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SKRU Exchange Results Celebrated with a Songkran Splash!
On May 1st, NPUST welcomed 33 students from Thailand’s Songkhla Rajabhat University, who were visiting the university for a two-week academic exchange. The visiting students took training courses offered by the Department of Hotel & Restaurant Management and the Department of Recreational Sport & Health Promotion. They also attended Chinese language classes and cultural experience classes, which included a field trip to a nearby aboriginal cultural park. Rounding up the two weeks of training, on May 13, at 11:00 am a demo was held to exhibit the integration of Thai massage techniques with sports and fitness training at the Multipurpose Classroom in the NPUST Sports Stadium. From there the students relocated to the on-campus practice restaurant for a results exhibition and training completion ceremony. The excitement of the day continued into the afternoon, when the short-term exchange students were joined by 64 Thai students and students from other nationalities, studying full-time at the university, for a “Songkran Festival” celebration. The students had a great time splashing around with one another, and it helped the visiting Thai students feel that much more at home during their time spent abroad.
Forestry Department Applies Advanced Survey Tech to Government Surveys
The university is working with the government to apply smart technology towards improving the health of the forests. Assoc. Prof Chien-Chang Chen of the Department of Forestry has put together a team to work with the Pingtung Forest Management Office on a completely new approach to forest survey operations. No longer relying on traditional methods, the team is applying advanced remote censoring technology to conduct digitized forest surveys, realizing for the first time a smart forest management model that uses UAV aerial photography technology and optical scanning systems to retain forest land information, and provide forest management personnel with comprehensive 3D data that can be used as a basis for planning follow-up operations. For the current project evaluations will be carried out on Xiao Guan Mountain to determine the benefits of thinning and tending on tree growth. Monitoring of the erosion of forest roads will also be performed. On May 3rd, twenty-six personnel from the Pingtung Forest Management Office arrived at NPUST to take part in a series of training activities, learning about the optical scanning system and other equipment that would be employed for the survey work. They also were trained in image recognition and analysis skills so that they would be well equipped to interpret the new data that they would be working with. Traditional survey methods used in the past were expensive, time consuming and laborious. Furthermore, imprecise measuring instruments or user error also affected the results of follow up research. When errors in the data were realized, they would have to return to the location to regather the information, making the correction processes cumbersome. With UAV aerial photos and optical laser scanning systems employed, surveyors can collect accurate three-dimensional information on the terrain and its features, while also recording "on-site data" that can be repeatedly viewed to facilitate the comparison of forest growth differences before and after thinning. With forest road monitors employed, analysis of surface fluctuations can also be used to further study the impact of forest road erosion. The data can also be uploaded to the Cloud for Big Data Analysis and provide a reference for subsequent maintenance activities.
Food Safety Verification APP Puts Food Health in Your Hand
The NPUST Institute of Food Safety Management has opened a new window into the world of food safety with a “Food Safety Verification APP” that allows users to see where their food has come from and the check-stops that it has passed along the way. The APP allows the public to use their smart phones to receive information and check food safety reports for food products on the market by linking up with records supplied by small-scale domestic farmers and the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently the APP developers are cooperating with Howard Plaza Boutique Homia Mart for quality control monitoring; and in the future, NPUST’s Institute of Food Safety Management (IFSM) will also be conducting its own routine food sample testing to increase confidence. Professor Ming Chang Wu, Director of the IFSM, explained that “currently, if members of the public want to check inspection reports or look up information on food products, for the most part, they must use computers to log into various manufacturer web pages and make the queries. The APP that we have developed brings together information for all products on the market that have passed their inspections. Its free for people to download and allows people to use their phones to quickly access the information—they can even see complete product traceability reports. It saves time and removes doubt about food safety issues. In order to guard the food safety of domestic products, in the future, random screenings of participating suppliers will also be conducted.”