Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration

Engineering

A collaborative initiative between the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), which is college at Addis Ababa University has been in existence since 2009. The goal is to help AAiT sustain and build its Ph.D. program.   The Government of Ethiopia has made the creation of Ph.D. graduates a priority, to boost the AAU faculty and supply faculty to teach in the growing number of Universities in Ethiopia.

UofT faculty travel to Addis Ababa, ad to teach courses at the graduate level to both graduate students and faculty members, so that courses can be picked up and taught by the local faculty. UofT faculty also co-supervise Ph.D. candidates registered at AAiT; this involved weekly skype supervision and sometimes involves bringing the students to U of T for a few months to use our facilities and receive training on modern equipment.

Participation from the U of T Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering was originally led by Professor Yu-Ling Cheng starting in 2009; she was soon joined by Professors Jonathan Rose and Tony Sinclair. Professor Rose is now co-supervising a very gifted student who in 2019 obtained his PhD in electrical engineering at AAiT – he is likely to assume a prominent leadership position in the faculty at his home university.

Professor Sinclair has been co-supervising four PhD students from AAiT; one of them has already come to Toronto for a 4-month training program in 2017, and two more students are expected to come in 2019 as the final stage in their respective academic programs. While at UofT, they will be manufacturing and testing composite materials made from organic raw materials readily available in Ethiopia.  They will make use of experimental facilities in the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry: servo-hydraulic loadframes, scanning electron microscope, polymer extruders, high-temperature processing systems.

Our Ethiopian partners are keen to expand their international exchange programs whereby each of their senior students goes abroad for a minimum of 3 months to participate in a research environment at a major university. The international flavor of the city of Toronto and UofT are particularly well-suited to this type of exchange program, and the diverse fields of study pursued by our Engineering professors will contribute to strong growth of this initiative.

UofT contact: Professor Tony Sinclair, tony.sinclair@utoronto.ca