Thailand’s legendary academician and public servant once dreamt that
his country would be home to renowned research intensive institutes
striving for scientific breakthroughs of benefit to society. At AIT –
an international institute near and dear to Dr. Puey’s heart – his wish
has become a reality.
“The recent success of AIT in securing the overall top rating in
research impact of the country’s universities by Thailand Research Fund
(TRF), is one of the best gifts we can give to Dr. Puey for his birth
centenary celebration,” said AIT President Prof. Worsak
Kanok-Nukulchai, marking the day.
AIT was rated highest in Thailand in seven disciplines. Civil
Engineering, Industrial Systems Engineering, Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT), Energy, and Environmental Engineering
and Management received a perfect rating score of 5, while Regional and
Rural Development Planning and Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources
Management each led the nation.
Indeed, Dr. Puey played an instrumental role in transforming the former
SEATO Graduate School of Engineering, which was about to be closed down
in 1968, into today's Asian Institute of Technology. He was the
institute’s inaugural chairman, serving as Chairman of the AIT Board of
Trustees from 1968-1973. He also helped in securing a permanent campus
location for AIT from the Royal Thai Government.
At a time when very few educators heard about ‘research universities’
in Asia, let alone in Thailand, Dr. Puey expressed many times that he
wanted to see AIT set a good example as research university for the
country’s universities to follow. “AIT wishes to thank Dr. Puey,”
President Worsak said.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) is marking the birth centenary of Dr. Puey Ungphakorn
worldwide. The resolution for celebrating Dr. Puey’s 100th birth
anniversary was accepted at the 38th General Conference of UNESCO held
Dr. Puey was one of Thailand's foremost economists and educators. He
served as Governor of the Bank of Thailand from 1957 to 1971. He was
the Rector of Thammasat University from 1975 to 1976, and was the
recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1965. Dr. Puey passed away in
London, UK, on 28 July 1999, at the age of 83.