NMT Inks Partnership With China’s Hohai University
New Mexico Tech entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Hohai University in Nanjing, China, in mid-October. The agreement paves the way for future cooperation between the two universities’ Hydrology Departments.
NMT President Dr. Stephen Wells and Hohai President Xu Hui signed official documents on October 16 on the campus in Nanjing. Wells had previously established ties with Hohai at his previous position as president of the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev.
President Hui “is a good friend and I’ve known him a few years,” Wells said. “Hohai is one of the top two universities in China in water engineering and water sciences. For me, it’s a real honor to partner with such a distinguished university.
“Given the expertise at New Mexico tech, it was only appropriate to bring these two institutions together and collaborate on research fronts and leverage our capabilities to address some of the world’s most challenging issues with water resources.”
Both universities have world-renowned programs in instruction and research in water resources. Hohai is expanding its international relationships and identified New Mexico Tech as a premiere program. The MOU lays the foundation for student exchanges, faculty exchanges, and collaborative research projects. During the week-long visit, four NMT professors presented lectures at a hydrology conference hosted by Hohai University.
Two Hohai University students have studied at New Mexico Tech and impressed their peers and the faculty. One has already graduated and one is still in classes. Assistant V.P. Dr. Peter Mozley said NMT faculty are enthusiastic about establishing greater academic and research ties with Hohai faculty and students.
Funded Chinese Graduate Students
Hohai will send Ph.D. students funded by the NSFC China Scholarship Council to New Mexico Tech. Chinese exchange students have their own funding to pay for tuition, travel, living expenses, and research.
Hydrology professors Dr. Jesus Gomez-Velez and Dr. Andrew Luhmann have openings for qualified Ph.D. students at New Mexico Tech. Dr. Yu of Hohai University will help recruit students to fill current Ph.D. positions in the department.
Hohai/NMT Graduate Hydrology Course
NMT and Hohai faculty will team-teach a graduate-level hydrology course. The class will explore scientific questions linked to the experimental catchments in China and in the U.S., including intensive field work in both China and the U.S. to test hypotheses developed during the class.
As a direct result of the October visit, Gomez-Velez has started to work with Hohai professors Xiaobing Chen and Li Chen on cooperative projects. Luhmann and Alex Rinehart of the N.M. Bureau of Geology will collaborate with the Dean of the Geological Engineering College at Hohai University. Dr. Mark Person will work with the Geological Engineering and Oceanography College at Hohai University to study groundwater intrusion and groundwater processes in coastal environments.
Hohai Ph.D. students would visit NMT for a year, taking classes and interacting with the NMT faculty member involved in the collaboration. Similar exchange opportunities for three months would be available for PhD students at NMT through the School for International Education at Hohai University.
NMT Faculty Short Courses
NMT faculty could spend several weeks at Hohai offering short courses. This would allow them to make strong connections with Hohai faculty, with an aim to developing research collaborations. The exact courses offered will be determined based on the interest of Hohai faculty and students.
Areas of Research Expertise
The State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering at Hohai University has research strengths in the following areas:
- Evolution mechanisms and high-efficiency utilization of water resources,
- Hydrologic processes and disaster defense and mitigation in river basins,
- Water-sediment dynamics of rivers and ecological protection,
- Integrated management and protection of estuarine and coastal regions, and
- Hydraulic construction safety and disaster control
The Hydrology Program at New Mexico Tech has research strengths in the following areas:
- Paleohydrology and the role of groundwater in geologic processes,
- Cave and karst hydrology,
- River corridor science,
- Watershed hydrology, and
- Aqueous geochemistry, tracers, and reactive transport.
Potential 3/2 BS/MS Degree Program
Hohai students would receive a BS from Hohai and a Professional Masters degree from NMT. The students would attend Hohai for the first three years and NMT for two. Hohai students would need to receive the proposed Professional Masters in Hydrology degree. The Professional Masters in Hydrology would also possibly serve as a degree for their professionals, meshing with a large program at Hohai University focused on continuing education.