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    New program strengthens university-industry alliances

    The recently formed Institute for Industry-Education Collaboration (IIEC) at McNeese provides a framework for expanding and strengthening university-industry collaborations that benefits McNeese students and area industry and contributes to economic development.

    “The Institute is a self-sustaining operation,” said Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, dean of the McNeese college of engineering and engineering technology. “Faculty from different disciplines can work together to conduct seminars, workshops and applied research that benefit local companies and provide work-related educational opportunities for our students.”

    Since 1990, area industries have benefited from an alliance known as the Lake Area Industries/McNeese Engineering Partnership (LAI/MEP) that offers local continuing education training for technicians, engineers and management at area industrial plants. A board comprised of one representative from each member company and five McNeese engineering faculty supervises the LAI/MEP. The board meets every six weeks to discuss topics for training opportunities and share information about industry concerns.

    Over the past 20 years, approximately 5,000 participants have attended local LAI/MEP workshops saving area industry more than $3 million in travel expenses,” Kiritsis said. The new IIEC will complement LAI/MEP’s efforts by offering training courses on the McNeese campus as well as online, web-based courses.

    In addition to offering workshops and seminars that satisfy professional continuing education requirements, the IIEC will also assist with custom designed training, product development expertise, grant writing, technical advice for start-up businesses and identification of qualified McNeese students to participate in senior design and research projects.         

    Kiritsis said the Institute will work closely with the new Southwest Louisiana Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) Center, an economic development partnership with McNeese, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the city of Lake Charles, and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.         

    For more information about the IIEC, contact Kiritsis at (337) 475-5857 or go online at

    Upcoming IIEC seminars include:
    • Pump and Mechanical Seal Basics by the Flowserve Corporation --Sept. 21-22
    • Basic Metallurgy --Sept. 24
    • Chemical Engineering PE Review --Oct. 7, 14 and 21

    Upcoming LAI/MEP Seminars include:  
    • Managing Multiple Small Projects --Oct. 8 (Seminar fees are $50 for LAI/MEP members and $200 for non-members)
    • Sis Implementation and Sil Verification --Oct. 20-21 (Seminar fees are $100 per individual for LAI/MEP members and $300 for non-members)
    • Centrifugal and Reciprocating Compressors --Oct. 28 (Seminar fees are $50 per individual for LAI/MEP members and $200 for non-members)

    For more information on continuing education courses, call (337) 475-5616 or 800-622-3352 ext. 5616.

    About the photo:
    McNeese State University has one of the few hands-on-trainer (HOT) model chemical plant facilities on a university campus. This model plant reproduces the most critical processes found in the chemical industry on a smaller scale using industrial grade equipment, instrumentation and controls and provides cutting edge training for McNeese engineering and engineering technology graduates who will be industry-ready when they leave McNeese. In front of the HOT unit are McNeese students, from left, are Charmaine Gobert, Chris Bowden, Zack Lachowski and Donavon Anderson.

    McNeese Alumni Association

    600 E. McNeese Street Lake Charles, LA  70607