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Energy Management at Duquesne University Draws Interest from Mexico

Through a federal grant program, the first cohort of graduate engineering students from Monterrey, Mexico, are currently attending Duquesne University.

The three-year, $300,000 grant, secured from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through a collaboration between the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Center for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) at Duquesne, focuses on expanding knowledge, curricula and research for Mexican students, faculty and professionals to enhance competitiveness in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Partnering with the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexican faculty, executives and graduate students will visit Pittsburgh over a three-year period. Upon completion of their one-year graduate certificates in environmental management offered by CERE, students will have created a project in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency to be implemented in their home country.

With projects ranging from solar panels for energy generation and water heating to ground source pumps to cool facilities, the students will focus on customizing their work to be implemented and used mostly in low-income neighborhoods in Monterrey and villages outside the city.

Patrick Morris Garcia, Eduardo Rodriguez Valdes and Héctor Hernández Turrubiates, the first three students pursuing the certificate, are impressed with Duquesne’s beautiful campus and diverse student body.

“The campus has a high-quality infrastructure and dedicated professors,” Turrubiates said.

Dr. Stan Kabala, CERE’s associate director and co-author of the USAID grant proposal, has traveled to Monterey and will return to the city at least once more to support curriculum development efforts for both universities.

“This program and the students now here provide international exposure to American students, broaden our discourse and add technical expertise to the discussions,” Kabala said.

Dr. Mary McKinney, SBDC director and co-author of the USAID grant proposal, based the grant proposal on the fact that CERE’s certificate program would expand the graduate engineering students’ knowledge in the fields of energy management and policy, areas of less exposure in their extensive technical backgrounds.

“This combined-skills project allowed for SBDC and CERE to bring these students to campus, where their presence has added a cross-cultural viewpoint for all,” McKinney said.

This was the first visit to Pittsburgh for all three students, who are currently residing in Brottier Hall. They compare the city with their hometown of Monterrey, which shares a similar steel history. Upon their return to Mexico, they will assist faculty from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and Duquesne in curriculum development and teaching. The students have also committed to working in the field in their home country for at least two years upon completion of their master’s degree.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.