AUGUST 30, 2016 BY NRCCE NEWS
Morgantown, W.Va. — Jack Bennett, a senior mechanical engineering student at West Virginia University , was one of only three scholarship college students from the United States selected to attend the China University of Mining and Technology 2016 Summer School.
CUMT is ranked as the best mining university in China and has a worldwide reputation
in mining technology and research. This scholarship program allowed students from
around the world to learn about mining, technology and geology by studying in Xuzhou
while at the same time meeting Chinese students and professors with similar professional
Bennett and his classmates also traveled and experienced Chinese culture in a number of select cities.
“My trip to China was absolutely amazing and bar-none the greatest thing I have been able to do while attending WVU,” said Bennett who is currently a student in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
—2016 CUMT Summer School group picture. Jack Bennett (#8). This photo was taken on campus at CUMT in Xuzhou in one of their many mining research buildings.“I saw the Great Wall of China, the city of Shanghai in depth, and experienced the life of university students in a Chinese city,” said Bennett. “Studying at CUMT gave me the chance to take classes I would not have taken on my regular path to graduation.”
During the program, Bennett studied modern mining techniques, mine safety, mine land reclamation, geology, coal gas extraction and water protection, and coal seam hazards. “One cool thing about the recommended reading list was seeing books authored by Syd Peng.” Peng is the Charles E. Lawall Chair Emeritus in Mining Engineering and an international expert on underground mining.
“I made amazing relationships and connections that will last throughout my professional career,” said Bennett. He met students from Australia, Britain, Poland, Russia, Vietnam, Mongolia, and many Chinese students and professors including WVU Ph.D. graduates.
—Jack Bennett’s picture of the Great Wall, outside of Beijing.
B e n n e tt is the only student from WVU to attend this year, joining two mining engineering students from the University of Kentucky. The first study abroad trip to China specifically for WVU mining engineering students was organized by Dr. Christopher J. Bise in 2011.Bennett was recommended for the program by Dr. Richard Bajura, director of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE), WVU’s liaison to the International Higher Education Alliance for Mining, Energy and Environment, which selects U.S. students for the summer school.
Tuition was sponsored by CUMT while additional contributions for travel and expenses were made by the NRCCE, Statler College, Research Office and Office of International Programs.
Qingyun Sun, associate director of WVU’s US-China Energy Center and a graduate of CUMT, earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university. “This program allowed Jack to study abroad, travel and make international connections. Participating in this program is a distinction few other graduates will have on their resumes,” Sun said.
— Jack Bennett on the Fairy Walking Bridge in the Huangshan mountain range.
Bennett was quick to add, “To someone who never left the United States before, the
initial culture shock hit me fairly quick. It’s the little things about Chinese
society, what’s polite and what isn’t, that stood out. It also made me aware of
certain freedoms we have in the U.S. that not only the Chinese but some of the
other international students do not have.”
To learn more about the CUMT program, contact Dr. Richard Bajura, email@example.com.
CONTACT: Tracy Novak, National Research Center for Coal and Energy
—This group photo was taken in the Bund (older) area of Shanghai. Across the river is the newer area of Shanghai with more modern architecture. (Jack Bennett, last row, center, in red hat.)