The University of Alabama

International Research Students Come to UA Campus to Work with Faculty Experts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A select group of student researchers from universities around the world has come to The University of Alabama campus to work with faculty experts through the summer and fall.

The chemistry department is hosting a number of undergraduate, international students visiting UA. The science scholars traveled from all parts of the world – from China to Germany to Taiwan – to come to Alabama.

Dr. Joseph Thrasher, professor of chemistry, is working with some of the international students from Taiwan.

Under Thrasher’s guidance, one set of research students Wei Jen Cheng, Tsung Yao Feng and Yu Meng Ou, three Taiwanese students working under Professor Norman Lu, UA alumnus and faculty member at National Taipei University of Technology, are spending a good deal of time working on the preparation of new fluorine-containing ligands for use in metal complexes, which find uses ranging from catalysts to components in energy conversion devices.

UA undergraduates Liu Liu and Xiao Wang, originally from Ocean University China in Qingdao, China, have also been working on this and other projects in Thrasher’s laboratory.

“In addition to the results that the students obtain here in Tuscaloosa, they will be able to continue this research back in Taiwan, and my research group may continue work in this area as a collaboration with Professor Lu’s group,” Thrasher said.

While the students are here for research, they agree that they are thankful for the opportunity to study abroad and at the University.

“I feel that it is very exciting doing research here,” Yu Meng Ou says. “It is a very good opportunity and I am thankful to have it.”

Dr. Anthony Arduengo, UA Saxon Professor of chemistry, also hosts international students in the chemistry department. His guests this summer included four German students Sven Arenz, Max Ruppert, Frederic Condin and Christiane Knappke.  Thomas Leissing, another student from Germany, is currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Shaughnessy, chair of the chemistry department.

The German students are supported by the German Academic Exchange Service known as DAAD, which awards grants and scholarships to more than 55,000 German and foreign scholars worldwide.

Students under Arduengo’s supervision seem to agree with Thrasher’s international research students. The students are thankful to be studying at the University.

“We were warmly welcomed here,” Leissing said.

Over the summer, some 15 international students traveled to the University to conduct research, according to UA’s Capstone International Center.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.