Title

UND Civil Engineering Professor completes prestigious Senior Fulbright Scholar assignment in India

Authors

Mark Danes

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

8-27-2015

Campus Unit

College of Engineering & Mines

Abstract

Sukhvarsh Jerath helped to revive advanced coursework that had not been available for years at the Indian Institute of Technology

UND Professor Sukhvarsh Jerath, the graduate program director in the College of Engineering & Mines’ Civil Engineering Department, recently completed a teaching and research assignment as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), in Powai, Mumbai, India.

Jerath was one of only 15 senior Fulbright Scholars out of a total of 110 recipients nationwide, including students, to receive this prestigious type of Fulbright, known as the Nehru Award.

Conferred by the Foreign Scholarship Board in Washington, D.C., the award is given to qualified U.S. citizens to share their knowledge, and in turn, to learn from their association with host institutions. These opportunities have the added benefit of supporting foreign relations between America and the host nations.

“This was a special opportunity and privilege for me to represent UND’s College of Engineering & Mines, as well as the USA as a whole,” said Jerath. “And, I believe the work gave the institutions a chance to offer important graduate study in structural engineering, which is vitally needed to advance the infrastructure in India.”

During his stay as a Fulbright Nehru Scholar at IITB, Jerath taught the graduate level civil engineering course on structural stability. The course had not been offered for a long time due to a shortage of faculty qualified to teach this higher-level course. Normally, said Jerath, about 25 students would attend that level of course at IITB. But because it had not been available for a long time, and with local promotion of my visit, the number of students taking the course jumped to more than 70.

As a testament to the success of the instruction, the students gave Jerath an average score of 93 percent (excellent to very good) in their evaluations of the curriculum, course and the instructor. Jerath also helped two Ph.D. candidates and one dual-degree student (Bachelor’s and Master’s level combined) with their dissertations and theses.

In addition, Jerath led seminars exploring aspects of structural engineering and structural mechanics (in particular, bridges and storage tanks) at three institutions: IITB, the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. The schools are ranked as the number 1, 2, and 3 engineering institutions in India, respectively.

“I found it to be very energizing and rewarding to be in the company of many high-performing students and institutional leaders who want to do so much for their country and people,” Jerath said. “They are really living a calling to advance their communities by making them safer, more efficient and more productive.”

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