Cal Poly Pomona faculty and students from a multitude of disciplines will have opportunities to collaborate with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on civil projects, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the two parties have signed.
“This collaboration creates a world of possibilities, giving our students insights and experiences that they could not get elsewhere,” University President Soraya M. Coley said.
Under the agreement, the Army Corps of Engineers will look for ways to partner with the university — from providing possible professional opportunities through its Pathways Internship and career development programs, to giving students a chance to participate in field visits to the agency’s facilities and project sites, to looking for ways to team up on research projects of mutual interest.
The aim of the MOU is to develop a collaborative relationship between the agency’s Los Angeles District and Cal Poly Pomona on engineering and other projects, said Seema Shah-Fairbank, an associate professor of civil engineering and the faculty director for Assessment and Program Review.
“The MOU opens up an opportunity for faculty and students at Cal Poly Pomona to have a direct connection to what’s being done for civil work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Shah-Fairbank said.
The agreement with the Los Angeles District is the first of its kind, giving opportunities to students in disciplines ranging from engineering to geology to landscape architecture.
“It’s open to the campus community as a whole to contribute to the future of our university,” Shah-Fairbank said. “That was the driving force to make the MOU a reality.”
The Army Corps has participated in campus career fairs, but about six years ago, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte) approached the federal agency about getting move involved with the university.
“I am elated to learn the idea I had for this partnership between Cal Poly Pomona and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now coming to life,” Napolitano said. “Joining the two is such a natural fit, which will undoubtedly benefit both parties equally. It will deliver students the applied research opportunities they need to be ready to enter the workforce, and it will infuse the Army Corps of Engineers with the latest university research and innovative ideas for helping the San Gabriel Valley and other communities address flood control, environmental restoration, drought and water supply issues. I congratulate both Cal Poly Pomona and the Corps on this historic partnership and look forward to their future collaboration.”