German Fulbright Scholars Merge Engineering and Entrepreneurship

A cohort of 24 German Fulbright scholars visited campus for three weeks to learn more about the entrepreneurial opportunities within the field of engineering.

By: Jordan Vernon

german fulbright students in front of museum


On March 3, 2019 the LSU Office of International programsCollege of Engineering, and  E.J. Ourso College of Business welcomed 24 German Fulbright Scholars. The students, who study engineering back home, came to LSU to learn how to leverage entrepreneurial skills with their technical engineering training. The cohort was made up of students that are on the undergraduate and graduate level from universities from all across Germany. While in Louisiana they immersed themselves in engineering and entrepreneurship concepts, and learned about American and Louisiana culture. After three weeks, the students left armed with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will enrich their professional and personal lives for years to come.

While on campus the scholars participated in various workshops and seminars including an introduction to entrepreneurship and business incubation, how to secure funding for entrepreneurship ventures, and visits to LSU Innovation Park and NASA Michoud (New Orleans). A great team of LSU faculty and staff were involved in providing these experiences and sessions including Greg Accardo, Warren Hull, Dr. Ye-Sho Chen, Adrienne Steele and Dr. Frank Lohrke just to name a few. To give the students a taste of putting into practice all they were learning, they participated in Baton Rouge Startup Weekend. The scholars each joined a team of students that was tasked with putting together a pitch, developing a business plan and creating a prototype.

german fulbright students in classroom
In addition to their core studies, the students also had a rich cultural experience. Each week they participated in an excursion or event that exposed them to Louisiana history and culture. Mardi Gras in New Roads, a trip to Avery Island, and a swamp tour were among the activities. Additionally, each scholar participated in a buddy program. They were paired with a domestic student to help them to adjust during their time here and to better understand LSU and Louisiana culture.

german fulbright students at in new roads for mardi gras

Created in 1945 by Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Program sought to “promote international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.” International Programs at LSU is proud to have been a participant in this valuable exchange for the past four years. We extend many thanks to each department and person who made this year’s trip possible and look forward to future opportunities to share and grow.