College of Engineering
In November 2011, officials signed a dual Ph.D. agreement between the Colleges of Engineering at Notre Dame and PUC. This marks the first dual-Ph.D. program in university history. The program includes the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame, as well as other areas of study from the PUC College of Engineering. Computer science, biomedical engineering, astro engineering and computer engineering are under exploration as potential fields for collaboration.
In September 2015, the program celebrated its first graduate: Rafael Omar Ruiz García, who obtained his Ph.D. in structural and geotechnical engineering.
Notre Dame and PUC officers and faculty continue to identify strong candidates and external funding for the dual program and to expand the number of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students who participate in exchange and collaborative research.
The dynamic cooperation between the Notre Dame and PUC Colleges of Engineering has resulted in significant developments. Deans Peter Kilpatrick and Juan Carlos de la Llera are dynamic leaders and enthusiastic supporters of these joint initiatives. Having visited Chile several times during the past six years to collaborate with colleagues at PUC and Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Dr. Kilpatrick traveled to Chile most recently in January 2016 for a meeting of the International Advisory Board for the Ingeniería 2030 Project. A growing number of faculty across engineering fields are actively involved in joint research at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition, there are several joint research projects that have been developed and funded by Notre Dame's College of Engineering as part of the Seed Fund Notre Dame-PUC Program, which began in 2013.
Dr. Rob Nerenberg at Notre Dame and Dr. Pablo Pastén at PUC are also bringing Notre Dame-PUC collaboration to new levels. They are moving forward with the plans to develop a joint and interdisciplinary course on urban sustainability initially supported by a Luksic Fellowship. The course is open to any student, in addition to those from Engineering.