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September 2011 issue of the monthly newslette

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  1. 1. Asian Institute of Technology September 2011Incoming students at the AIT Landmark on the occasion of Orientation Day.Over five hundred students from 42countries join AITF ive hundred and thirty-two students from forty-two countries, spread across fourcontinents, constituted the latest batch of students occasion of Orientation Day on 10 August 2011, Prof. Said Irandoust, President, AIT, remarked that AIT is a perfect platform for not only learning, butat AIT for the August 2011 session. also for forging lifelong friendships, connections and networks. While the Orientation Day on 10 AugustThose accepted for admission at AIT include 2011 was for all postgraduate students, anotherstudents from North and Central America, Europe, Orientation Day for undergraduate students isAfrica and Asia. Welcoming the students on the planned on 1 September 2011. INS IDE IS S UE .. . Recent News / Happenings at AIT...................... 2-4 People......................................... 5 Backpage............................................................ 6
  2. 2. RECENT NEWS / HAPPENINGS AT AITSEPTEMBER 2011 2Sri Lankan minister assures continuous support Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr. Gitanjana Gunawardena, visited AIT on 16 August 2011, and assured the Institute of continuous support from the Government of Sri Lanka. The Minister stated that the Government is keen that AIT should establish a campus in Sri Lanka under the AIT brand name. The Minister, while interacting with the AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust, remarked that his Government is actively considering a request for financial support to AIT. He added that the Government of Sri Lanka is work- ing on the issue of allotment of land to AIT, and a formal agreement would emerge very soon.Prof. Said Irandoust (left)and H.E. Mr. Gitanjana Gunawardena.Professional Master’s Program AIT inks MOU with Nobel Laureate ofwith Thailand’s MWA TERI UniversityAIT has partnered with the Metropolitan AIT has entered into a Memorandum of Under-Waterworks Authority (MWA) of Thailand standing (MOU) with India’s TERI Universityin launching a Professional Master’s Degree which opens up possibilities for cooperation in aProgram in Water Technology and Management range of academics and research. The MOU was(PM-WTM). signed on 4 August 2011 by AIT President Said Irandoust and Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chancellor, TERIA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the University and co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace professional program to begin this yearwas signed by Prof. Said Irandoust, President,AIT, and Mr. Charoen Passara, MWA Governor,on 17 August 2011 at the MWA headquarters inBangkok. Through the agreement, MWA willcoordinate with the Royal Thai Government(RTG) and Thailand International Development Dr. Rajendra K.Cooperation Agency (TICA) to secure at least Pachauri (left)15 Professional Master’s scholarships over a with Prof. Saidperiod of five years from 2011-2016. Irandoust. The signing was made in conjunction with the opening ceremony of the Fourth International Conference on HealthGIS 2011, which took place in New Delhi, India on 4-6 August. The AIT President was a guest of honor for the conference and delivered the inaugural address. TERI University’s Head of Department of Natural Resources Dr. P.K. Joshi and AIT’s Dr. Nitin K. Tripathi joined to organize the event which attracted over 300 participants. MoA signing ceremony at MWA.
