When Tam Sridhar became Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in 2003 he was eager to strengthen the Faculty’s international presence. Sridhar recognised the potential of the already existing Associate Dean (International) portfolio in increasing the international profile of the Faculty. Together with the Heads of Department and Associate Deans, Sridhar worked to expand Monash University’s engineering programs internationally.
He began with China, and together with Bill Young, then Head of Civil Engineering, established a twinning program with Wuhan University of Technology and Central South University. This program, called the 2+2 Program, meant that students from China could complete the first two years of their engineering degree in China before transferring to Australia to complete their final two years. They would then graduate with a degree from both their Chinese university and Monash University.
Xin Huang was one of the first students to participate in the 2+2 program. He arrived at Monash in March 2005 and began his final two years study in the Department of Materials Engineering. During this time Huang was offered work experience with Rio Tinto, after which he was offered a $5000 scholarship for his final year of study and a position as a ‘Development Engineering’ with the company once he graduated. Rio Tinto offered four vacation scholarships to Monash University 2+2 students in 2006