ASU expands role in international engineering education alliance

April 18, 2014

Arizona State University continues to foster stronger international economic, education and research ties through its role in the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP).

The alliance recently hosted its second annual Vietnam Engineering Education Conference, drawing hundreds of government, industry and academic leaders from the United States and Vietnam. Their goal is to modernize engineering education in Vietnam to produce the more highly trained workforce necessary to boost the growth of the high-tech industry in Southeast Asia. participants seated at a table at the HEEAP conference Download Full Image

The conference spurred progress in broadening business and education partnerships between the two countries, as well as setting the stage for open exchanges of research aimed at producing technological innovations, said Jeffrey Goss, an assistant dean in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Goss is also executive director of the engineering schools’ Global Outreach and Extended Education, which administers HEEAP.

The alliance was established in 2010 by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Intel Corp., in partnership with ASU. Since then, working in collaboration with the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training, HEEAP has taken significant steps to advance the teaching of engineering at leading technical universities and vocational training colleges throughout Vietnam.

Hundreds of faculty members at those schools have received high-level instructional training, both in Vietnam and at ASU. A distance-education network has been established that enables students at multiple campuses in Vietnam to get instruction in the same courses simultaneously.

In addition, HEEAP is supporting a program to train education leaders in Vietnam in up-to-date skills for the administration of technical education institutions, including the revenue enhancement and policy development efforts necessary for the schools to be competitive regionally and globally.

Major high-tech companies such as National Instruments, Siemens, Cadence, Danaher and Pearson have beomce HEEAP partners in the past few years.

“We foresee growing the annual HEEAP conference into an event involving more of Southeast Asia,” especially as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community begins implementing its master plan in 2015, Goss said.

William Colglazier, science and technology adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. State Department, was a keynote speaker at the conference. Photo courtesy Shalom An Tran.

“At this year’s conference we already had expanded participation from Laos, Thailand, Singapore and the Phillipines, and from more U.S. universities,” he said.

One new HEEAP-related endeavor in the works is a collaboration between ASU and Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City to develop new biomedical engineering research and a product innovation center.

A presentation related to the project was given at the conference by Marco Santello, director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Santello said the collaboration presents an opportunity to design a framework that can guide future efforts to foster international entrepreneurship through partnerships of universities and industry in various countries.

The project is expected to provide opportunities for student and faculty exchanges between ASU and Vietnam universities involving both educational and research activities. Building such mutually beneficial relationships will provide socioeconomic benefits to both countries, Santello said.

In late April, a delegation from Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training will visit ASU to discuss the impact of HEEAP and additional collaborations between ASU and the government of Vietnam.

New projects to be discussed during the visit include a joint venture to establish a bi-national master’s degree program in cyber security and a training center to promote doctorate-level engineering education to feed the pipeline for future faculty members at Vietnam colleges and universities.

ASU and Vietnamese officials will also discuss ideas for expanded support of HEEAP’s objectives.

In addition, a senior delegation from the Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology and the World Bank will visit ASU to discuss ideas on how government, industry and higher education institutions can establish international research centers or institutes that would focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Delivering Democracy Lecture features actor Forest Whitaker

April 18, 2014

The word “democracy” is one of the most recognized, venerated and misunderstood terms in the English language. Its potential, however, has yet to be fully realized, because it is routinely distorted, misjudged and exploited. In order for democracy to flourish, its origins, evolution and potency must be discussed and nurtured by visionaries from various walks of life.

The Arizona State University Center for the Study of Race and Democracy will treat Phoenicians to a timely and creative discussion of the promise of American Democracy featuring Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian Forest Whitaker. The inaugural Delivering Democracy Lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m., April 22 at the Pilgrim Rest Chapel Church, 1401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. portrait of actor Forest Whitaker Download Full Image

"Forest Whitaker is not only a decorated actor and filmmaker, he is a passionate proponent of self-determination and civic engagement. Phoenicians will not want to miss this extraordinary event," said Matthew C. Whitaker, foundation professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.

Whitaker is one of the world’s most accomplished actors, directors, producers and activists, and when chosen as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, their leading American diplomat declared that Whitaker was considered “the perfect choice” because “he exemplifies compassion in every area of his life, with humility and grace. He does this because it’s the right thing to do.”

The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy serves as a leading interdisciplinary, problem-solving venture committed to engaged scholarship and informed dialogue involving the topics of race and democracy. The center serves as a hub of scholarly activity at Arizona State University, and a source of expert opinion and professional support on matters of race and democracy at the local, state, national and international levels. Researchers and practitioners affiliated with the center are tasked with expanding the study of race and democracy beyond the black/white binary, understanding that race and participatory democracy intersect with gender, class, religion, sexuality and nationality.

The center facilitates scholarly research and publications, interdisciplinary study, discourse and debate on cutting-edge issues related to race and democracy, broadly construed. It also provides experiential opportunities for faculty and students to engage in public service through, for example, local, national and international programs, internships and fellowships, and the center administers community service projects that serve underrepresented institutions in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area.

For more information about the lecture, visit

Reporter , ASU Now