  3. 3. RECENT NEWS / HAPPENINGS AT AITSEPTEMBER 2011 3 Deputy Secretary General, Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC); Dr. Chaiya Yimvilai, Director for Good Governance Promotion; Dr. Suchit Bun- bongkarn, President, Political Development Council; and Ms. Somsook Boonyabancha, Founder of Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI). According to Mr. Voravate Chonlasin, Head, PublicExperts at seminar organized by AIT Extension. Sector Capacity Building Unit, AIT Exten- sion, the program was a part of the RegionalExperts deliberate on public sector reform Exposure Visit (REV) under the program called “Managing at the Top 2” (MATT2) ini-Public sector reform depends on good governance, political tiated by the Department for International De-will, community participation, and above all human resource velopment (DFID), UK, and the Ministry ofdevelopment. This was the view of experts from Thailand, who Public Administration, Bangladesh, fordeliberated on factors critical to public sector reform at a senior civil servants from Bangladesh. Fortysymposium organized for civil servants from Bangladesh, at AIT on six senior civil service administrators from17 August 2011. Bangladesh attended the two week trainingParticipating in the event were Dr. Somphoch Nophakon, former program.Future of education lies in the “massification of education” since pub-in the mix of public and lic funding is not able to match the demands for higher education. He remarked that inprivate: Sir Howard Newby the 1960s, only seven per cent of the studentThe future of higher education lies in the age group was enrolled in higher educationmix of public and private sectors; and in the United Kingdom, whereas the per-the key question is arriving at the mix- centage has grown to 45 per cent today. Heture so that higher education moves for- added that there is a growing realization thatward in terms of sustainable excellence. one of the key elements in global economicThese were the remarks of Sir Howard Newby, Vice Chancellor of competitiveness is the quality of human re-the University of Liverpool, UK, while delivering an extramural sources. Higher education is a major driver oflecture on “Strategic Partnerships” at AIT on 2 August 2011. the knowledge economy, both by producing knowledge and by producing skilled gradu-Sir Newby remarked that private sector is playing a greater role ates that use that knowledge, Sir Newby said.Simon Fraser University dean returns toalma mater, discusses partnershipAIT alumnus Dr. Nimal Rajapakse (M.Eng.’81) and (Ph.D. ’83),who is now Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Canada’sSimon Fraser University (SFU), has expressed interest in a possibleacademic tie-up with his alma mater.During his visit to AIT on 18 August 2011, Prof. Rajapakse waswelcomed back to the campus by Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, From left: Dr. Nimal Rajapakse, Prof. WorsakVice President for Resources and Development, who was also a Kanok-Nukulchai, and Prof. Joydeep Dutta.former professor of the Canadian academic. Later, Prof. Rajapaksewas escorted by Prof. Joydeep Dutta, Vice President for AcademicAffairs on a tour of AIT’s Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology. ics, Energy, and Environmental Engineering. Prof. Rajapakse indicated specific interest inTopping the dean’s list of interest were Master’s level student ex- the development of a Master’s dual degreechange programs in the fields of Computer Science, Mechatron- program with AIT in Energy.
  4. 4. RECENT NEWS / HAPPENINGS AT AITSEPTEMBER 2011 4ICRIER seeks to connect Indiato ThailandA delegation of the Indian Council for Researchon International Economic Relation (ICRIER) Dr. H Chaturvedi (left)visited AIT on 11 August 2011, and sought exchanging copies ofAIT’s opinion on helping India and Thailand MoU with Prof. Saidconnect each other in a more productive manner. Irandoust (right).Led by Prof. Arpita Mukherjee, the ICRIER AIT and Birla Institute of Management Technology team sought to (BIMTECH), India have signed a Memorandum of know more about Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their partnership in AIT’s association the fields of student exchange, joint teaching activities and with the Govern- industry training. ment of India and other Indian The MoU was signed by AIT President Prof. Said partners. Prof. Irandoust and Director, BIMTECH, Dr. H Chaturvedi on 19 Mukherjee wel- August 2011 in Delhi. The MoU was signed in the presence comed AIT’s of the Ambassador of The Kingdom of Thailand to India, suggestions on H.E. Mr. Pisan Manawapat, and H.E. Dr. Tej Bunnag, For-how the two countries could extend their mer Foreign Minister of Thailand and Chairman, AIT Boardfinancial partnership, which could contribute of Trustees.towards a planned ICRIER report on “ServicesMarket Access Priorities with Thailand and Dr. Tej appreciated the efforts “to expand the knowledgeIndonesia.” The ICRIER delegation was also base in the South Asian region in the fields of managementinterested in ascertaining the fields where the and sustainable development areas, through research, col-Government of India could facilitate laborative programs and capacity building.” Ambassadorcooperation with Thailand and AIT. The ICRIER Pisan congratulated both partners and offered all the supportdelegation included Research Associates Ms. of the embassy in developing joint activities.Tanu Goyal and Ms. Ramneet Goswami.Heriot-Watt University for nationality is always considered favorably in the Europeanpartnership with AIT Union, particularly in the Erasmus programs,” he said. Prof. Ogunlana also suggested joint submission of proposals be-Former faculty member of AIT, Prof. Stephen tween Heriot-Watt and AIT.O. Ogunlana, has proposed a partnership be-tween the Heriot-Watt University, Scotland,and AIT. He proposed collaborative researchwork, joint doctoral programs and student ex-change, besides joint teaching of courses, dur-ing a visit to AIT on 26 August 2011.Prof. Ogunlana, who is currently Chair of Con-struction Project Management at Heriot-WattUniversity, remarked that the trend in Europeis to increase internationality in all aspects ofeducation. “Anything that brings greater inter- Prof. Stephen O. Ogunlana (center).
