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Ministry of Education Representative Visits NPUST Exhibit
On May 25th, Director General Yu-Huei Yang of the Department of Technological and Vocational Education (MOE) visited the NPUST campus to tour the Feature Exhibition Center and witness some of the developments the university has been making in research and design. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai accompanied Director General Yang during her visit and introduced her to the items on display at the center. The exhibition included the graduation works of the second class of an advanced learning program offered for working professionals by the Department of Fashion Design and Management. Impressed by the collection, the MOE representative found the works to be both creative and practical in their designs. Another eye-catching exhibit shared the research of Department of Plant Industry Professor, Dr. Chung-Ruey Yen, who has been invested in the development of new tropical fruit varieties. The director was attracted by two fruits in particular: the baccaurea and wampee; each of which she enjoyed a sample of. The unique taste and texture of the fruits on display were clear evidence of the university’s extraordinary progress in agricultural development. These fruits, which go to export, help spread Taiwan’s reputation abroad and improve the agriculture economy within the country. In the area of aquaculture, one exhibit showcased the florescent fish developed by Associate Professor Shao-Yang Hu of the Department of Biological Science and Technology along with clown fish and seahorse research carried out by Department of Aquaculture Professor Ying-Nan Chen. The vibrant aquarium presented the university’s outstanding work in the aquatic world and also demonstrated its professional integration of gene engineering and biotechnology.  Another exhibit with highly practical application was of the remote monitoring devices developed for agricultural facilities by Associate Professor Pomin Lee and Assistant Professor Wei-Chen Chen of the Department of Biomechatronics. Their work, which integrates mechanical design and smart-device application, did an excellent job of hitting the main chord of the university’s agricultural technology oriented research. Director General Yang affirmed the main trajectories of NPUST’s development; namely, ‘technological agriculture’, ‘eco-industries’’, blue economies’, and ‘platinum society’. She also anticipates seeing even more impressive outcomes in the future as a result of the research currently taking place at the university. The approach taken by NPUST is contributing to the creation of a learning environment that is increasingly advantageous to the students’ acquisition of skills and which will help maximize their job competitiveness when they seek employment in the future.
Professor Winton Cheng Among Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists
National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) professor Winton Cheng has been named one of this year’s Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists. As a professor Department of Aquaculture, Winton Cheng conducts research and education on a variety of highly beneficial aquaculture techniques and practices. Some of his focuses include aquatic environments and ecosystem conservation, environments for shrimp cultivation, use of bio-waste for the development of aquatic animal health supplements, and the use of probiotics separated from fermented products as physiological immunomodulators and aquaculture water conditioners. He has created smart technology cultivation systems and other leading technologies that have been very beneficial to fish cultivators. On account of these and the many other contributions he has made, this year Professor Winton Cheng was named among the winners of the prestigious Top 10 Outstanding Agriculturalists Awards. Professor Cheng is an alumnus of NPUST. After graduating from his studies and completing his military service, he returned to his Alma Mater to provide services while simultaneously studying a PhD at National Taiwan University. He has been conducting research for over 35 years and had fruitful results. His research and development contributions are detailed in the 100 plus papers that he has had published in international journals over his career thus far. He also holds 10 Taiwan patents and has successfully completed 10 technology transfers through industry-academic cooperation projects. During his time spent serving as the director of his department, Professor Cheng completed many national “firsts”, including establishing the first undergrad through PhD aquaculture program at a technical university, establishing the first aquaculture technology practice farm in the country as well as the first industry-level aquaculture practice farm. At the same time, he established an inter-school academic exchange and industry-academia cooperation hub that trains many aquaculture professionals, managers and researchers every year. He also helped the United Nations conduct an assessment of aquaculture development in Chad, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Malaysia, thereby also providing an important basis for Taiwan’s foreign relations. Professor Cheng provided some comments on his work, pointing out that when it comes to questions of food safety, reducing over-use of antibiotics in fish and shrimp cultivation is very important. This is why he has been working on solutions that make use of agricultural biological waste, such as extracted materials from kelp, water hyacinth, banana peels and cocoa pods, in the creation of aquatic animal health care agents. He is also using specific probiotics separated from fermented products for physiological immunomodulators and aquaculture water conditioners. He said that based on the related experiments, it is evident that the methods are beneficial for the physiological and immunological conditions of the aquatic life and can help reduce improper use of antibodies. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai expressed that Professor Cheng’s academics were superb and that he is a very outstanding professional in his field who is using concepts of circular economies in his research and producing results that are closely connected to industry. He is also helping to improve fish heath and consumer safety. Through his classroom work Professor Cheng is transmitting valuable know-how to many other people and in the business world he has made many contributions which are helping improve practices. These are all reasons why he was chosen to be one of the Top Ten Agriculturalists.
Having Fun Building a New Generation of Smart Production
On August 12th and 13th the NPUST Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted a two-day summer camp on “Having Fun Building a New Generation of Smart Production”, attracting 20 participants from vocational high schools in the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area. Through experiential activities including robot arm chess, robot arm engraving and automated flower watering and other activities the students learned about integrated electrical and mechanical control, robot arm control. They also had a chance to learn about methods used in precision mechanized production processes and see how interesting production can be when smart technologies are applied. Professor Wei-Hua Lu of the Department of Materials Engineering expressed hopes that through the experiential learning camp the students would be able to strengthen their practical abilities. He explained that they “are coordinating with the Ministry of Education’s new syllabus for the 2019 Academic Year with the aim of allowing the high-tech sector to cooperate with technical universities, so that when students graduate, they will be more equipped to compete in the job market.” Assistant Professor Ching-Shui Chang of the Department of Mechanical Engineering added that “many vocational high school students are not very clear about what they are interested in or what they are learning about. Through the camp we are able to help them develop clearer goals for their future choices.” A student from Neipu Senior Agricultural-Industrial Vocational High School expressed his satisfaction with the camp, explaining that “the machines and subject matter at schools are often focused on traditional methods, but at NPUST we were able to see new types of equipment and learn about advanced machinery. The fully automated, smart production methods we got to witness also gave us new ideas about future studies and employment.”