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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M forms partnership with Yucat?n

The Aggie influence will soon spread to the Mexican state of Yucatán as Texas A&M broadens its research portfolio with a new partnership south of the border.
Texas A&M and Yucatán signed an agreement Sept. 17 that makes A&M the first international academic partner of Yucatan’s SIIDETEY research complex. The partnership will enable students to travel between A&M and the Yucatán research center to research topics such as water use, energy and oil and gas production.
“This is a day-one initiative in Yucatán, from the governor of Yucatán, to really increase the visibility of science and research in that space,” said Katherine Banks, dean of Texas A&M’s engineering college. “So as part of that they built a research complex. So many universities, government institutions and industries will be working together to solve major research challenges.”
Texas A&M joins the Mexican Aerospace Agency, Yucatán State University, the Mexican Natioal Institute of Mathematics and other institutions in the SIIDETEY research complex. The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, TEES, and Texas A&M AgriLife are included in the agreement.
As a part of this initiative A&M will host 250 engineering and agriculture students from the Yucatán and will send a select few Texas A&M students to the Mexican research complex.
“As far as sending students to Yucatán, we have the opportunity to send students for research internships or company internships,” said Maria Alves, engineering international programs director. “We also are launching a program this semester for first generation students to go to Yucatan for ten days for a research workshop abroad.”
Banks said she hopes the partnership will provide more opportunities for students to gain global experience without breaking the bank.
Thirty-three students from the Yucatán visited Texas A&M last year to research coastal water preservation, energy and logistics of transport, Banks said. This year’s focus will be on information technology and oil and gas production.
Banks said future years might focus on advanced research areas such as nanotechnology.
Agricultural research will also benefit from the A&M-Yucatán agreement. Fifty students will come to Texas A&M to conduct research into food production.
“Food production is a huge issue there, and they are certainly interested in working with ag here,” Banks said. “They are interested in processes and procedure that will increase food production in Yucatán.”
The 50 students will be the first from the Yucatán to conduct research in coordination with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Yucatán hopes in the future to partner with other colleges at A&M.
“They are interested in marine biology and marine science as well as veterinary medicine and architecture,” said Banks. “They identified these as areas they would like to expand our collaborations.”
Because a global perspective is increasingly crucial in many engineering fields, Banks said she hopes the partnership between Texas A&M engineering and Yucatán continues to grow.
“We need to reach over to our neighbors for these programs and the Yucatán is a great place to start,” Banks said.

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