International Activities

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Professor N. Narayana Rao

International Activities

Professor Rao has been involved extensively in educational development activities internationally.

Under the MUCIA (Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities) - INDONESIA World Bank IX Education Project, he served as a consultant at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia. Initially, he visited the Department of Electrical Engineering during the one-month period from February 27, 1985 to March 27, 1985 to engage in preliminary discussions with the faculty of that department. As a result of the discussions, he prepared a report to the Dean of the College of Engineering summarizing the findings and his recommendations for achieving the goals outlined by the dean. See letters from MUCIA Resident Representative and MUCIA Liaison Officer.

He returned to Jakarta on August 24, 1985, for a one-year consultancy. During the one-year period, he engaged in activities to implement the recommendations and begin the endeavor of upgrading the department, preliminary to the construction of and move to the new campus of the University at Depok, south of Jakarta. Specifically, he contributed to the following tasks: (a) Development of new curricula for the S1 program for the 1990's and beyond; (b) Planning of instructional laboratories, preparation of equipment lists, and assisting in preparation of specifications for these equipment; (c) Demonstration of instructional techniques and evaluation of student performance; and (d) Advising in the planning for development of manpower (faculty) required to implement the new curricula. The visit concluded with the preparation and submission to the dean of a comprehensive final report entitled, "A new Curriculum, Modern Laboratory Facilities, Staff Development, and Evaluation of Student Performance for Jurusan Elektro, Universitas Indonesia," and dated July 25, 1986. See letter from MUCIA Resident Representative. Professor Rao was presented with a plaque of highest appreciation at the conclusion of the visit.

Professor Rao's activities involving universities in Indonesia continued beyond 1986. Specifically, these consist of the following: (a) a two-month follow-up visit to the University of Indonesia during their move to Depok, in the summer of 1987; (b) a brief visit (to the new campus at Depok) in the fall of 1992; (c) hosting of a two-day visit by a delegation of Indonesian EE educators to the ECE Department at UIUC in the fall of 1997; and (d) a one-week visit to the EE Department at the Bandung Institute of Technology in January 1999 to advise them on preparation for accreditation for ABET 2000, and to explore collaborative efforts.

Other activities prior to 2000 include a brief visit to the National Central University in Taiwan in the fall of 1992, and a visit to the National University of Singapore in January 1999 to discuss plans for a cooperative Master's degree program.

From approximately the year 2000, Professor Rao has been engaged in educational activities with institutions in India. A major activity occurred in 2006, consisting of the publication of the “Indian Edition” of “Elements of Engineering Electromagnetics,” and the Edward C. Jordan Memorial Offering of the first course on the Indo-US Inter-University Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education and Research. This initiative has to do with a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed in December 2005 between a number of U. S. Universities, including UIUC, and the AMRITA University, Coimbatore, India, in partnership with the Indian Space Research Organization and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India. It allows for faculty from the U.S. to offer courses for e-learning on the EDUSAT Satellite Network, and to pursue collaborative research with India. The Initiative was launched by President Abdul Kalam from New Delhi on the EDUSAT Satellite Network on December 8, 2005.

In July-August 2006, Professor Rao visited AMRITA University to teach the first course of five-week duration on introductory electromagnetics. More than 850 students attended the broadcast lectures at 22 centers across India. With students taking a satellite-based course participating interactively with their teacher, it was a “first” for higher education in India.

Beginning in October 2006, Professor Rao is transitioning into a role of service for the cause of engineering education and collaboration with American universities, based at AMRITA University in Coimbatore as Distinguished AMRITA Professor of Engineering, while continuing on the faculty at UIUC as the Edward C. Jordan Professor.