Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger and Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany President Johann-Dietrich Wörner have signed a five-year agreement for the exchange of students, faculty, and staff. The agreement will foster collaborative research between both universities, particularly in the context of the Partnership for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) program.

Virginia Tech has received more than $244 million in grants, software, hardware and training from the PACE program to date. PACE is a partnership of General Motors, Electronic Data Systems, UGS-PLM, Sun Microsystems, and 26 universities worldwide. Participating universities include Virginia Tech, TU Darmstadt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan. For more information about PACE, see:

The agreement establishes an exchange program that enables Virginia Tech engineering students to take all of their senior year courses at the TU Darmstadt and graduate on schedule. More information can be found at

Students interested in participating in this student exchange program must demonstrate proficiency in the German language. Virginia Tech offers a sequence of six German courses to enable students with no prior German language experience to attain this proficiency. In addition, TU Darmstadt offers a German language and culture summer school in Darmstadt the summer before the student's senior year to help enhance language skills.

A Virginia Tech mechanical engineering student is enrolled in the TU Darmstadt summer program in June 2004. An electrical engineering student plans to attend the entire 2004-2005 academic year.

TU Darmstadt is one of Germany's most highly respected universities, offering programs in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to 19,000 students. In 2003, the university's Mechanical and Processes Engineering program was recognized as the best program in its field in Germany.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

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