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Danfoss and Florida State University have announced a multi-year collaboration in which Danfoss will fund scholarships and provide research opportunities for faculty and students at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the joint engineering institution for Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU). The five-year agreement, which was officially signed on Nov. 12, establishes the Danfoss FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Fund with a $750,000 commitment from Danfoss.
"This agreement is an exciting new chapter in Danfoss' relationship with the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering," said Ricardo Schneider, president of Danfoss Turbocor, which is based in Tallahassee, home of the College. "We have been developing a strong partnership for nearly 10 years, sponsoring undergraduate and graduate research projects, and are excited to expand our support for the development of engineering talent in the community. These scholarships will help underrepresented minority students achieve their dreams of an engineering career, bring more diversity to the profession and create a talent pipeline for our Danfoss Turbocor business."
Each academic year, the Fund will award multiple grants (expected to be around 10 per year) to undergraduate and graduate students from either university at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. Undergraduate fellowships will focus on first- or second-year engineering students, with a focus on first-generation college students or those who belong to an underrepresented group. Additionally, the Fund will support graduate research fellows and faculty fellows each year who are engaged in research that is of interest to Danfoss. Fellows will collaborate with selected students at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) on graduate research projects. The students will likely spend time at each other's campus, with support from Danfoss and the Fund.
"This funding is another important step in the nearly decade-long collaboration between Danfoss and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and it will be transformative in many ways," said Farrukh Alvi, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. "They're providing financial support to our students who need and deserve it, while also creating a pathway for important research and international career connections that students would otherwise not have access to. This partnership is another notable step toward growing the number of career and research-ready engineers from first-generation and underrepresented groups, a high priority for both organizations."
The collaboration with SDU will provide a path for SDU students to pursue graduate engineering study at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in mechatronics, controls, material science and aerodynamics. Danfoss faculty fellows will provide them with mentorship and advising and the SDU students will continue their collaborations with the Danfoss graduate research fellows with guidance from FAMU-FSU Engineering and SDU faculty.
Danfoss, headquartered in Denmark, has an ongoing relationship with SDU, sponsoring many activities through the company's Mads Clausen Foundation, and this agreement will expand and strengthen the existing relationship.
"We are very excited about the student exchange collaboration with Florida A&M and Florida State universities," said Henrik Johnsen Vindt, associate professor and assistant director of international affairs at SDU's Faculty of Engineering. "International qualifications are essential for our engineering students and this collaboration supports our effort to give future engineers a global mindset. The American students will enhance the international environment at our university, have the opportunity to experience Denmark and hopefully consider our business for employment in the future."