University Park, Pa. -- Academic leaders from Penn State and the Dalian University of Technology (DUT) officially celebrated the opening of the Confucius Institute at Penn State and the Penn State - Dalian Joint Center for Energy Research on April 12 at the University Park campus. Guests include DUT President Jinping Ou and Vice President Guiling Ning, Deputy Director of Education Lianping Jiang, from the Liaoning Province, China, the home of DUT, and several office and school leaders from DUT. The Confucius Institute at Penn State is supported by a five-year, $1 million grant from the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, in China. The Institute, a joint collaboration between Penn State and the Dalian University of Technology, is promoting study of the Chinese language and culture, and research on China not only at Penn State, but also in local K-12 schools. Penn State and Dailan University of Technology also have created the Joint Center for Energy Research to promote exchanges and interactions regarding the development and application of clean energy technologies. Penn State’s EMS Energy Institute will coordinate the faculty and student exchanges and collaborations in clean energy research. "It is a great honor for Penn State to join with our friends and partners, Dalian University of Technology in China, on important research and teaching that will be done at the Confucius Institute at Penn State and the Joint Center for Energy Research," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "The Institute enables us to build international networks of scholars in liberal arts, the sciences, business and agriculture, and it will contribute to the continued globalization of Penn State’s curriculum. The Joint Center provides great opportunities to better address critical issues in contemporary science and technology development, and help connect Penn State faculty and students to their counterparts in China." Through study abroad undergraduate scholarships, the Confucius Institute at Penn State will support Chinese language study at the University and in local schools. Each year, the Institute is sponsoring or co-sponsoring a number of cultural events that promote understanding and awareness of contemporary and classical Chinese culture. Another mission is to help fund conferences, symposia, lectures, and workshops related to research on China, and approve small grants for research activity on issues relevant to contemporary Chinese life. “Over the next few years the institute will help us expand our offerings in Chinese language, history and culture. The resources and support provided through the Confucius Institute will help Penn State to grow and become a national and international leader in the study of China, and to expand its scholarly exchanges and collaborative research projects in China," said Eric Hayot, co-director of the Confucius Institute at Penn State and director of the Asian Studies Program in the College of the Liberal Arts. Joining Hayot as co-director of the Confucius Institute is Xiaochun Niu, associate professor of the school of foreign languages and deputy director of the international office at Dalian University of Technology. Assistant Director Chunyuan Di organizes or co-organizes many of the Institute's cultural events, including musical and theatrical performances. She also coordinates the Chinese language programs that the Institute is building with the State College Area School District and the Young Scholars School. Joint Center for Energy Research Director Chunshan Song, distinguished professor of fuel science, said “Dalian University of Technology is one of the top national universities in engineering and business management, with strong research in energy and environmental areas and chemical engineering. Already, many DUT and Penn State researchers have conducted some collaborative research or exchange across the University. This Center will focus on faculty and student partnerships related to addressing energy and environmental issues relevant to the United States, China, and the world.” The DUT co-director working with Song will be Jieshan Qiu, associate director of DUT Energy. Information on the EMS Energy Institute is available at http://www.energy.psu.edu/ online. More information about the Confucius Institute at Penn State is at http://www.confucius.la.psu.edu/ online. Other key University partners are the Office of Global Programs and the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research, a federally funded National Language Resource Center. The Asian Studies Program at Penn State can be found at http://asian.la.psu.edu/ online.