VIMS hosts Chinese delegation

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     VIMS Dean and Director John Wells (L) accepts a commemorative plate from professor Wang Houjun, UESTC Vice-President of International Affairs.  
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     VIMS professor Mark Patterson (facing camera) shows off his autonomous underwater vehicle Fetch to members of the UESTC delegation.  
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     VIMS professor Emmett Duffy (center) describes the algal floway at VIMS while UESTC delegates look on.  
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A delegation from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) visited the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on December 15 as part of their broader visit to the College of William and Mary.

William & Mary has entered into a “sister university" arrangement with UESTC, a relationship that both sides hope will generate a wide range of mutually beneficial educational and research initiatives.

During their tour of VIMS, the UESTC delegation met with a number of VIMS scientists who are active in areas related to marine technology and electronic instrumentation:

  • Dr. Steve Kaattari described collaborative work within VIMS’ Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health to develop antibody-based biosensors for detection of contaminants in water
  • Dr. Jian Shen discussed recent advances in the development of computer models that are used to simulate and predict hydrologic processes in coastal waters and watersheds
  • Dr. Mark Patterson of VIMS' Autonomous Systems Laboratory discussed his development and use of remotely operated vehicles in marine research
  • Dr. Emmett Duffy described research to develop the most efficient methods for large-scale harvest of wild algae for use as a biofuel.

The visit ended with a tour of the VIMS’ Seawater Research Laboratory, a cutting-edge facility that provides 800 gallons per minute of treated seawater to support state-mandated research on fish and shellfish.

VIMS Dean and Director John Wells says the visit reflects a growing spirit of collaboration between marine scientists at VIMS and their counterparts in China. VIMS already enjoys research and educational partnerships with the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Research at East China Normal University in Shanghai and with the Ocean University of China in Qingdao.

A number of Chinese graduate students and post-doctoral associates also currently pursue research at VIMS.

Members of the UESTC delegation also toured William and Mary’s Integrated Science Center, the Mason School of Business, and the Muscarelle Museum.

Dennis Manos, William & Mary’s vice provost for research, says meetings during these visits were “to talk about what both sides want from this relationship.” The meetings were organized by topic: a science and environmental group, led by Manos and VIMS Professor Emeritus Dennis Taylor; a business group, led by Mason School of Business Dean Larry Pulley; and a sister school relations group let by Ron St. Onge, interim director of the Reves Center International Studies at William & Mary.

W&M President Taylor Reveley says “UESTC is one of the most distinguished universities in China. We look forward to an exchange of faculty and students in academic programs and cultural exchanges between Chengdu and Williamsburg.”