“I think the ultimate goal is for China and the United States to really address energy issues particularly related to fossil energy use and commercialization and the use of fossil fuels in a clean, efficient and effective manner,” said Dr. Curt Peterson, WVU’s vice president for research and economic development and president of the WVU Research Corp.
Dr. Renshu Yang, who has the equivalent role at CUMT to a university president, told the group through an English translator that making efficient energy furthers human development.
“It is a great honor to visit this beautiful and well-known university,” Yang said. “Resources and energy are the basis for human development, so the key to forward this development is to explore scientifically more resources and energy.”
The agreement is the first step in cooperation between the two universities with more specific initiatives to follow.
Peterson emphasized the importance of developing efficient and clean energy from fossil resources.
He cited the increasing demand for energy to power technology in both countries and across the world.
“In West Virginia, coal is much more than a necessary part of the energy mix for an energy-hungry world,” Peterson told the audience of WVU leaders and 18 CUMT professors and representatives at the signing at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy. “In West Virginia, it is an integral part of our economy and our way of life.”
“At West Virginia University, we have embraced the challenge of finding cleaner ways to use coal, and we welcome your expertise, your cooperation and your input as we work together on furthering that potential,” Peterson told the group.
The five-year agreement, that has an option to renew, will allow joint research and the sharing of teaching resources and professional development resources between the two universities.
Peterson said the two universities intend to work together on such important concerns as carbon sequestration and storage and mining safety.
From a research standpoint, WVU’s most effective international relationships are the ties to China it has already formed and the new tie to CUMT, Peterson said. He hopes for similar research partnerships to be formed with other universities around the globe.
Ultimately, the agreement is a way for mining students to increase their cultural education with a global power.
“I would encourage our students not only to engage in the technical side of visiting China and studying in China but also the cultural side,” said Peterson, who has visited China. “Culturally it’s really one of the most interesting places in the world.
“I would hope that our young people would seize the opportunity to learn the language and also to learn about the culture. This will only benefit us all.”
This agreement is just one of the many ways that WVU has connected with China.