Mastering Connections

(Left to right) International students Marlene Prien, Arthiha Tharmrasan and Adelina Herbst attend the annual German holiday party at the IEP House. Photo courtesy of Dr. Sigrid Berka

Bringing international graduate students into the College of Engineering through both new and established dual master’s degree programs is a major priority of the International Engineering Program. 

Last August, ten dual master’s and MBA students from TU Braunschweig and TU Darmstadt graduated from URI last August. One of the Fulbright scholars, Leonie Otte, is still at URI and is now pursuing a PhD in industrial engineering. 

For this academic year, we welcomed to campus our first dual master’s candidate from the University of Naples Parthenope, Ludovica Palazzo. Palazzo is one of seven international dual master’s candidates presently at URI. The International Engineering Program is proud to be able to house some of them in the IEP LLC, where they can attend IEP-sponsored events, promote their universities of origin to the next IEP generation going abroad, and learn about American culture and customs from other residents.

Nicholas Vad (left), Adelina Herbst (center) and Max Schnegas (center right) pitch their home universities in Darmstadt and Braunschweig, Germany to this year’s outgoing cohort of German IEP students in the TI House. Photo courtesy of Dr. Berka

For the 2024-2025 academic year, we expect our first dual master’s cohort coming from the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain, followed by a group in 2025 as part of a newly established agreement with the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France, our longtime partner. Building on the successful chairs’ showcase of research at Fascitelli in May 2023 to honor the visit of UTC’s President, engineering faculty from UTC and URI continued their exploration of research synergies during an online Research Symposium on January 26th. Being able to formally launch these new graduate programs and research collaborations and watch them begin to flourish continues to be a point of pride for the IEP.

Reflections of a Recent International Dual Master’s Graduate

Angela Klassen celebrating her 2023 graduation from URI. Photo credit: Angela Klassen via LinkedIn

Following her graduation last summer, Angela Klassen ’23, a TU Braunschweig/URI dual master’s student in electrical engineering, shared her thoughts about her experience as part of this exchange:

“I would like to reflect on an incredible year filled with huge milestones and exciting opportunities that made 2023 academically and personally so important to me.

Firstly, I am proud and happy to share that I was able to finish my master’s studies. Under the framework of the dual degree program, I had the unique opportunity to complete the degree requirements of two master’s programs – one in the United States and one in Germany – in 2.5 years. In August 2023 I graduated with a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island with the highest possible GPA of 4.0. One month later I was awarded an additional master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technische Universität Braunschweig with an average grade of 1.0 (A) and received the VDE Erwin Marx Prize for outstanding academic achievements. What an honor for me.

Angela Klassen in front of the Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering. Photo credit: Angela Klassen via LinkedIn

During my master’s studies, I focused on the strongly emerging field of machine learning and gained insights ranging from basic principles of pattern recognition to advanced neural network applications.

In December, I then had the chance to present my first paper, ‘Machine Learning based Radar Heatmap Generation for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems,’ at the International Joint Conference on High Performance Big Data and Intelligent Systems (HDIS) & Cloud Computing and Intelligent Driving (CCID) in Macau, China. The experience of traveling to a continent I had never visited before and meeting researchers from all over the world was unbelievable and certainly my personal highlight of the last year.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities that I could take and the things that I could learn in 2023. Many thanks to all the great people who helped and supported me!!

In 2024 I will continue my journey in the field of machine learning – definitely excited for everything that is coming next!”

Reposted from LinkedIn with Angela Klassen’s permission.