Asian Instititute of Technology (AIT) is the most international university in Thailand offering master’s and PhD programs in engineering and technology, environment and sustainability, and management. The current study body represents 40 countries around the world with the alumni network of more than 25,000 from over 100 countries around the world. AIT provides scholarships to both Thai and non-Thai students.
With the motto ‘Social Impact with Innovation’, in a recent radio interview, Dr. Bhawat Traipattanakul, Special Assistant to the President and Affiliated Faculty at the School of Engineering and Technology, elaborated on AIT's 5 thematic areas and highlighted selected research studies within those areas.
1. Climate change
Climate change creates significant impacts to environment in both global and regional scales. One of the on-going issues in Thailand is air pollution, especially a significant rise of the PM2.5 level during winter. To tackle this nation-wide environmental issue, AIT is now working with Thailand’s Pollution Control Department and Climate and Clean Air Coalition in developing a tool which will be used to identify the sources of the current PM2.5 in order to solve the problem at its root cause.
2. Smart communities
AIT focuses on not only the concept of Smart City, but also one of Smart Community which extends the research focus and the development to the rural areas as well. For this thematic area, Dr. Bhawat highlighted two research studies: AI technology for helmet detection on motorcyclists in Bangkok and the combination of the satellite and drone technology in rice mapping which offers a faster, more accurate and more affordable method of detecting problems in rice fields and estimating yields.
3. Food, Energy, Water Security
AIT places great emphasis on various issues of security for future population. Various research studies on campus now focus on securing stable food, energy and water resources to ensure sustainable future developments. Dr. Bhawat highlighted 3 studies: a study in collaboration with the British Council and Loughborough University in UK on energy generation from daily food waste on campus, a framework for river health assessment in collaboration with Foundation for Integration of water Management (Thailand), and a study on the alternate wetting and drying rice farming method which can increase yields and reduce water consumption in rice farming.
AIT has conducted many research projects in Infrastructure which include Transportation, Telecommunication, Construction, Structure, Geotechnology, Energy and Irrigation. A project in Bangladesh was given as an example. AIT in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Government of Bangladesh, UNDP, DFID-B, EU, Norwegian Embassy, Swedish Sida and AusAID assessed seismic hazard in Bangladesh, and provided technical advice in conducting field surveys of infrastructure in 9 cities in Bangladesh.
5. Technology, Policy and Society
AIT in collaboration with the Mekong Migration Network has been studying the working conditions and discrimination in 4 special economic zones (SEZ) in the Mekong subregion, namely the Thilawa SEZ in Myanmar, the Phnom Penh and Manhattan SEZs in Cambodia, and the Tak SEZ in Thailand to ensure that employment is sustainable and lawful and that gender-equality is upheld.
Dr. Bhawat also highlighted AIT’s research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the decentralized wastewater management for developing countries.
Please kindly click this link for more details of the interview (in Thai).
Dr. Bhawat Traipattanakul, Special Assistant to the President and Affiliated Faculty at the School of Engineering and Technology talked to a radio program, Coffee Break, on FM 96.5.