The power of global research opportunities
Professor Thomas Webster, who pioneered the use of nanotechnology for improving medical devices, knows the value of international research experiences for chemical engineering students: They expand students’ scientific and cultural perspectives, and provide insight into other countries’ regulatory and approval processes. Such insight could not only spark advances in research methodology on both sides of the ocean; it could also give students an edge in knowing where to fast-track biomedical products—a boon for subsequent co-op and work placements.
But he knows, too, that such opportunities are limited because of the extensive in-class course requirements of the major.
All of that factored into the development of Northeastern’s chemical engineering Global Exchange Program, a two-month summer practicum that Webster launched in 2014 to offer undergraduates the chance to earn upper-level engineering credits by performing hands-on research in seven universities around the world. The program also gives students at those universities a chance to do research at Northeastern.