A major international conference at Boston College this week brings together representatives from the world’s Jesuit engineering schools and programs.

The International Association of Jesuit Engineering Schools Summit “Jesuit Engineering Vision for a Better World,” which takes place July 13-15, will explore further the identity, mission, and strategy of the IAJES network, created four years ago in response to a call from Pope Francis and the Society of Jesus to foster communication and cooperation among Jesuit engineering schools and programs.

Besides BC, IAJES members include Loyola University Chicago, Santa Clara University, University of Scranton, Instituto Especializado de Estudios Supeiores Loyola (Dominican Republic), Sogang University (Korea), University Loyola du Congo (Congo), Icam University (France), Institut Quimic de Sarrià (Spain), Université Saint-Joseph (Lebanon), Xavier Institute of Engineering (India), and College Saint Michel (Madagascar). Fifty-five attendees representing 23 institutions will attend the summit in person.

“Boston College is very privileged to have been chosen to host this important summit, given the fact that our Engineering Department is barely a year old,” said Sunanda Bhattacharya, associate vice provost for design and innovation strategies at BC, who will present an introduction at the summit opening. “We look forward to fruitful conversations as to how we can advance the IAJES identity, vision, organizational structure, priorities, and ways of working within our network. In particular, with regard to the ‘emergency’ the world is currently facing, what can we reasonably expect from IAJES members as a common goal in terms of integral ecology? How far and how fast can we progress and work together within IAJES and to have a positive impact on the future society?”

Three Boston College faculty members will be among the guest speakers: BC School of Social Work Dean Gautam Yadama, who studies poverty and environment dynamics, and interventions to address the attendant social, economic, environment, and health outcomes; Assistant Professor of Engineering Ali Salifu, whose research focuses on the development of sustainable and/or cost-effective technologies for renewable energy production and water filtration; and Mike H.M. Teodorescu, an assistant professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management, a data scientist, and entrepreneur with multiple patents.

Also speaking will be David Moinina Sengeh, minister of basic and senior secondary education and chief innovation officer for the government of Sierra Leone.

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J., will deliver a welcome address.

Other highlights of the conference, which will take place at 245 Beacon Street—BC’s state-of-the-art science facility, which opened earlier this year—include “Re-imagining the Jesuit Engineering Vision for a Better World,” an interactive participatory session led by Professor Glenn Gaudette, the inaugural Kozarich Chair of BC’s Engineering Department; collaborative working sessions; a reflection session led by BC Vice Provost for Global Engagement James Keenan, S.J.; and a closing meeting with the current Society of Jesus Higher Education Secretary Joseph Christie, S.J.

“An important objective is to elect the IAJES board for the coming years, as well as to decide on the means to manage and coordinate the task forces and projects in line with the identified plan of action. We will also define our roadmap that will allow us to be in line with the International Association of Jesuit Universities,” said Bhattacharya.

University Communications | July 2022