Students Exchange Program

Students Exchange Program: Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (2017-18)

JUIT – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, USA

SD Mines Exchange with Jaypee University of Information Technology Exemplifies Strength in Diversity

Students from Jaypee University in the exchange with Mines include (left to right): Rishabh Nautiyal, Shagun Choudhary, Mehul Salaria, Pratha Sood, Pallavi Soni, Wageesha Sharma and Gorky. Not pictured: Anandita Govil.

Eight students from Jaypee University of Information Technology spent the past six months at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology contributing to the NSF funded BuG ReMeDEE research project.

The students, including three master’s level and five undergraduates, came to Mines to both learn about research methods in the United States and to contribute to the overall BuG ReMeDEE project (

“I’ve been able to learn many new techniques and instruments due to my work here at SD Mines, and I’m so thankful for that,” says Anandita Govil with Jaypee University, whose work included a study of biofilms in the effort to produce electricity from microbes.

The work of Govil and others in the exchange involved a wide range of study, including converting solid waste to electricity, efforts to control methane as a greenhouse gas, efforts to understand and improve the ways that cells absorb medicine, new approaches to biofuel production and making biodegradable plastics from plant material.

For Rajesh Sani, Ph.D., a professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at SD Mines,  this exchange effort highlights the importance of diversity in science and engineering fields. These students not only learn while they are here, they make important contributions to the effort. “Diversity is key to the future of science and engineering,” says Sani. Large science and engineering efforts, such as the $6-million BuG ReMeDEE project, require multiple teams of researchers. “We have found that a good blend of team members with multiple backgrounds gives incredible results,” Sani says.

Sani and others point to studies that show when the proper work environment and leadership are provided, diverse teams can produce creative and robust scientific results. Students like Anandita Govil agree. “That is the beauty of working with people from different places,” she says. “Some are good at managing everything, some are good at making equipment available for work, some are very creative in their thinking, some are very strong and can work for hours and hours. And that makes a perfect team.”

This exchange is thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding between SD Mines and Jaypee University. This agreement is one of many mutually beneficial partnerships Mines maintains with universities around the world. These sorts of agreements encourage staff exchange and collaboration, joint research and publications, and student exchange opportunities.  The agreements are also tied to SD Mines inclusion statement and the efforts to promote diversity in science and engineering fields.

The Ivanhoe International Center develops and supports activities and programs for international students, faculty, and staff coming to SD Mines, and for those who want to engage in international and global experiences, in alignment with Mines Advantage.



JUIT – University of Nebraska

Under the student exchange program following students from University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA are pursuing their final semester credits at Dept. of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, JUIT, Waknaghat, India (Jan – May 2014):

Brandon Hulsebusch

I am a student at University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA. There, I study Bioinformatics and Maths. I enjoy music, food, learning, reading, and being with my friends. My family is very important to me and I’m working hard now to support them in the future. I am thoroughly enjoying my stay here in JUIT, Himachal Pradesh, India, and I hope to return sometime soon. School is also very important to me, and I put a lot of effort into doing well. One of my favourite things about India is learning an entirely new culture, while teaching mine to those around me. I feel comfortable at this university and have made many new good friends. I appreciate everything the people here have done for me, and I hope to pay it forward.

Nicholas Wages

Hello, my name is Nicholas Allen Wages but I prefer to go by Nick. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 8th, 1989. For the last 3 years of my life, I have been involved with international studies for the University of Nebraska – Omaha. I have studied at James Cook University, Queensland Australia and at The Universiti Pendikan Sultan Idris in Tanjung Malim, Malaysia. I love to travel because it opens your eyes to so many new perspectives and ideas. I have taught English in Malaysia and earned my advanced open water rescue diver’s certificate while I was in Australia. I can speak 4 languages as well and attempting to learn Hindi, which will be my fifth. I have been to 10 countries including: Australia, Fiji, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and now India. This is my first time in India and I am falling in love with the culture. India is unique in that the people are some of the politest people I have ever met. I am really happy to be here because on August 20th, 2013 I was hit by a car in Puerto Rico and broke my neck, fibula, skull, ribs, and my tore my ACL, as well as 2 contusions and a brain aneurism. I feel so very fortunate to have lived through this ordeal and feel blessed to have a second chance in life.
A reason I have come to India is to work towards finishing my Bachelor of Science degree. So far I have found the University to be very strong academically and very safe. Overall JUIT is an excellent school and I am blessed to have the opportunity to come here and share Ideas with the very intelligent students and faculty. I will leave you with this note: If you see me around campus don’t hesitate to say hi and I am always happy to share in a conversation. Thank you for inviting me to your country and making me feel welcome, I look forward to the next 5 months with all of you.

Brandon and Nicholas @JUIT



Under the student exchange program following students from Dept. of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, JUIT, Waknaghat, India are pursuing their final semester credits at University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), USA (Jan – May 2014):

Kritika Khurana
She is pursuing her B.Tech. in Biotechnology at JUIT, Waknaghat, India and expected to graduate in May/June 2014. Her research interest lies in the domain of cancer research. She aspires to be a successful researcher in the field of Biotechnology and use knowledge gained, along with her skills and innovative ideas to contribute for the betterment of mankind.

Here is what she says about her experience in UNO – “I came to UNO completely prepared to battle the windy and cold weather of Omaha and was welcomed with the coldest days. You feel the cold only when you step out to go somewhere, otherwise it’s all very normal. But once I settled down, it didn’t feel like a new place in a different country. Then our orientation began and the campus tour left us speechless with the kind of facilities they have.  The people here are very welcoming and made me feel right at home. If one is planning to pursue their Master’s from the US, then this exchange program can prove to be really helpful because you would have gotten a chance to experience the study culture here already.”


Sanjana Shroff
She is pursuing her B.Tech. in Biotechnology at JUIT, Waknaghat, India and expected to graduate in May/June 2014. Her research interest is in the domain of breast cancer research. She aspires for innovation and experience as well as being the best in her area of work.

Here is what she says about her experience in UNO – “For the past few days I have been living in a different continent, a different country far away from India. Despite the cold and windy weather, Omaha has sucked me in and made me a part of it. Omaha is a comfortable and cozy place and the people here are very courteous and kind. It just feels like home!
This exchange program has benefited me for my future prospectives. It is giving  me a clearer direction for my Master’s degree and is a step forward to achieve my goals. If given a chance, then I highly recommend students from JUIT to come and study at UNO.”


Neha Chauhan
She is pursuing her M.Tech. (Dual Degree) in Biotechnology at JUIT, Waknaghat, India and expected to graduate in May/June 2014. Her research interest is in the domain of breast cancer research. She aspires for innovation and experience as well as being the best in her area of work.

Here is what she says about her experience in UNO – “It’s about pushing your limits and venturing beyond your comfort zone. UNO has not only given me the opportunity to study abroad but it is an amazing place to live and get exposure to the international environment which leads to academic and personal growth. People are humble and helpful here, which has made life easier and makes me feel safe.”

Kritika, Sanjana and Neha @UNO, Omaha