Mr. Juan Ernesto DeBedout, group president of Kimberly-Clarke Corporation’s Latin American Operations and chair of the Purdue College of Engineering’s Advisory Council, played a vital role in facilitating Purdue’s visit. The primary activities of the team’s visits were providing students and faculty with brief presentations of CPIASR and nanoHUB.org, followed by a discussion period, lab tours and faculty interactions. Highlights of the team’s visit to Cali, Medellin and Bogota included:
Cali – The team was privileged to have breakfast with Iván Enrique Ramos Calderón, rector of Universidad de Valle, and his colleagues. The CPIASR team then traveled to Univalle’s campus in order to giving a presentation to students, tour labs and meet faculty. The nanotechnology team then remained at Univalle as the CPIASR biology team traveled to CIAT, giving a presentation and meeting with CIAT’s Director General Ruben G. Echeverría. In the afternoon, several team members visited Puerto Tejada to view a community service project being led by Kimberly-Clarke, as others toured ICESI. In the evening, Dr. Pedro Prieto, director of the Center of Excellence in Novel Materials, hosted a dinner for Purdue featuring two talented youth groups from Puerto Tejada - a dancing troupe and a winning FIRST Lego League team.
Medellin – CPIASR began its two days in Medellin by visiting students and faculty at Universidad de Nacional, Medellin as well as Universidad de Bolivariana. A small contingency also had the honor of meeting with Luis Carlos Sarmiento, an internationally respected business leader and board president of Colfuturo, to inform him about CPIASR’s vision and answer any questions he may have about the Institute. That evening, Mr. DeBedout generously hosted a dinner in which the CPIASR team met with representatives from Kimberly Clarke, the major utilities company EPM, the science and technology non-profit Ruta N, and Colciencias.
On Day 2 in Medellin, the CPIASR team travelled to Universidad de Antioquia to meet faculty, students and Jairo Humberto Restrepo Zea, Vice-president for Research. The team also visited Universidad de EAFIT to meet with leaders such as Vice Rector General Julio Acosta and and Dean of Engineering Alberto Rodriguez. A third visit was to the private educational foundation Colfuturo, which is a critical partner in CPIASR’s efforts.
Bogota – Universidad de Nacional, Bogota was CPIASR’s first visit in Bogota. As several team members conducted an extended tour of Nacional, part of the team traveled to Universidad de Bogota Jorge Tadeo Lozano and met with its president, Dr. Jose Fernando Isaza, and his colleagues. In the afternoon, members of the CPIASR team toured Universidad de Javieriana and met with several faculty members, including Academic Dean Francisco Javier Rebolledo Munoz. In the evening, CPIASR was honored to enjoy dinner at the home of Purdue alum Gilberto Gomez and meet with several dignataries, includingColombia’s Ministra of Education María Fernanda Campo.
On CPIASR’s second day, several members of the team spent much of the day touring Universidad de Los Andes and meeting with its accomplished researchers. The same day, other members of the CPIASR team met with Roberto Rios Martinez and his colleagues at Escuela Colombiana de Ingenieria to discuss the areas of shared interest and research. In addition, several members of the CPIASR met with Dr. Ann Mason, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange Between the United States of America and Colombia. CPIASR members also participated in a critical meeting with Colombia’s Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, known as Colciencias.
A highlight of CPIASR’s third day in Bogota was the Catedra course hosted by Universidad de Nacional, Bogota. Drs. Arvind Raman, Jean Paul Allain and Gerhard Klimeck gave presentations about their nanotechnology research to approximately 1,500 students both on site and through videoconferencing.
CPIASR’S MARCH 2010 DELEGATION TO COLOMBIA