Julio Urbina selected as Fulbright Scholar for Peru

April 19, 2024

By Mariah R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Julio Urbina, professor of electrical engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the 2024-25 academic year. He will spend a semester conducting research and teaching in Lima, Peru.  

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program. Through the program, Penn State faculty members, staff and administrators have opportunities to conduct advanced research, teach or do both, as well as attend seminars, abroad. The program also affords recipients the opportunity to interact with — and make an impact on — their host communities during their Fulbright tenure. 
Having completed a Fulbright program in 2015, Urbina will return to the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI) in his native Lima to build on his research and connections.

“The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down our international collaborations and, at the same time, magnified the current shortcomings in international science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education,” Urbina said. “After being promoted to full professor, I thought it is a good time to go back and reestablish those research partnerships and educational collaborations.”

Urbina will teach a project-based, experiential learning course for undergraduate STEM majors entitled “Drawdown Strategies, Environment and Remote Sensing.” Taught in Spanish using English keywords, the course will explore topics related to the environment and climate change based on Project Drawdown, a nonpartisan research and communication organization that developed 100 solutions to reverse global warming. 

Additionally, Urbina will establish a UNI-based research program in partnership with the Geophyscal Institute of Peru on El Niño phenomena, a warming of ocean waters that affects the coastline of South America, leading to devastating rainfall events and flooding. Collaborating with UNI students enrolled in his course, Urbina will assess the potential of Drawdown solutions in mitigating the effects of flooding in Peruvian cities through field visits and data-driven modeling approaches.

He also will expand on the institutional relationships between researchers from UNI and Penn State, as well as other universities in Peru, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. He plans to apply for multi-institute grants for research projects that will continue after he returns to Penn State, with the goal to bring students from UNI to complete graduate studies at Penn State.

“I believe that education has the transformative power to elevate individuals from humble beginnings and create unique opportunities for success,” Urbina said. “I am fortunate to have completed my education in the U.S., and I am passionate about sharing these experiences with my students to help them realize their full potential in life.”

Urbina will be in Peru March through July 2025, which aligns with a typical academic semester in Peru. 

About the Fulbright program at Penn State

The Fulbright program at Penn State is administered through the Faculty Fulbright office within Penn State Global. For more information about how to apply for a Fulbright experience, visit Penn State’s Faculty Fulbright webpage, or contact Sylvester Osagie at fulbright@psu.edu.


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


College of Engineering Media Relations