Engineering students, faculty featured in study abroad story

The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) interviewed engineering faculty members Masoud Rais-Rohani and Olivier Putzeys and students Will Salisbury and Cameron Oxley for its article “University Makes it Easy for STEM Students to Study Abroad.” The University of Maine Department of Mechanical Engineering is making it part of the curriculum to take a semester of STEM courses in Valencia, Spain through USAC. In the fall semester of their second year, students travel to Valencia with USAC. Their classes there include general chemistry, calculus, thermodynamics, and dynamics. Electives include Spanish, sailing the Mediterranean Sea, and dances of Spain. “It is vitally important for our students to develop a more informed view of the world we live in, and a study abroad such as the one offered by USAC will provide them [with] such an opportunity,” says Rais-Rohani, the Richard C. Hill Professor of Mechanical Engineering and department chair. Putzeys, a lecturer in mechanical engineering, adds, “Living abroad and being exposed to a different culture greatly benefits a student’s personal development.” Salisbury says he’s “gotten to know a group of Spanish computer engineering majors that are really similar to me.” And, Oxley says he’s “seen how working with a more diverse student body can lead to better insights and ideas.”