Dr. Neil Reid, UT associate professor of geography and planning, and director of the Urban Affairs Center, is one such dynamo. He returned recently from Poland, where he taught a weeklong intensive course as a visiting professor at Czestochowa University of Technology.
Reid resided in the southern Polish city of Czestochowa from May 30 to June 3 to teach a course titled Industrial Location and Regional Development. It met for six hours each of four days.
“The objective of the course was to help students understand the factors that underlie the location decisions of companies, whether they are in the manufacturing or service sectors, and then to understand the implications of these location decisions for regional economies,” Reid said.
Through the course, the students examined different location theories companies use to determine where to construct their facilities and then considered the economic effects enjoyed by chosen communities, as well as strategies they could use to attract corporate investment.
“It was very interesting to interact with students who live in a different country and culture and to hear their perspectives on the issues that we discussed,” Reid said. “The quality of the students was very high and their English impeccable.”The course was offered to graduate students of an experimental interdisciplinary graduate program associated with the European Faculty of Engineering at the institution.
“The aim of European Faculty of Engineering is to provide a more general profile of education, bearing in mind the necessity to adapt graduates to the varying needs of our job market,” said Dr. Stanislaw Drobniak, director of the European Faculty of Engineering.
He added that the English format of the courses is designed to prepare students for employment in international companies that open factories in Poland, where many graduates of the program usually find work.
While in Poland, Reid also discussed possible collaborative opportunities with his colleague at Czestochowa University of Technology, Dr. Piotra Pachura, who also researches regional development as a professor of business and technology. Pachura invited Reid to Czestochowa for this stint as a visiting professor last November. The two met at a regional development conference in Germany in 2009.
While in Poland, Reid also prompted Pachura to help coordinate a 2012 regional development conference at Slovakia’s Presov University for the International Geographical Union’s Commission on the Dynamics of Economic Spaces, which is an organization Reid chairs and for which he is responsible for organizing conferences.
This was Reid’s first experience teaching abroad as a visiting professor and said that Drobniak already has invited him to teach the course again.
“This was a very enjoyable and rewarding trip,” Reid said.