Sigrid Berka

  • Professor of German; Executive Director, International Engineering Program
  • Phone: 401.874.4700
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Texas Instruments (TI) House 114

Sigrid Berka, Curriculum Vitae


Sigrid Berka is the Executive Director of the International Engineering Program (IEP) at the University of Rhode Island, Professor of German and also the Director of the German IEP and the Chinese IEP. Dr. Berka is responsible for building academic programs with exchange partners abroad, internship placements for IEP’s dual degree students, corporate relations, and fundraising for the IEP. Bi-annually the IEP organizes the Colloquium on International Engineering Education.

Under Dr. Berka’s leadership, the IEP received NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Spotlight award for innovative campus internationalization (2011), and the Andrew Heiskell Award for study abroad (2012) by the Institute for International Education. She serves on the Provost’s Global Education Steering Committee. In her previous appointment as Managing Director of the MIT Germany program, she developed innovative collaborations between MIT students, faculty and German companies and research institutes as part of the MIT International Science & Technology Initiatives (MISTI).

From 2007-2009, she served as MIT Delegate for the Global Excellence Initiative (GEI-GEIP), a consortium of the best engineering schools world-wide with the mission to educate the global engineer, sponsored by Continental AG; Berka was educated at RWTH Aachen, Washington University, St. Louis and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and previously taught German Studies at Barnard College in New York.


As Assistant Professor of German Studies Sigrid taught 19th- and 20th-century literature and culture courses at Barnard College and Columbia University (1990-1996). Her book Mythos-Theorie und Allegorik bei Botho Strauss came out in 1991. She also co-authored an intermediate textbook for German language, Spiralen, and has written many articles on German and Austrian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. As Professor of German and Executive Director of the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island (since 2010), her publications shifted to the field of international engineering education, the added value and impact of dual-degree programs on engineering and the languages, assessment of short-term and long-term study abroad programs, intercultural competency development and assessment, and the reform of the US higher education system. She has published in journals such as ADFL Bulletin, the International Journal of Intercultural RelationsJIEENECTFL ReviewOnline Journal of Global Engineering Education (OJGEE), the ASEE International Forum Proceedings among others. She has also served as co-editor of OJGEE and JIEE.


  • Ph.D. in German Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1990
  • Staatsexamen in German Literature, Philosophy, and Education from RWTH Aachen, 1986

Selected Publications

For a complete list of publications please see Google Scholar Sigrid Berka.

Berka, S. (2023) Internships in the World of Work. Undergraduate International and Cross-Cultural Internships: A Toolkit for Empowering the Next Generation. D. de Gennaro, & M. Marino (Eds.). Cross-Cultural undergraduate internships: A toolkit for empowering the next generation. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited. 67-74. ISBN: 978-1-80455-357-2

Mu, B., Berka, S., Erickson, L., Pérez-Ibáñez, I. (2022). Individual experiences that affect students’ development of intercultural competence in study abroad. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 89. 30-41.

Berka, S., Wu, Y.. (2022). The Chinese International Engineering Program: History, Development, and Curriculum Refinement. Chinese for Business and Professionals at the Workplace: Reaching across Disciplines, eds. Haidan Wang and Christine Uber Grosse, Routledge Press, 73-90.

Erickson, Lars; Berka, S.; Pérez-Ibáñez, I.; Tracksdorf, N.; and La Luna, M. (2021). Using Byram’s Five Savoirs to Measure the Development of Intercultural Competence in the COVID-19 Era during an Engineering Sojourn Abroad. Journal of International Engineering Education. Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 3.

Erickson, L., Berka, S., Castro, Z., Hu, X. (2020). Enhancing Study Abroad: Interventions for Greater Language Proficiency and Intercultural Development. NECTFL Review. 86. 9-31.

Berka, S., Grandin J. M. Graney, A. (2020). Building Community through Dual Degree Language Housing.  Language Learning in Foreign Language Houses ed. by Jennifer Bown and Dan Dewey (BYU). International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT).

Berka, S., & Mu, B., & Erickson, L. O., & Perez-Ibanez, I. (2021). The Role of Study Abroad Curricular Interventions in Engineering Students’ Intercultural Competence Development.  ASEE Virtual Annual Conference.

Berka, S. and La Luna, M. (2020). Strategies for Managing an International Engineering Program during the COVID-19 Global Crisis. Annual Conference Northeast Section (ASEE-NE), Bridgeport, CT, USA. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/ASEENE51624.2020.9292651.

Erickson, L., Berka, S., Castro, Z., Hu, X. (2020). Enhancing Study Abroad: Interventions for Greater Language Proficiency and Intercultural Development. NECTFL Review. 86, pp. 9-31.

Editor, with Editor-in-Chief Brent Jesiek, Journal of International Engineering Education (JIEE) (2018-2023):