Mexico Leadership Exchange creates cross-cultural learning opportunities

October 18, 2017
| By: Joshua Siegel

A group of mechanical engineering students from Mexico recently got an inside look at what the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University has to offer.

Students from the Universidad de Guanajuato visited as a part of the Mexico Leadership Exchange (MLE), a program supported by the Texas A&M University chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Universidad de Guanajuato students visit Texas A&M each fall semester, and Texas A&M students visit the Guanajuato campus every spring. This year marks the 20th-annual MLE visit.

Texas A&M Turbo Lab students and faculty lead the Guanajuato students on a tour of the 37,000-square-foot Turbo Lab and its test cells while explaining the research they conduct and the equipment they use to produce results.

“It’s always very good for us to showcase what we are developing at the Laboratory,” said Dr. Luis San Andres, a professor in the Turbo Lab. “It’s a great way to attract potential students who find what we do interesting.”

In addition to their tour of the Turbo Lab and the Texas A&M campus, the visiting students spent a day in Austin touring facilities like Sand Hill Energy Center.

“I think it’s a great way to spark their ambitions,” MLE president and Texas A&M mechanical engineering student William Barr said. “There might be something going on in Mexico that I don’t know about, and when I find out what’s going on there, I might want to completely gear my studies or my efforts toward that. We try to give them insight into new interests and vice versa.”

Harsimram Singh, Texas A&M mechanical engineering student and co-chair of international relations for MLE, has a personal connection to the value of MLE. Singh came to the U.S. from India about a year ago, and his experience is what encouraged him to join the exchange program.

“I know the feeling of trying to get to know a place — how people live, their culture, what goes on there,” he said. “It’s really important, and it’s really helpful to create a better understanding between nations, between people and between cultures.”

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