A collaborative initiative between the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), which is a college at Addis Ababa University has been in existence since 2009. The goal is to help AAiT sustain and build its Ph.D. program. The Government of Ethiopia has made the creation of Ph.D. graduates a priority, to boost the AAU faculty and supply faculty to teach in the growing number of Universities in Ethiopia.
UofT faculty travel to Addis Ababa to teach courses at the graduate level to both graduate students and faculty members, so that courses can be picked up and taught by the local faculty. UofT faculty also co-supervise Ph.D. candidates registered at AAiT; this involves weekly skype supervision and sometimes involves bringing the students to UofT for a few months to use our facilities and receive training on modern equipment.
Participation from the UofT Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering was originally led by Professor Yu-Ling Cheng starting in 2009; she was soon joined by Professors Jonathan Rose and Tony Sinclair.
Professor Sinclair has been co-supervising four PhD students from AAiT; three of them have already come to Toronto for a 4-month training program since 2017. While at UofT, they manufactured and tested composite materials made from organic raw materials readily available in Ethiopia. They made use of experimental facilities in the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry: servo-hydraulic loadframes, scanning electron microscopes, polymer extruders, and high-temperature processing systems.
Our Ethiopian partners are keen to expand their international exchange programs whereby each of their senior students goes abroad for a minimum of 3-4 months to participate in a research environment at a major university. The international flavor of the city of Toronto and UofT are particularly well-suited to this type of exchange program, and the diverse fields of study pursued by our Engineering professors should contribute to strong growth of this initiative.