The integrated education and research program of the PIRE project has three key features:
- A program of course work that develops systems thinking in a sustainability context and the possibility of Certification to formalize students’ credentials, and
- Industry-University collaboration to enhance student networking, the translation potential of PIRE research, and employment opportunities.
- Development of international research teams (IRTs) that engage graduate and undergraduate students.
Course Work and Certification. Students across the PIRE follow a plan of coursework that develops systems-level thinking on how industrial production and commodities transport impact water availability, water quality and the integrity of aquatic ecosystems. Courses specialized to students’ departmental affiliations will supplement foundation coursework in science, engineering, management, and environmental policy. Students explore questions arising in international commerce related to water quality through travel and research with the PIRE’s international partners.
PIRE Industry/University Consortium. The consortium acts as a focal point in the following areas:
- Participation in the conception, development and oversight of PIRE research projects
- Enabling access of PIRE students to field sites, specialized equipment in industrial laboratories, and providing internship opportunities.
- Participation in guest lectures to the PIRE multi-University audience
- Providing feedback for on-going review and formative assessment of PIRE activities.
International Research Teams. Each PIRE student is a part of an IRT with students from international partner Universities, an industrial advisor, and academic advisors from different disciplines. IRT activities include extended visits to partner labs (industrial or academic) overseas