Vub mission 26. 09 to 03. 10. 2011, Mexico City and Puebla Final Report Monday September 28th (Mexico City)

Thursday October 1st (MEXICO CITY – PUEBLA)

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Thursday October 1st (MEXICO CITY – PUEBLA)_________________________________________

UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

#1 in México, (QS) # 6 in Latin America, # 163 worldwide

Ciudad Universitaria, Torre de Rectoría, Piso 7

Contact: Mr. Carlos Labastida Villegas, Asistant to the Secretary General, Eduardo Bárzana García Tel. 56221230 al 34, Extensión 104;

Program and participants:

9.00 – 11.00

  • Dr. Eduardo Bárzana García, Secretario General

  • Mtro. Rubén Ruiz Guerra, Secretario Académico de la Coordinación de Humanidades.

  • Dr. Gonzalo López de Haro, Secretario General de la Facultad de Ingeniería.

  • Ing. Armando Lodigiani Rodríguez, Director General de Cooperación e Internacionalización.

  • Dra. Alina María Signoret Dorcasberro, Directora del Centro de Enseñanza de Lenguas Extranjeras

  • Dr. Manuel Torres Labansat, Director del Instituto de Física

  • Dr. Héctor Benítez Pérez, Director del Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas.

  • Dr. Tom Froese, Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas.

  • Mtro. Luis Antonio Huacuja Acevedo, Responsable del Programa de Estudios sobre la Unión Europea, Coordinación de Posgrado, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Acatlán.

  • Dr. Fernando Ibarra Chávez, Coordinación de Letras Modernas, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.

11.00 – 12.00 Tour of Ciudad Universitaria

12.00 – 1.30 Lunch with Luis Huacuja (European Union Studies Program at UNAM)




Contact earlier with Paris office:

Octavio Paredes
Directeur CEM-UNAM France
Site des Cordeliers de l'UPMC
15, rue de l'Ecole de Médecine
75006 Paris Tel: 01 44 27 53 74

-visited VUB before the mission

-founded in 1910, public university

-341,539 students: 28,000 postgrad; 198,000 Ba; 115.000 high school

-Undergrad: 14 professional faculties; 7 multidisciplinary faculties

-Master: comprehensive, but all in Spanish

Strength is humanities: 11 institutes and 1.000 PhD

-total academic staff: 47.000; 44% female

-lots of emphasis on open and distant learning for high school, Ba and Ma. 10 extension centers in different states

-active in the coordination of 6 musea

-international presence:

6 centers for Spanish learning (all in US)

5 centers for Mexican Studies (Kings College, London; Sorbonne, France; Foreign Studies University, Beijing; one in Spain and one in Costa Rica)

These type of centers might be an interesting option for VUB – no precise idea about it at this moment.

-teaches 18 languages + research

-make connection with Multilingual Master


-connection with Tom Lenaerts (game theory); can possibly participate in Centre for Complexity Science. Contact with Tom Froese (Carlos Gershenson)

-mechatronics: prof. Raphael Schoenaerts has BE nationality

-has agreement with ULB for exchange

Undergrad: 19 out and 9 incoming from ULB

Grad: 3 out and 7 incoming from ULB

Centre for Complexity science: biology, physics, linguistics,… fully interdisciplinary

-has no own professors, but profs from all domains come together (make mathematical abstraction to find similarities in systems)

-new building will open soon and call for post doc is coming soon (mainly collaborating with France)

-exchange visits for groups are possible

Big data: has a more statistical focus/ data analyses

-interesting to participate

- non linear contro theory is one topic (distributed competence at VUB; ask Johan Schoukens)

Interests of UNAM for collaboration


Heidi Ottevaere?

Astrofisica, optics and electronics

Particular interest in acoustic tomography and industrial applications – e.g. VW rear axis control – @VUB, maybe Patrick Guillaume vibration analysis and acoustics


Jurgen D’Hondt?

Biomedical engineering

Johan Stiens?

Economics and Political Sciences

Linguistics and literary studies

-explore the possibility for staff exchange

- through Amexcid: multilingual master double diploma/ establish a matrix of languages and fields (e.g. translation, translation, literature, …) to enlarge mutual educational offer.

They offer 18 languages and are interested in collaboration with VUB for the areas they don’t excel in

Remark: in UNAM linguistics is separated from literature

Meeting with Luis Huacuja Acevedo (lunch), from the European Union Studies Program (Head), who also teaches part time at IBERO and at ITESM. He comes frequently to Brussels and he’s interested in establishing a link with IES and support us in other initiatives

EU information centre; European Union studies program

MoU between UNAM and VUB

-send template of MoU


  • Send template MoU to Armando Lodigiani (done)

  • Identify topics of interest in all of UNAM academic areas with our R&D department. As part of this exercise, ask Octavio Paredes for potential links in the areas of IIHE and in Biomedical Engineering, that we can provide R&D with some references already

  • Look into possibility of organizing a workshop; UNAM has funds for joint meetings, look if there is opportunity for Tom Lenaerts and Tom Froese 2 to get support also on VUB’s side.

