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US Ambassador hails Southampton as ‘fantastic’ during historic first visit

Published: 9 May 2019
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The US Ambassador met with the University’s Formula Student team

The US Ambassador to the UK, Robert Woodrow Johnson, was hugely impressed visiting the University’s Boldrewood Innovation Campus on Monday, describing his experience as “fantastic”.

The Ambassador made a special visit to Southampton to learn more about the University’s world-leading marine and maritime activities, and multi-faceted connections to the United States, with an opportunity to visit with experts and view projects in Engineering, Ocean and Earth Science and Archaeology.

The United States is arguably Southampton’s most important partner country with more research funding coming from the US than any other single country, more Southampton co-publications with US institutions than any other nation and being the favoured destination for our outbound exchange students.

For some time now, the University has also received at least one American Fulbright scholar each academic year across programmes such as Maritime Archaeology, Oceanography and Sustainable Technologies. Fulbright is one of the most prestigious scholarship programmes in the world and Southampton hosted the Fulbright Forum for the first time in January of this year.

During the Ambassador’s visit, Professor Jim Scanlan unveiled a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for humanitarian purposes before Professor Fraser Sturt led an underwater ‘tour’ via virtual reality of the Black Sea MAP project.

The Ambassador also met and chatted with the University’s Formula Student team, preparing for the 2019 season, and enjoyed a demonstration by Professor Stefan Bleeck of the ‘Super Hearing Dish’ devised by school pupil Isabelle Radley and developed for demonstration by a Southampton student.

The visit culminated with a discussion about how the University is addressing today’s global maritime and marine challenges, led by Professor Damon Teagle.

“This landmark visit by the US Ambassador, arranged by our International Office, has gone a long way to putting the University of Southampton firmly on the map for potential research and enterprise collaborations with colleagues in the United States,” enthused Winnie Eley, Vice-President (International).

“Southampton is a successful global university and the many activities we were able to engage the Ambassador in went a long way to extending that reputation first hand with a visit to our flagship Boldrewood Innovation Campus.”

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