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A delegation of Auburn University administrators and faculty visited current and potential partners in South Korea this summer in a continued push to strengthen links in the strategic region.

Led by Seungheui “Ellie” Lee, coordinator of the Korea Center, the delegation included Associate Dean of Engineering Steven Taylor, Quina Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering Jeff Suhling, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Scott Thompson, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nima Shamsaei and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Song-yul “Ben” Choe.

The group visited Keimyung University, one of Auburn’s strongest international partners, to renew the agreement for the Auburn-Keimyung King Sejong Institute and Korea Center and to establish a new university-level student exchange agreement.

Office of Internation Programs’ work with Keimyung was recognized in 2015 by the International Institute of Education with the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. Keimyung is also a partner in Auburn’s 3+2 Automotive Engineering degree program, established by Mechanical Engineering, which includes an internship component in local Korean automotive suppliers such as Mando.

Additionally, the delegation held a dinner reception with Auburn alumni in Seoul and met with Kyung Hee University, Korea Electronics Technology Institute, the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology and Hyundai Motor Corporation about possible future collaborations.

With more than 60 Korean-owned automotive suppliers within an hour’s drive of campus, Korea is a critical region for Auburn’s international growth and development. During fall break, the Office of International Programs will sponsor and lead a trip to Korea for faculty who are interested in making academic and research connections. A request for proposals will be issued at the beginning of the fall semester.

Questions may be directed to Andy Gillespie, assistant provost for international programs, at