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Student capstone program debuts in Sonora in 2021

ASU, ITESM partnership with Norson

A new collaboration brings together two leading universities to help Norson, a major Mexican pork products exporter, solve practical industrial engineering challenges — a move with relevant impact for the Arizona-Sonora region. Graphic courtesy Norson

December 17, 2020

Arizona State University unveiled in December a new partnership with Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Sonora Norte Campus in Hermosillo, Mexico, on a joint senior capstone project with Norson, a Mexican pork products exporter.

This new collaboration brings together two leading universities to help a major Mexican company solve practical industrial engineering challenges — a move with relevant impact for the Arizona-Sonora region.

“This capstone is an excellent opportunity for students of both universities to be involved in a binational project linked to a transnational company and to develop disciplinary and soft skills needed to respond to actual and future challenges,” said Maria Rubi Forte Celaya, associate division director of the Engineering and Science School at ITESM.

The first joint capstone team begins January 2021 and ends in December, led by ITESM Professor Luis Fernando Reséndez Maqueda and Joseph Juarez of the ASU School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering faculty.

“We are so glad to have this chance to collaborate and develop a project together with ASU,” Reséndez Maqueda said. “I am sure the outcome of this capstone semester will represent a valuable asset for the students involved.”

Both ITESM and ASU have integrated two semester capstone programs. Students will gain binational experience addressing real-world challenges, with faculty guidance from both universities.

“If we are globally connected, like Sonora and Arizona, and are facing regional challenges, let’s start by harnessing the talent of people from both sides of our megaregion, working side by side and discovering the fruits of this synergy,” said Alejandro Sandoval-Correa, ITESM director of Engineering and Sciences Campus Sonora Norte.

Two ASU students will join six ITESM peers to form one team and jointly conduct their senior year capstone project.

“This initiative demonstrates ASU’s creativity in working with other universities,” said Paola Garcia Hidalgo, director of ASU Mexico and Latin America Initiatives. “The students and the company can make this capstone part of their talent pipeline and career efforts. We are grateful to our Tec partners and to Norson for working with us on this exciting opportunity.”

According to the company homepage, Norson exports fresh, frozen, portioned and cooked pork products to North America and Asia. Their products reach markets in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.

“This joint collaboration is an exciting opportunity to solve engineering problems across international borders,” said Joseph Huang, executive director of the Business Engagement Catalyst at ASU. “It brings together the strengths of two universities to solve a company’s needs.”

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