A group of Washington State University students is participating in graduate studies in Germany, thanks to support from the European Union’s ERASMUS+ funding program. WSU is the first university in the state to receive such EU funding to support student and faculty research exchanges.

“Studying abroad is expensive, so I hadn’t thought about it before this opportunity arose,” said Andrew Raub, a first-generation student who received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from WSU earlier this year. “The whole trip was exciting and a real confidence booster. It was a great opportunity to make contacts for my research.”

Joseph Iannelli and Andrew Raub displaying a WSU flag in Dresden, Germany.
Joseph Iannelli, Associate Dean for International Programs in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, and WSU doctoral student Andrew Raub displaying a WSU flag in Dresden, Germany.

Raub, now a doctoral student in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, conducted research at the Technology University of Dresden (TUD), one of 11 “universities of excellence” in Germany with research focus areas that are similar to WSU’s.

Samuel Karcher and Sasa Kovacevic, graduate students in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, are currently also studying in Dresden, where they are attending the Materials 4.0 symposium.

“This EU funding exemplifies WSU’s initiatives to grow and expand international collaborations with leading European universities for engineering, computer science and other WSU faculty and students,’’ said Joseph Iannelli, Associate Dean for International Programs in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.  “These international relationships contribute to elevating WSU’s reputation on the world stage, an important component in WSU’s ‘Drive to 25’ initiative.”

Iannelli collaborated with faculty members from TUD on the ERASMUS+ international grant proposal. Because of its success, the program has been funded for a second year. The college is also developing collaborations with several other EU universities, including the Technology University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands as well as the University of Cologne and University of Stuttgart in Germany.

The program lets students gain invaluable overseas experiences that expose them to different cultures as well as engineering practices, to operate successfully in multicultural environments, said Iannelli.

“I am committed to bringing these experiences to our students and faculty,” he said.

The program also has brought scholars from Europe to WSU.

“WSU is doing research on material science for composites, which is a huge content of my studies,” said Christian Hübler, who will be working on a materials research project with researchers in WSU’s Composite Materials and Engineering Center.  “At WSU I expect to learn a lot about the project. I am also looking forward to meeting some new colleagues and getting to know what it is like in America.”