A faculty member at Penn State Wilkes-Barre will be part of a collaborative fellowship program.
Assistant Professor of Surveying Engineering Dimitrios Bolkas was awarded a fellowship by the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program (GDFP) to travel to Greece to work with Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and Professor Christopher Kotsakis’ collaborative research on improved algorithms for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) data analysis in aerial photogrammetry and Earth surveying applications.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me and Dr. Kotsakis to work together on problems related to UAS mapping,” Bolkas said. “We have been trying to collaborate for some time now, but our busy schedules, the distance, and other obligations presented challenges. The fellowship will give me the opportunity to visit Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, remove the distance barrier, and allow us to focus on our project."
“The fellowship is also a great opportunity for Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Surveying Engineering program and the Rural and Surveying Engineering program at AUTH to start a connection that can benefit the faculty and students at both institutions. We hope that our collaboration will be the beginning of a long-term relationship that will help both institutions in a multitude of areas such as curriculum development and undergraduate and graduate research. We also would like to see it open pathways for exchange students and recruiting approaches,” Bolkas said.
The Penn State Wilkes-Barre project is one of 37 projects that will pair 38 members of academia in Greece and Cyprus with higher education institutions and collaborators in Greece to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate and undergraduate research training and mentoring activities in the coming months.
The GDFP, now in its third year, is designed to foster the sharing of ideas between Greek universities and universities abroad, strengthen capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations. It is funded by the Stravros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece. A total of 87 fellowships have been awarded since the program’s inception.
Fellowships match host universities with scholars and cover the expenses for project visits of between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, materials allowance and health insurance.