Message from Chief Advisor and Acting Executive Director

Looking Back with Pride, Looking Forward with Purpose

As 2019 has passed, the second year of our Phase IV has marked the continuation of JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net’s achievements. Owing to the notable contributions and collective efforts of all stakeholders and partners of our network, all four main pillars of the project, namely Collaborative Education Program (CEP), Alumni Support Program (ASP), Regional Conference (RC), and ASEAN Engineering Journal (AEJ), have delivered fruitful outputs and reflected the objectives of the project to strengthen the engineering education academic network in ASEAN, Japan and even beyond.

CEP took a leap jump forward in the past year as the program celebrated the smooth kick-offs of five more consortiums. Following the first CEP consortium led by Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT), Thammasat University awarded in 2018; Collaborative Education Program for Sustainable Environmental Engineering Network (CEP-SEEN) led by Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Global Academia-Industry Consortium for Collaborative Education Program (GAICCE) by Chulalongkorn University, International Collaborative Education Program for Materials Technology, Education and Research (ICE-Matter) by Kasetsart University, Japan ASEAN Collaborative Education Program (JACEP) by Universiti Malaya, and Consortium of Master in Construction Management (MCM) led by Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology have been awarded CEP grants in 2019. All the six consortiums have demonstrated satisfying progress, as they are recruiting students to participate in the program.

As our network continues to expand, ASP practically responds to the need of sustaining the existing connections and bonds among our alumni with four alumni groups from HCMUT, HUST, ITC and UTM being awarded in the past year. Each alumni group never ceased to impress with their activity designs and implementations that help strengthen the network in the region. Not only bridging the connections among people, ASP also benefits each alumnus as an individual through activities such as workshop, which help elevate personal skills and knowledge. Furthermore, the program signals collaboration and possible linkage with external partners, as reflected in the support provided by Japan Consulate in Vietnam to HCMUT Alumni Group.

Regional Conference or RC has always been a prominent platform that gathers researchers, faculty members, scholars, industrial partners, and other experts in each engineering field from various countries together. In 2019, 10 RCs, one for each engineering field, were successfully organized by Member Institutions and attracted a large number of participants. All the RC events in the past year also welcomed the presence of ASEAN Engineering Journal Section Editors-in-Chiefs, which indicates the strong linkage between each core program. Unquestionably, we are proud that our RCs continue the legacy and uphold the objectives of the project.

AEJ has achieved the most significant milestone in 2019 with its success of application to be included in Scopus database, taking only 13-day turnaround time. Since its establishment in 2011, AEJ is determined to increase research capacity in the region and to improve the quality and standard of the journal to achieve international recognition. Currently, the journal is indexed by Scopus, ASEAN Citation Index (ACI), and Thai-Journal Citation Index Center (TCI).

The aforementioned activities and achievements are rigid evidence that allows us to look back into each passing year with pride — the pride and privilege to have the support and strong connections among our members, partners, and stakeholders that enable AUN/SEED-Net to accomplish thus far.

In a few years to come before the end of our final phase, we are looking at two major challenges ahead: the transfer of network ownership to our ASEAN partners, and post-Phase IV network expansion with external partners beyond ASEAN. Hence, as we look forward to the future, we hope to attain our purpose— the purpose to overcome great challenges to ensure that our legacies will live on in a sustainable manner, and that our collaborative network will blossom beyond any borders.

Today of all days, the solidarity among our network and partners are proven to be more important than ever. During the difficult times when the whole world is facing the unprecedented spread of COVID-19; it is the collective efforts among us that keep all programs and activities going, and it is the bond between us that ensures a helping hand will reach out to whoever in need. Though the situation might have hindered some of our operations, it can never bring down our determination. Amidst the crisis, we truly hope all parties would continue to support international activities. AUN/SEED-Net will stand strong with all our partners as we get through this hard time together, and we sincerely wish everyone in good health.

Prof. Emeritus Dr. UEDA Tamon
Chief Advisor and Acting Executive Director
AUN/SEED-Net, June 2020

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