Award for Global Engagement

2013 Recipient

Paul Imbertson
Teaching Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Twin Cities

Dr. Paul Imbertson has brought global into a local context and transformed the optimism and energy of young people into action.

Dr. Imbertson was one of the first CSE faculty to create a faculty-led May Session Global Seminar. He designed a course that blends renewable energy methods in Scandinavia with philosophy, culture, and history. To date more than 100 students have participated in this popular seminar, which has evolved over time through new connections, most recently the University of Agder in southern Norway. In addition, he has developed curriculum to expand study abroad opportunities for CSE students in Scotland and England.

After participating in the renewable energy Global Seminar in 2009, a group of students returned to the U.S. energized with their new knowledge to create a student group, Innovative Engineers, with Dr. Imbertson serving as faculty adviser. Dr. Imbertson and Innovative Engineers students traveled to rural Nicaragua where, in collaboration with Nicaraguan partners, installed hand-built wind turbines in rural communities. This partnership led to the signing of an agreement between the University of Minnesota and the National Engineering University of Nicaragua. Dr. Imbertson was also instrumental in the formation of an international branch of the Innovative Engineers at the Universidad Iberoamericano in Mexico City.

Dr. Imbertson recognizes that “global” starts at home and is working to directly connect activities in Minnesota to the world. In 2012, he developed an educational outreach program that connected a Northern tribal school, a Minneapolis school, and a Nicaraguan technical school to support youth development through renewable energy projects. He is also active in developing a graduate engineering program in Tanzania, and serving as a board member to the DUSOME Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to build libraries in Tanzania. He worked with the National Society of Black Engineers to develop the Building Resources and Innovative Designs for Global Energy or BRIDGE program, an international outreach program with activities in Minnesota, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.

Dr. Imbertson is a uniquely engaged teacher, adviser, and leader whose talents and passions have enriched the lives of hundreds of students and countless colleagues around the globe. He serves as a vehicle for his students to broaden their horizons and challenge them not only academically, but also culturally and socially.