International Conferences Present Opportunities to Contribute and Collaborate

At the Concapan conference, Dr. Pritpal Singh was recognized by IEEE for his contributions to the development of humanitarian technology projects in Nicaragua.
At the Concapan conference, Dr. Pritpal Singh was recognized by IEEE for his contributions to the development of humanitarian technology projects in Nicaragua.

During a busy November, Villanova University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Pritpal Singh, participated in international conferences in Central and South America. He traveled first to Medellin, Colombia, for REMCYT, a meeting of ministers and high level authorities on science and technology. Later, in Managua, Nicaragua, he attended Concapan, an IEEE conference for Central American countries and Panama. Both events provided Dr. Singh with opportunities to further develop relationships and collaborative opportunities with educational institutions around the globe.

“Science, Technology and Innovation as Pillars of Transformation in the Americas” was the theme for REMCYT, a conference of the Organization of American States, which includes 35 countries. Plenary sessions, working groups and panels addressed some of the challenges of the region, including, equitable access to technologies, inclusive education, production of clean and renewable energy, sustainable transportation, food security, and how to support technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises  and young entrepreneurs. Through the exchange of ideas and best practices, participants were invited to reflect on the power of transformative technologies to increase economic and social development of the OAS member states and find solutions to these challenges. 

Dr. Pritpal Singh attended the REMYCT meeting of ministers and high level authorities on science and technology in Colombia.
Dr. Pritpal Singh attended the REMYCT meeting of ministers and high level authorities on science and technology in Colombia.

For his part, Dr. Singh lent his expertise to a working group on Human Resources Training and Education, part of the Competitiveness, Innovation, and Technology Section of OAS’s Department of Economic Development.  Through his involvement, he formed a valuable relationship with the Executive Secretary of Integral Development, Aryanne Quintal, and made a connection with Telemaco Talavera Siles, president of the National Council of Universities in Nicaragua. “It was a privilege to represent Villanova University at this important event,” says Dr. Singh. “I made contacts within educational leadership in Nicaragua, the U.S. State Department and the National Science Foundation; learned about Ecuador’s interest in sustainability efforts; and heard about exciting things happening at the university in Medellin, where we might have opportunities to work together.” Dr. Singh also was involved in planning the working group’s focus over the next two years.

At Concapan, Dr. Singh served as a guest speaker, delivering a workshop on sustainable microgrids and speaking to a young professionals group on innovation and entrepreneurship. With his former graduate student Saul Nunez ’16 MSEE, who now teaches at Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería in Nicaragua, Dr. Singh presented on the joint senior design projects being pursued by students at Villanova and UNI.

The event was highlighted by an unexpected IEEE award recognizing Dr. Singh for contributions to the development of humanitarian technology projects in Nicaragua.

“In a global society, it is essential to form connections with others around the world who are striving to meet the challenges that many of us face,” says Dr. Singh. “For our faculty and students, these relationships provide opportunities to learn and grow from one another.”

To learn more about Dr. Singh’s international partnerships, see “Villanova Engineering Expands Relationship with Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería,” which details a recent visit to campus by UNI leadership.