  • Ann Peeters to follow up with the Literature department – interest in the Multilingual Master

  • Ask Octavio Paredes about the difference between centers and institutes at UNAM (criteria that differentiates them)

  • Discuss with Octavio Paredes the funding possibilities for workshops and for future PhDs, how to best include VUB in Conacyt’s eligible institutions (VUB is already part of Conacyt’s ‘padron’, but is considered non-priority in such list.

  • Send information on Pleinlaan 5 & 9 buildings to Octavio Paredes for future consideration of a satellite office in Brussels

  • Contact with IES: summer school; IES brochure

  • Knows friendship group Be-Me

  • Send docs of BDA

  • (Tour on campus) Send brochure of building M to Adriana Gonzalez Duran

INAOE (National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics)

Calle Luis Enrique Erro No. 1, Santa María Tonantzintla, San Andrés Cholula, Puebla. C.P. 72840.

Contact: María Luisa Hernández Simón, Assistant to the General Director,

+52(222) 247 20 44 or GSM +52 22 25 64 49 10;


  • Dr. Leopoldo Altamirano Robles (Executive Presentation INAOE), Director of Technological Development

  • Dr. Ponciano Rodríguez Montero, Director of Academic Training

  • Dr. Roberto Murphy Arteaga, Research Director

  • Dr. Eduardo Morales Manzares, Coordinator Computer Science

  • Dr. Juan Manuel Ramírez, Coordinator Electronics

  • Dr. David Sánchez de la Llave, Coordinator Optics

Executive presentation INAOE -

Presentation VUB

Presentation Computer Sciences (TBC)

Presentation Optics (TBC)

Presentation Electronics (TBC)

Roundtable discussion for cooperation




In general:

National Institute of Astrophisics, Optica and Electronica since 1971 (INAOE)

-5 research areas:

Astrophysics/Optics/Electronics/Computer science/Space S&T these 5 areas have Ma-programmes and PhD programmes (excl. Space S&T which has no PhD programme)

-on average 350 students with 80 graduates

-14% international students

-10% of the students spent at least 3 m in foreign institution

-125 researchers

Interesting research institute. More staff than students

No architecture/ no chemical eng (only coatings in Puebla)

Graduate programmes in engineering (Ma and PhD)

Ma: consolidated-label (Conacyt) third label of 4 labels

PhD: international label (Conacyt) highest of 4 labels

No Ba-programmes

Activity: flight simulator

Dept. Computer Science research areas

  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition

  • Reconfigurable and high-performance computing

  • Ubiquitous computing and processing

  • Bio-Signal processing and medical computing

  • Robotics

  • Language Technologies

  • Computer Vision

For more details: see ANNEX 15

Possible links:

-infant cry recognition

-speech and emotions recognition

-rehabilitation: gaming

Dept. Optics research areas (all funding comes from Conacyt)

  • Fiber lasers

  • Quantum optics

  • Diffractive optics

  • Optical design and metrology

  • Holographic materials

  • Optical trapping and manipulation

  • Biomedical optics

  • Visual optics

  • Plasmonics

  • Solar cells

  • Optical microscopy

  • Acousto optics

  • Photoconductive materials and applications

  • Digital image processing

For more details: see ANNEX 14

Possible links:

-photonics: light for medical applications/passive devices/active components/ energy concentrators for solar cells/nanosatelite – flux identification/radiation balance (with meteorological institute)

Post doc Pablo Hernandez

Will work with Ann Nowé - Post doc Pablo Hernandez will finish PhD and come to VUB (Ann Nowe smart grids) where he can also look at other depts. and help find links between both institutions


  • Start identifying match at research level – possibility of double diploma PhD

  • Contact Heidi Ottevare with INAOE’s info

  • Get updated powerpoint from BRUFACE

Friday October 2nd (PUEBLA CITY – MEXICO CITY)

UPAEP (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla)

21 Sur No.1103 Colonia Santiago, C.P. 72410, Puebla, Puebla

Annex building to Rectorate, second floor

Contact: Ana Laura Vázquez Rivero, Coordinator International Relations – Graduate programs
+52 (222) 229 94 00 Ext. 7712; 01800 224 22 00 Ext. 7712;
Program and participants:
9.00-10:00 Dr. Herberto Rodríguez, Vicerector of Postgraduate Programs

Ana Laura Vázquez Rivero, Coordinadora de Relaciones Internacionales de Posgrado

Pablo Nuño, Director of International Affairs

Yazmín Álvarez, Study Abroad Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs

