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ODU Delegation Makes Connections at Prestigious German Trade Show

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Representatives of Old Dominion University's distance education operation,, ODUOnline and the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology's modeling, simulation and visualization engineering (MSVE) programs, participated in a U.S. delegation to the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology in April.

The largest-ever U.S. delegation, led by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Commerce, participated in Hannover Messe 2016. The fair brought exhibitors from around the world who demonstrated innovative technologies to more than 190,000 visitors over five days. The theme was "Integrated Industry - Discover Solutions."

More than 40 U.S. states were represented in the Department of Commerce delegation. Old Dominion was featured alongside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Clemson University and Carnegie Mellon University.

ODU was located in the Research and Innovation Pavilion, where businesspeople, students and government agency representatives learned about the university's more than 100 online programs and saw modeling and simulation demonstrations put on by Old Dominion MSVE faculty and students.

Rick McKenzie, professor and chair of MSVE, said Old Dominion's delegation met with 1,500 to 2,000 high school students and hundreds of college students, who are targets for the University's online master's program in M&S.

"Certainly, this also significantly raised the profile of our MSVE department internationally and nationally, especially with the lengthy visit of Gov. Terry McAuliffe to our booth," McKenzie said.

The MSVE program is the world's only full undergraduate degree program in modeling, simulation and visualization Engineering. When ODU added the undergraduate program, it became the only institution in the United States to offer a complete advanced education, through a Ph.D., in the discipline.

The University's multi-disciplinary modeling and simulation research also provides valuable industry expertise in areas such as health care, transportation and advanced manufacturing.

ODUOnline recently introduced "ODUOnline International," which is designed to expand enrollment opportunities to international students, including overseas U.S. military personnel. It was showcased at Hannover Messe, providing a prime opportunity to promote academic programs that already attract students from around the world.

"Not everyone in Hampton Roads is familiar with the kinds of powerhouse Old Dominion is in online education," said Andy Casiello, associate vice president for distance learning at ODU. "The opportunity to feature our new international online capabilities to such a large and important audience was an incredible opportunity."

Old Dominion University's online education program dates to the start of its distance education program in the 1980s, which provided access to a wide range of degree programs via a satellite televised distance learning program known as TELETECHNET.

Its partnership with the Virginia Community College System and Virginia's military bases made Old Dominion one of the first institutions in the country to expand its academic footprint through satellite technology.

Today, those programs are offered online, opening Old Dominion University to the world. Enrollment in distance education at ODU has nearly doubled in that time frame, with 40 percent of ODU students taking courses at least partly through online education.

Organizers of Hannover Messe created a video, which features the Old Dominion booth. See the video HERE.

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