Engineering Change in China
The University of Missouri's College of Engineering is opening the first U.S. Environmental Technology Office in Beijing, China.
America produces only one-tenth as many engineers as China does, but China could benefit from what Missouri offers in water and energy efficiency.
Shawn Xu, one of the directors of MU's environmental technology project, said China needs to improve.
"They don't have, you know, much clean water for drinking, he said "You cannot use your tap water to drink."
MU civil engineering student Jeremy Cates added, "It's a really, really large house issue. I mean, it's been for a very long time and, like they said, we take it for granted here. But, for countries that don't have it as developed, I mean, it involves medical issues, hygiene issues."
MU is using a $287,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to connect Missouri businesses with Chinese consumers.
"The companies we know best are the Missouri companies," explained project director Tom Clevenger. "Those are the ones that we're starting to work with first, and those are the companies that I see will have initial benefits over the other U.S. companies."
Columbia business owner Charles Tharp says a relationship with China could be mutually beneficial.
"Everything from freight into the company to freight away from the company of the finished product would all be tied in to this increase in business volume," he said.
The technology center is due to open March 13 in Beijing.