Faculty journey to South Korea to form lasting research connections

Published: Apr 5, 2023 1:00 PM

By Cassie Montgomery

Faculty members from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering were selected as recipients of the Research & Scholarship Connections Travel Grant for travel to Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea. Assistant professors Ali Khosravi of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Jean-Francois Louf of the Department of Chemical Engineering, joined eight faculty members from colleges throughout Auburn University on the spring break trip, hosted by the Office of International Programs. 

Louf, whose research specializes in fluid and elasticity couplings, physics of hydrogels, soft robotics, plant biomechanics and theoretical modeling, was inspired to apply for the travel grant for the opportunity to network with Korean faculty and help grow interest among Korean students in Auburn’s graduate programs. 

“My goal was to meet faculty from different schools in Korea so that we could have more Korean students applying to our graduate programs, have exchange students – both at the undergraduate and graduate level, and to apply for international funding or bilateral Korea-USA funding opportunities,” Louf said. 

For Khosravi, who focuses on bioinspired geotechnics, soil-structure interface, remote sensing applications in geosystem assessment and thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in saturated and unsaturated soils and fractured rocks, potential graduate student recruitment was also a primary goal, as was pursuing research avenues in conjunction with potential industry partners. 

“According to recent studies, South Korean universities have been listed as world leaders when it comes to publishing research in collaboration with industry partners, and the South Korean government is actively pushing for more funding and collaboration opportunities,” Khosravi said. “The collaboration also provides access to a great pool of talented professors and faculty with different backgrounds and expertise, opening potential exciting and complicated research opportunities.” 

The Research & Scholarship Connections Travel Grant leverages Auburn’s strongest international partnerships to foster collaborations across disciplines. Faculty benefit from OIP’s contacts and logistical expertise as well as the security and longevity of relationships formed at the university level to make connections needed to further world-class research on the international stage. The grant includes an itinerary arranged by OIP to include meetings with university, government and industry contacts selected based on recipients’ research and scholarship areas.

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery, cmontgomery@auburn.edu, 334.844.3668
Assistant professors Jean-Francois Louf and Ali Khosravi

Assistant professors Jean-Francois Louf and Ali Khosravi

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