On the first day, we sat on our respective groups. Lehigh Uni faculty members presented some of their current researches which may be of interest in the group. One of the major thing in that presentation was that, shale gas research is in a very young and exploratory stage. The recent interest on this area among the American university is mainly because they have one of the largest shale gas deposit in the world. But why now? Well, shale gas production in recent years have been very expensive and not feasible. Now they have to really look into it as oil is getting expensive and uncertain.
I found that the American academics are easy to divert their expertise into something which are new to them. Nobody in that presentation claimed to be an expert in shale gas, but they are looking the "possibility" in using their expertise in other area and divert it to shale gas. We thought that the younger academics are easier to adapt but that is not the case, as you can see in the following pictures, even the older academics are quickly jumping into the fresh area.
Now, as I said, this is a new area. The American universities are looking at establishing themselves as the pioneer into the shale gas research. They are pushing for a Center of Excellence (CoE) or an Institute in their university. The first one to established will probably get the largest portion of the cake. That is why Lehigh Uni is very eager to work with UTP and to setup a CoE/Institute together. But that is not that easy as it turned out in the discussion. It may take a little bit longer but I hope it will be there.
As for the sustainable construction group, we had already pick up an area for collaboration. UTP is planning to send a PhD student and a technician for a short attachment at Lehigh very soon. I hope to be one of the supervisor *praying hard*.
The next day, we had the stering committee meeting which has to be conducted twice a year at UTP and Lehigh. This meeting is more of a general meeting between the bosses looking at the overall picture. I had the pleasure to sit in the committee all this while as I am the custodian of the Lehigh-UTP MoU.
|Throwing out ideas. Nobody in the room knows what is going to happen next in the shale gas research.|
|That is the Vice President and Associate Provost for International Affairs, Prof |
|Prof Ricles on earthquake resisting structures using laminated timber and spring which is actually a collaboration between Lehigh and University of Gadja Mada, Indonesia.|
|One of the post-doc on earthquake structures. He was showing this video on full-scale shaking table test in Japan.|
|Lunch time at the mountaintop. It was raining.|
|Myself, Prof Fadhil Nuruddin and Prof Stephen Pessiki. Steve has my DIED cd and he played it sometimes in his car stereo just to get mad ;)|
|There is a similarity on both of them from the back. I hope I will not join the club.|
|Bethlehem from the top.|
|Don't forget your wife on your trip overseas. Buy something expensive (on huge discount).|
|Steering Committee members.|