The Polymer Materials Engineering Department at Shenkar and the Plastics Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have extended their doctoral program partnership until 2030
In October 2010, Shenkar and the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) signed a historic agreement, with the support of the Pernick family from New York, to set up a doctoral program for students from the Polymer Materials Engineering Department graduating from Shenkar.
The agreement was due to expire in October 2020, but in light of its extraordinary success, both institutions have agreed to extend it by a further ten years!
To date, nine Shenkar graduates have received doctoral degrees from UMass, 35 articles have been published by students and joint supervisors from Shenkar and UMass, and four patents have been registered.
In light of the pandemic restrictions, the ceremony to celebrate the extension of the agreement took place online on Friday, 5 March 2021. The ceremony was opened by Susan Pernick, who expressed her gratification from the success of the program founded by her late mother-in-law and late father-in-law, Frances and David Pernick.
At the center of the ceremony were the graduates of the doctoral program. They talked about their experiences and the opportunities that the Pernick Foundation-sponsored program gave them. All of the graduates have since gone on to senior positions in industry and academia, working in research, development and teaching.
Also attending the ceremony were the president of Shenkar, Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli, and the provost and vice chancellor of UMass Lowell, Prof. Joseph Hartman, who both emphasized the academic success of the program and its successful integration into the international program of both institutions. The dean of the Pernick Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Yoram Halevi, noted the potential for expanding the program into other departments, both within the Faculty of Engineering as well as in the Faculty of Design. The dean of the College of Engineering at UMass Lowell, Prof. James Sherwood, praised the program, which he referred to as a global beacon of inter-university collaboration.
Prof. Shmuel Kenig – vice-president of Shenkar, Prof. Hanna Dodiuk – head of the master’s program in the Polymer Materials Engineering Department and Prof. Joey Mead – the Pernick Nanotechnology Chair and head of the Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence in UML, provided an overview of the program since its inception, and expressed their gratitude to the late David Pernick, whose vision and passion for nanotechnology established the foundations of the program.
The ceremony was followed by a discussion between members of the academic staff of both departments, who agreed to expand the program into joint courses and seminars for graduate students.