  5. 5. RECENT NEWS / HAPPENINGS AT AITSEPTEMBER 2011 5AIT Professor publishes book with Nobel laureateA faculty member of AIT, Prof. Ganesh P. Shivakoti,has co-authored a book with Nobel laureate Ms. ElinorOstrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel prize in Economics.The book, titled “Improving Irrigation in Asia,” which hasjust been released by Edward Elgar publishing, is based ona two-decade long study on innovative interventions forsustained performance of irrigation systems.The book, identifies key factors that help explain theperformance of interventions, apart from enumeratinglessons for resource management and developmentassistance. Speaking about the publication, Prof. Shivakotiof AIT’s School of Environment, Development andResources (SERD), stated that for achieving a sustainableimprovement in performance, it is the farmers themselveswho need to engage in collective action. “There is needto support local entrepreneurs who provide leadership andstimulate adjustments to change,” he said. Prof. Ganesh P. ShivakotiPEOPLEProf. Haque appointed VC of AIT alumnus VC of Uva Juliette François joins AIT’sBAU Wellassa University Language CenterProf. Md Rafiqul Haque, who did Prof. Ranjith Premalal de Silva, a Ms. Juliette François has joined thehis post doctorate from the Asian AIT alumnus, has been appointed Language Center at AIT, whereInstitute of Technology (AIT) in the new Vice Chancellor of Uva she will be delivering French1989-1990, has been appointed Wellassa University in Sri Lanka. courses. She earned a degreeas the new Vice Chancellor of He will be the second Vice Chan- in English from France, andBangladesh Agricultural Univer- cellor of Uva Wellassa University, has worked as a French teachersity (BAU), Mymensingh. He will and he would replace Prof. in Princethorpe College in Englandbe the twenty second Vice Chan- Chandra Embuldeniya. He graduated for two years. She has also taughtcellor of BAU. The appointment with a Master’s in Science in in Portland, Oregon (USA) andwas made by the Chancellor of Natural Resources Development Halifax in Canada while workingthe University Hon. Mr. Md Zillur and Management from AIT in at Alliance Française. She shall beRahman, President of Bangladesh. 1990. at AIT for a period of nine months beginning August 2011.
  6. 6. BACKPAGESEPTEMBER 2011 6 A letter from India thanks the AIT President A letter from India, written by a student who participated in a summer training program, describes her experience at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) as the “most memorable and knowledgeable program ever.” In a letter written to the AIT President, Prof. Said Irandoust, the second year student of Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Ms. Shivangi Srivastava of the United Group ofMs. Shivangi Srivastava Institutes (India), remarked that AIT truly lives up to its slogan of “Learning beyond boundaries.” Students and AIT employees are from different parts of the world, and this makes AIT a truly different campus, she adds. The letter also highlights the plush green campus of the Institute. AIT Day 5 September 2011News Details at this link: Why do 60% of students find their lectures boring?Can A newly published study of student boredom suggests that almost 60 per centUse of students find at least half their lectures boring - with about 30 per cent claiming to find most or all of their lectures boring. One of the main contribu- tors to student boredom is the use of PowerPoint...writes Dr Sandi Mann in The Guardian. Dr. Mann is a senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the University of Central Lancashire. Read the entire story at this link. Editor: Bajinder Pal Singh To tackle this, you can either indulge in role play (http://minnesota. Photos: or follow Paitoon Tinnapong Truman State University which provides 10 tips to listen to boring lectures. For feedback, contact and Communications Unit at AIT Follow AIT at • Facebook • Twitter • Youtube