Beginning in Fall 2022, Colorado State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will welcome graduate students from the Asian Institute of Technology, who will study with CSU faculty known for their expertise in water resources. The department has developed a dual degree master’s program with the international postgraduate school in Bangkok, Thailand, to train grad students in hydrology, hydraulics, water quality and resources, and environmental management.
The institutions signed an international memorandum of understanding in March and will begin jointly interviewing and admitting students to the program this spring. Starting this fall, students accepted into the program will study at AIT for one year and transfer to CSU for their second year, earning two Master of Science degrees in two years.
“This new master’s degree program with AIT represents an exciting opportunity to expand our international graduate student base with very high-quality students in a recognized area of expertise for both institutions,” Department Chair Charles Shackelford said.
Students will gain complementary knowledge and skills from the two universities. They will experience hands-on research and double their networks. The department anticipates some may stay at CSU to work toward a Ph.D.
The department looks forward to building on its well-established relationship with AIT, which goes back to the school’s origin.
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization founded the school in 1959 to offer engineering graduate programs to students from Southeast Asia in the hope they would return to their home countries and help improve living standards and economic conditions. At the U.S. Department of State’s request, CSU provided a survey on the feasibility of the project.
The late Professor Maury Albertson was asked to lead the school’s establishment. Albertson, who also was instrumental in founding the Peace Corps in the early 1960s, and Thomas Evans, then dean of CSU’s College of Engineering, traveled to Bangkok and helped set up the SEATO Graduate School of Engineering, later known as AIT.
Former Department Head Milton Bender served as the school’s first president, from 1962 to 1975. Another former civil engineering chair, Professor Emeritus John Nelson, was an AIT faculty member from 1968 to 1973 and later served on its board of trustees. David McLean, dean of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, currently sits on the board.
CSU’s connection with AIT is so fundamental that CSU President Joyce McConnell was asked to give the keynote address for AIT’s 60th anniversary in October 2019.
“CSU and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in particular have a long-standing partnership with AIT, a premier international technical university, and we look forward to continuing and expanding this partnership through our mutual interests in education and research,” McLean said.