.
This year, two of the four awards went to University of Ulster academics, Professor Richard Barnett and Dr James Uhomoibhi. Professor Barnett received the Leadership award for his ‘outstanding leadership and strong support for engineering education’.
The Achievements award went to Dr James Uhomoibhi, Lecturer and Faculty E-Learning Coordinator in the Faculty of Computing and Engineering and chair of ICEE-2011 Belfast for his ‘sustained application and contributions in global outreach and international cooperation in engineering education and research’.
The theme for ICEE-2011, ‘Engineering Sustainability for a Global Economy’, was considered under three key strands: Sustainability, Globalisation and Education.
Dr Uhomoibhi said recent disasters around the world - both natural and man made - such as tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts and conflicts, highlighted both the importance and relevance of engineering products and services being researched at Ulster. “The event was an excellent opportunity to showcase both the University’s pioneering research being carried out by Faculty staff at the Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee campuses as well as the pivotal role engineering education plays in global development.”
Dr Uhomoibhi continued that the conference opened the door to innovative ways of considering relevant issues which affect people in diverse fields and across different subjects and facilitated the sharing of expertise and knowledge between international partners.
During the five day event, Professor Barnett signed a landmark MOU (memorandum of understanding) with his counterpart from one of the top twelve universities in Russia, Saratov State Technical University. The agreement is aimed at developing international cooperation and covers the field of higher education and scientific and technology researches.
Dr Uhomoibhi explained that the cooperation with the Russian University could be developed in a number of different ways such as experience exchange in fields of education, university management, educational processes’ organisation; joint participation in educational and research projects, both bilateral and international; student exchange; organising joint consultations, seminars and conferences; carrying out joint scientific research and training; exchange of scientific, technical and methodical literature, noncommercial software, and other scientific information; opportunities to visit and work in traditional and virtual electronic libraries; and joint applications for funding.