Dumitru-Cristian Tranca

Fulbright-RAF Visiting Scholar, 2019-2020
I am Dumitru-Cristian Tranca, I am an Assistant Professor at University Politehnica of Bucharest, Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers. I am specialized and I teach the students in the field of electronics, embedded devices, industrial hardware and IoT hardware design. Besides my technical and academic activities I help and mentor students in the biggest entrepreneurial contest, Innovation Labs. I have applied for the Fulbright-RAF scholarship to enlarge my view of the entrepreneurial environment and I been accepted to participate as a Fulbright-RAF Visiting Scholar at Ain Center for Entrepreneurship - University of Rochester from Aug to Dec 2019.

It was an extraordinary opportunity for me to expand my horizons and knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship. I look forward to applying the knowledge gained in this extraordinary experience to stimulate and assist my students from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest in their extracurricular activities and projects that combine entrepreneurship and engineering. Last but not least, my goal is to continuously improve my pedagogical techniques and within this program I will visit multiple prestigious US universities in the field of engineering to get a broad perspective on the different teaching and collaboration methods with students and alumni.

During this period, together with my colleagues, we have participated and we have been actively involved in different activities regarding entrepreneurship and innovation, we have visited many entrepreneurial centers at different universities such as: University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Innovation Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I have met many people involved in this field, starting from academia - such as Prof. Duncan Moore, Prof. Mark Wilson up to entrepreneurs and philanthropists such as Dennis Kessler (Director of Simon Business School and co-founder of Kessler Restaurants LLC in 1975)

Besides the activities organized by our hosts at University of Rochester, I have been eager to enlarge my perspectives in my field of electronics and engineering, as well to understand the academic system in USA. At Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) I have met Prof. Dorin Patru, Prof. Mihail Barbosu, Assoc. Prof. Cristian Linte. Afterwards, I was introduced to Prof. Santosh K. Kurinec and we have discussed different topics related to improving the engineering teaching methods and about possible future collaborations between us.

With the occasion of visiting MIT Innovation Lab, I have been given a tour of MIT CSAIL by a good friend of mine, postdoc fellow Razvan Marinescu. This visit gave me a new perspective on research in computer science and engineering field and new ideas. Furthermore, I have managed to apply and to take a tour of the MIT Nuclear Reactor and to understand what kind of new possibilities students and professionals are given by the research infrastructure that MIT has.

From the way of life and cultural perspective we have visited many cities and seen different perspectives. We have had been invited for Thanksgiving Dinner, one of the most famous and important American holidays by our host, Heidi Mergenthaler. In return, we have offered, for the 1st of December, a Romanian Luncheon with specific Romanian dishes.

To sum up, as a Fulbright-RAF visiting scholar I have been given the possibility to learn and develop myself not only in the entrepreneurial field, but also in my specialization field – computer engineering. Furthermore, I had the possibility to meet extraordinary people that helped me understand the academics and the life and culture in different parts of USA. It has been a great period to learn not only about professional aspects, but also to embrace and to understand the culture, the life of people, the traditions and to live American way.

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