(VMI) Alumni Chapter.
President Worsak thanked Dr. Yanyong for his tremendous generosity to his alma mater, AIT. He added his sincere appreciation for the strong support of the Thai Royal Family and the Royal Thai Government to AIT, over many decades.Accompanying them were five other alumni of VMI who are all high-ranking RTAF officers. The visitors included Col. Somkiat Sampan (VMI,1987), Deputy Director of Defense Science and Technology Office, Defense Science and Technology Department; Wing Commander Pradermchai Ponlawan (VMI, 1995), Head of Planning Subdivision, Airfield Division, Civil Engineering Directorate, RTAF; LTC. Surapap Prompattaraporn (VMI, 1999) Development Engineer Unit Commander, 46 Mobile Development Unit, Armed Forces Development Command, RTAF; and Lt. Col. Wasan Patwichaichote, Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Thailand. Mr. Scott Bradley (VMI, 1986), a visiting VMI alumnus from the United States, also attended.
The delegation discussed details of the proposed Thai Pipe Scholarship to support a fresh U.S. graduate of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) to attend AIT. Fields of study which could be offered to the VMI scholar include Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure Management, Water Engineering and Management, Environmental Engineering and Management, Urban Environmental Management, and Urban Water Engineering and Management.
The idea of bringing a VMI graduate to study at AIT came from Dr. Yanyong who received his bachelor's degree from VMI in 1977 and earned his doctorate at AIT in 1986. It is a gesture of appreciation of the VMI alumni in Thailand to their U.S. alma mater. Dr. Yanyong believes it will provide an opportunity for a young American to experience postgraduate study in the context of Asia and to network with a broad range Asian students at AIT, while living in Thailand and experiencing its society and culture.
Gen. Surapong thanked Dr. Yanyong for his initiative, on behalf of the VMI Thailand Alumni Association. He expressed hope that the scholarship would strengthen Thai-U.S. relations, and lead to increased interaction between AIT and Thailand.
Thai Pipe Industry Co. Ltd, Thailand’s leading PVC pipe manufacturer, in December 2014 donated three academic scholarships worth 2.256 million Thai baht for students from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to attend the Asian Institute of Technology.
In the meeting, President Worsak also proposed the idea of establishing official collaboration between AIT and VMI, particularly the running of an Engineering Leadership Program at AIT.