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  • [June 28, 2013]

    PKU/GT/Emory BME joint Ph.D. program embraces first graduates

  • The Peking University(PKU)/ Georgia Institute of Technology(GT)/ Emory University(Emory) Biomedical Engineering (BME) joint Ph.D. program that jumpstarted in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2009 proudly embraces its first graduates yesterday.

    First holder of the degree Dr. Xiaokun Wang said that she appreciated this unique program that enabled her to experience both Chinese and US. mode of education in one degree program. “Though the process is complicated and winding, finally I overcame all the difficulties and achieved good results. Everything was worthwhile.”

    Another joint Ph.D. student Hanshuo Zhang is expected to receive his degree at the end of this year.

    Four years ago, three internationally renowned universities in biomedical engineering, namely, PKU, GT and Emory started working together to push forward this new partnership, a joint Ph.D. program.

    The uniqueness of the program is that a single dissertation will satisfy the thesis requirements of all three institutions, so the student will get only one certificate, with seals of three universities.

    “The program is a positive attempt in our pursuing for global education,” said Dongxiao Zhang, executive vice dean of College of Engineering at PKU, “It is also the first one approved by the State Council Degree Committee in China.”

    According to the provisions, students have an advisor at the home campus and co-advisor at the secondary campus. Most of the classes and research will take place on the home campus. However, students also spend at least one year taking classes and participating in research in the co-advisor's lab on the secondary campus.

    “In the future, science and engineering are international. Everything is done across the country and across the world. If you want to prepare the students for future research, you need to combine different countries around the world,” said Larry V. McIntire, Professor and Chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at GT.

    “China is a country where lots of new things are happening, so Georgia and Emory want to collaborate with universities in china, and in biomedical engineering we choose Peking University. We develop the joint Ph.D. and I think it’s a very exciting program and a role model,” added Larry.

    For this particular program, students are fully supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council as long as they maintain satisfactory progress in the program. On the commencement ceremony, Dr. Jinghui Liu, Secretary General of the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC), extended her warm congratulations. “The responsibility of CSC is to select excellent Chinese talents and fund their overseas studies. I’m very glad to see that students from the prestigious Peking University have realized their dreams with our funding. I hope they will make their own contributions to the world, either in academic, enterprise or international relations,” said Liu.

    Besides CSC, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation has been continuously supporting the BME joint Ph.D. program with a challenge grant set up in 2007. The fund has significantly benefited the department by supporting undergraduate student exchanges, research collaborative activities and Joint Workshop between PKU and GT/Emory, as well as the PKU-GT-Emory BME joint Ph.D. program.

    From left to right: Dr. Shiyi Chen, dean of the College of Engineering, PKU, Dr. Cheng Zhu, associate chair of Department of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at GT, Dr. Xiaokun Wang, degree holder of the joint Ph.D. program, Mr. Hanshuo Zhang, Ph.D. student of the program, Dr. Jinghui Liu, Secretary General of CSC, and Dr. Larry V. McIntire, Chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at GT.