Second Fulbright Award Sends Gopal to Lithuania

Illinois Tech Industry Professor Gurram Gopal will spend the next two summers teaching innovation and technology management courses in Europe



By Casey Moffitt
Gurram Gopal, industry professor of industrial technology and management, was honored with a Fulbright Award.

The Fulbright Program has honored Gurram Gopal, industry professor of industrial technology and management at Illinois Institute of Technology, for a second time with a scholar award that will send him to Lithuania.

Gopal, who will take part in the Fulbright Specialist Program, will spend summer 2022 and summer 2023 at Illinois Tech’s partner university ISM University of Management and Economics, in Vilnius, Lithuania. There he will be responsible for developing and teaching courses in innovation and technology management.

“This Fulbright award to Lithuania is exciting as it allows me to deepen my connections to Lithuania and to ISM University and help foster greater cooperation in teaching and research between our institution and Lithuanian universities,” Gopal says. “Lithuania is not only an important engineering and technological center in Europe but is pioneering new business models in sustainable economies.”

Gopal will focus on adopting artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other technologies in innovation and technology management through research and guiding doctorate students at ISM University. Specifically, Gopal says he will be examining how these technologies can be incorporated in the Baltic states.

He also will conduct seminars on a broad range of topics including the future of United States-European relations.

This type of collaboration is the cornerstone of the Fulbright Program, which was introduced to the U.S. Congress in 1945 by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who recommended that proceeds from the sales of surplus war property be used to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.” The program began the following year and now operates in more than 160 countries worldwide; it offers various competitive, merit-based grants to students, scholars, teachers, professionals, and groups. To date, some 400,000 individuals have participated in the Fulbright Program.

Gopal’s first Fulbright Scholar Program grant sent him to Ireland in 2011, where he was based at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. There, he lectured in marketing and supply chain management and carried out research in the area of collaborative innovations in the design and delivery of business courses. Working with GMIT faculty and graduate students, he also conducted research and published a paper on using reward systems to motivate employees for innovation.

“I am honored to represent our university and our country as a Fulbright scholar,” Gopal says. “This is a particularly good time to expand our relationships with Lithuania and the other Baltic states. My Fulbright visit to Ireland resulted in research collaborations as well as study abroad opportunities for students that continue to this day.”