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AIT organizes workshop on wireless technologies for emergencies

A five-day workshop on wireless technologies for emergencies, "Wireless U; Wireless Internet-Emergency Workshops" - was recently held at the Asian Institute of Technology on12-16 October 2009. It was organized by AIT’s Internet Education and Research Laboratory (intERLab) with support from the State Ministry for Research and Technology of Indonesia (RISTEK Indonesia) and the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Thailand.

AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust welcomed the participants from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Thailand on 13 October highlighting the timeliness of the workshop in relation to climate change and the recent calamities that affected Thailand’s neighboring countries Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and some parts of China.

Dr. Onno W. Purbo, an expert on knowledge-based societies and one of RISTEK’s speakers, began the training with an overview of wireless data transmission technology focusing on its importance during emergency conditions, its configuration and proper deployment practices.

Another key speaker was Mr. Mahabir Pun whose work in rural networks set-up garnered him a with Overall Social Innovation Award (2004) by the Global Ideas Bank – United Kingdom, and more recently a Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (2007).

During the training, AIT’s signature project on emergency networks -- Digital Ubiquitous Mobile Broadband OLSR or DUMBO for short, was introduced to the participants. When the 2004 Asian Tsunami devastated the Andaman Sea area of Thailand, it was realized that to help the wounded, a communication infrastructure must be present at the disaster site. DUMBO addresses this by providing a multimedia communication network without any pre-existing network infrastructure. Its second phase, DUMBO-2 deploys emergency wireless networks for post-disaster rescue operation. Part of the training was devoted to transferring expertise on DUMBO and emergency networks.

The training attracted some media attention from detikinet.com (In Bahasa Indonesia):
1. Indonesia Memimpin WiMAX Regional
2. Ajaran Wajanbolic Teobolic Menyebar ke Negara Tetangga

Professor Irandoust was also interviewed by Metro TV Indonesia, a 24-hour news channel based in West Jakarta, where he spotlighted AIT’s significance and contribution in the region, specifically in terms of technology. The training and interview will be featured in a popular program on information technology and society called e-Lifestyle.