Foxconn, UWM team up to create 'international engineering co-op program'

MILWAUKEE -- Foxconn Technology Group, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Chung Yuan Christian University signed an agreement Thursday, June 14 to create an international co-op program in which UWM engineering students will study at the university in Taiwan and work at a Foxconn facility there before returning to UWM to complete their degrees.

According to a news release from UWM officials, the co-op program will introduce engineering students to liquid crystal display fabrication technology and processes. LCD panels are used in a variety of high-tech consumer electronics products, such as smartphones. The co-op program eventually could be expanded to other colleges and universities in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

UWM Chancellor Dr. Mark Mone said in the release it's the first international co-op program in Wisconsin.

Recruitment for the new co-op program will begin this fall.

According to the release, UWM will send five students from its College of Engineering & Applied Science to Taiwan in February 2019. The students will spend time in the new Foxconn facility in Mount Pleasant before going overseas. After arriving in Taiwan, they will take classes in culture and language at Chung Yuan Christian University and work on practically oriented applied research projects in preparation for their upcoming co-op with Foxconn and meet with Foxconn employees.

They will continue work on their projects at one of the Foxconn facilities in Taiwan through June 2019.

Dr. Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Founder and CEO Terry Gou said it'll give students a valuable hands-on international working experience and allow them to apply their learning in a real-world, global environment.

Dr. Brett Peters, dean of the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science said this program will allow UWM to be a key player in supplying the talent needed to meet Foxconn's requirements.

This will be the second international internship/co-op program at UWM. Rockwell Automation established an internship program with the college in 2016 in which engineering students work at its facility in Shanghai, China, in partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

UWM also has an existing study abroad program for engineering students with CYCU in Taiwan. Thirty-one students have participated in the UWM-CYCU study abroad program since it started in 2009. A key feature of the program is that students from UWM and other universities in the United States collaborate with those from CYCU and Southeast University in China on engineering projects including some sponsored by Taiwanese industrial companies, the release says.