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Whether partnering with a large corporation or with a small startup, industry relationships are integral to the College of Engineering. In an effort to increase unique opportunities for collaboration, Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering and Robotics Institute partnered with the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization (YPO-WPO), an international networking organization for top executives, on an initiative called Faculty to Global Leaders.

Carnegie Mellon is one of only eight institutions chosen to participate in the new program, which connects the university to a worldwide network of 20,000 chief executives in more than 120 countries.

To solidify the promising relationship, Carnegie Mellon welcomed to campus nearly 80 YPO-WPO members from the Pittsburgh chapter. Eight faculty from the College of Engineering and Robotics Institute were selected as Faculty to Global Leader Fellows and gave presentations about their research. As faculty fellows, their role is to enhance YPO-WPO members’ understanding of topics that could impact business and the community.

At the event, YPO-WPO members were introduced to a number of topics, including self-driving vehicles, smart building infrastructure, and intelligent machines. A subject that resonated with the group was additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, and its potential to have a huge impact on industries, ranging from aerospace to healthcare. Jack Beuth, professor of mechanical engineering, spoke about his cutting-edge work in optimizing the process of 3-D printing with metals for industry manufacturing. Adam Feinberg, assistant professor of materials science and biomedical engineering, talked about the 3-D printing of soft biomaterials such as blood vessels and heart muscles, which he hopes will someday be used as a method of heart repair.


The event included demonstrations where faculty informally talked with the YPO-WPO attendees and presented their technologies. Hae Young Noh, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, demonstrated ground sensor technology which monitors vibrations to determine not only where people are, but who they are. Noh and her collaborator Pei Zhang, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Silicon Valley campus, view their technology as a particularly impactful tool to prevent the elderly from falling in medical facilities and residential homes.

The interactive design of the event mimicked the hands-on relationship that the Faculty to Global Leader Fellows will continue to have with YPO-WPO members. As fellows, the faculty are able to speak and network at YPO-WPO events worldwide. Another benefit of the Faculty to Global Leaders program is that it provides opportunities for Carnegie Mellon graduate students to get involved in YPO-WPO business initiatives.

“The partnership between Carnegie Mellon and YPO-WPO is phenomenal. It opens up new connections between research and business. We learned that we can knock on these doors when we have questions or see an opportunity,” says regional YPO-WPO member Ed De La Torre.