María José Siliceo, Outgoing Exchange Coordinator for Europe

Verónica Contreras, Service Learning & Internship Coordinator

Laura Nieto, Bridge Programs Coordinator

Martha Cabanas, Graduate Programs Dual degree Coordinator
10:00-11:15 Academic Meeting

Building U Meeting Room 203

Hugo Ferrer

Dean of Engineer Sciences

Robin Ann Rice

Professor of Literature

Elie Girgis El Kassis -

Professor of Biotechnology Engineering
11:30-12:30 Meeting with UPAEP President

Building U President Office Room 3

Jose Emilio Baños Ardavin

UPAEP’s President

Pablo Nuño

Director of International Affairs

Yazmín Álvarez

Study Abroad Coordinator of Undergraduate Program

(skype: David Oliverra)
13.00-14:30 Lunch at Quinze Restaurant with

Pablo Nuño, Yazmin Alvarez
Engineering lab tour (Yazmin Alvarez)



-founded in 1973, private, catholic

-total: 12.600 students: Ba 9.000; Ma 2.500; PhD 500

-5.000 students have scholarship

- SEP award recognition for higher education

- 80% of their outgoing students go to Europe

-6 fields

      • Arts and Humanities

      • Biological Sciences

      • Administrative and Economic Sciences

      • Health Sciences

      • Social Sciences

      • Engineering

-dual masters (>100; one year at each university and 0,5 year of thesis at one of the two universities) and PhD are in place (received some booklets)

-extensive PPT on student services was presented:

Focus on orientation weeks, sports, service learning, internships, tandem, language classes, housing (possibility of foster families, welcome activities for foreign students, orientation week, …

has accelerated programme model in place (see PPT for detail)

2 options:

-3 + 2

-3 + 2 + 1: last year in UPAEP and extra Ma diploma from UPAEP

For year 5 and 6, CONACYT funding is possible; year 4 is self supporting

Match with 3+2 model in place at VUB

7/36 Ma and 2/13 PhD programmes are recognized as ‘consolidade’ by CONACYT

Connection with/recognized by Harvard and MIT

See ANNEX 17 ISC.HBS.EDU (Harvard Business School) for details

Domains of biotech engineering: will sent topics

Have Ba and Ma offer in food studies, ….

These domains are more scattered at VUB

-send info on topics food (HIST), biomolecular sci, molecular biology

Meeting with rector (= chemical engineer) & David

Very interested in TTI/ won a price for best incubator

Discussion on office in Brussels

  • dedicating efforts to regional economic and social growth

  • especially for collaboration in engineering and health sciences (cancer) : they have state of the art technology because of the close link with the special needs of the Puebla Region

  • strong societal engagement: policy-preparing studies (research close to topics that can be applied to society)

-explain about joint lab and ecosystem with industry

-make a doc on PL5 and send it to Rector

VUB: specific funding geared towards the group for the patents

Requirements for Spanish: at least three semesters of Spanish courses during previous education

Possibilities for service learning:

  • language courses (Spanish – English – French – German) to help developing areas

  • also possible for foreign students to participate in this programme

Possibility for internships for Language Training

Strong interest in double degree MA with Multilingual Master (TALK)

B1. Make doc on PL5 with motivation page and F&F-page and send to UPAEP. Follow up on progress in decision making on opening office in PL5.

  • Send template with completed request for MoU prior to 24th November (contact Ana Laura Vazquez and Pablo Nuño

Conclusion: Across-the-board Follow up actions by VUB

A1. Vice rectors Int’l and R&D sit together and go over topics. Identify matches and key persons (deepen clusters).

A2. Inform identified key persons on mission and possibilities. Provide report and PPT’s.

A3. Homologues MX-VUB get in contact with each other

A4. Send promised info to MX universities already

B1. Make doc on PL5 with motivation page and F&F-page and send to UPAEP. Follow up on progress in decision making on opening office in PL5.

C1. Inform CONACYT on key research (ERC,..), explain regional importance and include linguistics, give status of rankings,…Ask for collaboration agreement template.

D1. Make MoU with UNAM

E1. Provide info assistance to FIT for participation in IBERO fair.

F1. Check calls AMEXCID (amexcid website) and CONACYT (EU website)

G1: Send Mexican Universities the information concerning our Summer Schools

H1. VUB looks for and tries to identify its Alumni (cfr. Example of the leaflet of UCL in Embassy)

1 Idem as footnote 2

2 Tom Froese from UNAM told us that UNAM is more likely to establish collaborations if there is already some research activity.  He’s organising together with the head of his department the next International Conference on Artificial Life in Cancun, which is a highly relevant conference in the area of Artificial Intelligence research.  Within the context of this conference one can organise one-day workshops.  Tom suggested we maybe could use this opportunity.  The question Tom Lenaerts now has is whether we can find financial support to invite speakers for such a workshop in Cancun.   VUB does not provide such support.

Mission Mexico 29/9 – 3/10/2015 Page

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