Steven Frank, professor of surveying engineering at New Mexico State University, hosted a delegation of Russian visitors to the College of Engineering this past weekend. Frank and the Russians shared information about how surveying engineering is taught in their respective countries and laid the groundwork for future collaborations.
Ten in all, eight of the visitors were academics and two were representatives of a firm that sells Leica surveying equipment and primarily work with universities in Russia.
"They would like to explore the establishment of a memorandum of agreement between NMSU and various Russian universities for international exchanges. Immediate areas of interest are geoscience and surveying," said College of Engineering Assistant Dean Patricia A. Sullivan. "The group included individuals with ties to their mining industry and they also expressed interest in exploring areas of common interest in research such as water quality resulting from surface leaching, and possibly areas for robotics and sensor automation/mechanization of mining operations."
They are also interested in faculty and student exchange to broaden a cultural awareness, which aligns with NMSU's Office of International Programs.
Frank met one member of the delegation, Elena Davydova, at an International Federation of Surveyors workshop last September.
"She told me about a trip she arranged last summer to take a group of Russian academics to visit some surveying programs in the U.K. I invited her to come see our school if she came to the U.S.," said Frank.
Davydova subsequently contacted Frank and asked to arrange the visit to coincide with the Hexagon Global Network Conference held earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Their four-day visit to Las Cruces included a trip to White Sands National Monument for a sunset stroll following an American picnic with chicken, coleslaw and beer. From Las Cruces, they went to Corpus Christi to visit the surveying program and Texas A&M University.