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A faculty-directed summer program in Italy for engineering students has been named a finalist for a national award.

The “UTK Materials Engineering in Milan” program was developed by the Programs Abroad office and Kevin Kit, associate professor in the Tickle College of Engineering and director of the college’s honors program.

The summer program is a finalist for an Innovative New Program award from GoAbroad, a company that matches students with international study-abroad opportunities.

Kit’s mini-term program focuses on the fundamental concepts of material science and engineering as applied to the design and manufacturing of bicycles, and connects those concepts to the culture of bicycling in Italy.

“This Milan-based program gave us convenient access to a number of manufacturing sites to observe the importance of materials engineering to the design and creation of high-end bicycles for the European market,” Kit said. “Students were able to compare small family-run businesses with larger companies, think about their future careers, and consider working abroad after graduation.”

The students also experienced the cultural importance of bicycling with a trip to see the Giro d’Italia, the Italian equivalent of the Tour de France.

The award winners will be announced at the Association of International Educators conference May 27–June 1 in Philadelphia.


Karen Richters (865-974-3177,