One year after visiting The University of Southern Mississippi to
explore scholarly and economic development opportunities using virtual
reality technologies, a Spanish university official returned to
campus this week to strengthen and expand the international collaboration.
Dr. Jorge Capote,
director of the Grupo de Investigación y Desarrollo de Actuaciones
Industriales (GIDAI), made his second visit to Hattiesburg, where
he spent the week as a guest of the Innovation for Construction
and Engineering Enhancement (ICEE) center.
Housed at the
University of Cantabria in Spain, GIDAI focuses on applying modern
techniques to the design, planning and organizing of construction
projects. ICEE is a multidisciplinary research center at Southern
Miss organized to enhance the economic development and educational
opportunities of its participants.
of Capote's transatlantic visit was to explore initiatives that
would allow the universities to share information and collaborate
on engineering projects in real time, using both existing and newly
my first visit last summer, we have developed two major projects--one
for the Department of Transportation in Spain, and one for a nuclear
authority," Capote said through an interpreter, Dr. Tulio Sulbaran,
an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Technology.
to Spain, Capote hopes to establish a new line of research in virtual
reality and computational methods in situations of fire safety,
and ICEE have already submitted a couple of projects in Europe and
organized a conference in October that involves people from Japan,
Italy, Germany, the United States and Spain. In addition, we have
also signed an agreement with Prentiss Hall Publishing to write
a book," Sulbaran said.
weeklong visit, Capote met with various members of different university
departments and attended sessions highlighting ongoing ICEE projects,
such as using virtual reality in construction cost estimating and
improving productivity in construction workers.
met with the state fire marshal, the Southern Miss Safety Department,
and officials from Jones County Junior College and NASA.
Provost Dr. Tim Hudson said he knew personally from his own work
in Spain the high regard in which Capote is held. "The University
of Cantabria, where he works, is one of Spain's finest (universities)
and the opportunity to collaborate with it is a sign of the quality
of our construction program and a wonderful opportunity for our
students and faculty.
types of international exchanges are essential to remain competitive
and up-to-date in any field in this era of globalization, and we
are grateful to Dr. Capote and to the Southern Miss faculty, such
as Dr. Sulbaran, for their initiative. I look for great things from
this 'alianza' (alliance)," Hudson said.
Dr. Rex Gandy,
dean of the College of Science and Technology, met with Capote on
Tuesday. He said the ongoing collaboration between both universities
will greatly enhance and benefit the construction programs in both
and Dr. Capote deserve praise for establishing and nurturing this
important effort that will benefit the students and faculty at both
institutions," Gandy said.
of numerous books and monographs regarding construction equipment
and fire safety, Capote has participated in the planning and construction
of numerous industrial, commercial and residential projects in Latin
America, Africa and the Middle East.