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Thai Students Trained in Agro-machinery under Southbound Policy
2018-04-23 The NPUST Department of Biomechatronics Engineering has been coordinating with the Ministry of Education Southbound Policy to provide professional training to talent throughout Southeast Asia. Recently, it opened a short term training class for students from Maejo University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai pointed out that “Taiwan’s agriculture equipment R&D, knowledge of cultivation and processing skills renowned. And in order to implement the Southbound Policy, NPUST has welcomed talent from Southeast Asian countries to come to the university to take part in training programs. The current program promotes exchanges between Taiwan and Thailand and is adding a new element to the friendly relationship shared by the two countries.” Prof. Pomin Li who is the dean of the NPUST Office of International Affairs and director of the Department of Biomechatronics explained that “the program emphasizes training in the use of power operated agriculture equipment and cooperates with marketing and processing professionals and local farmers. Students are given the chance to operate machinery for themselves in a three month concentrated training program. Afterwards they can return to their native countries with new skills and help improve techniques at home.” Chen Jian Hsing, who is both the head of Delisen Organic Co. Ltd and the class leader of the 30th Pingtung City Vegetable Production and Marketing Class worked together with Bimechatronics Assist. Professor Wei-Chen Chen to instruct the practical training activities. Students operated high horsepower tractors to carry out harvesting of Burdock and spent time at factories to learn about packaging and processing. They also learned about the importance of product tractability when it comes to issues related to food safety. Assist. Professor Wei-Chen Chen said that “the prerequisite to solving the problem of Taiwan’s aging agricultural labor force is to take advantage of the high acceptance of technology and smart applications among young people, and to channel that towards the development of smart agriculture machinery, thus raising work efficiency and output value. This is the orientation of education for future agriculture professionals”. This solid approach to learning is an important part of the development of agricultural professionals, and expectations are that the participating students will not only be able to contribute to the development of industries back at home, but will also become important professional players in international agriculture markets.
NPUST Department of Forestry Cooperates with Indonesia on Forest Management
2018-04-20 For many years, the NPUST Department of Forestry has been committed to eco-friendly issues and has had an excellent track record in the conducting of forest resource surveys and sustainable development. More recently, the department has been cooperating with Gold Partners, which has just obtaining forest management rights from the local government in Indonesia. On April 12th, in Indonesia’s Maluku Province a public briefing was held to share on the “carbon exchange and forest management” project that the partners will be carrying out. The Indonesian government will allocate approximately 2 million hectares of forest towards to project, working with experts from Indonesia and Taiwan to manage the area. The experts representing Taiwan will include the NPUST Department of Forestry’s Assoc. Professor Chien-Chang Chen, Dr. Jian-Hsin Wang, Dr. Jun-Hong Wei and Dr. Hong-lin Luo. The team traveled to Indonesia to conduct comprehensive exploration and geological surveys, and in the future, they will assist local residents with development of “under-forest economies”. Enterprises and scholars from Taiwan and Indonesia will assist provincial and county governments in Indonesia to effectively manage and protect their precious forest resources and native species. Assoc. Professor Chien-Chang Chen stated explained that “through on-site surveys and assessments it was clear that the forest resources were very rich. However, this has attracted problems related to land-grabs and deforestation. The forest itself has great potential with respect to the development of under-forest economies. In the future, in addition to conducting overseas internships for Department of Forestry students, plans are to introduce the forest area into the international carbon trading market.” The under-forest economic activity will primarily focus on the cultivation of Brazilian mushrooms and agarwod. These two high-economic-value products will be used to improve the economic situations of the local residents and promote local development. Another very important objective that was set for the time spent in the area was to conduct a practical poverty alleviation programs and exercise higher education social responsibility by conducting exchanges with local tribes and children, 400 books were donated to local students and high quality corn varieties to local farmers.
NPUST Students Show their Passion at 93rd Anniversary Sports Day 93
2018-04-18 On the last day of March, the final showdowns of the 93rd Anniversary Sports Day Competition at NPUST came to a head. The most heated of the events, hands down, was the tug-of-war – attracting huge crowds of excited spectators. Following this intense competition, the team from the Computer Center proved victorious within the Administrators Category, with the Office of General Affairs coming second. Among the Academics, it was the Department of Recreational Sports and Heath Promotion who took the gold, both in the men’s and women’s categories, with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Veterinary Medicine taking the runner up spots for the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. When it came to total medal count for all the events, the Dept. of Recreational sports, once again, lived up to everyone’s expectations and took home the highest number in both the men’s and women’s categories. For the final event before the closing ceremony, the organizers invited the university’s highest level administrators to the arena floor to take part in a 200 meter dash, giving the top brass at NPUST an opportunity to show everyone what they are made of, while also setting an example of what it means to “make physical activity an integral part of your lifestyle”. As the racers took off, Vice-President Shui-Jen Chen quickly began pulling ahead of the pack, with nine deans and directors striving hard not to give way as they sprinted for the finish line. The rare spectacle was a sight to see and brought the athletic events of the 93rd Anniversary Sports Day to a memorable close. For the closing ceremony, 16 teams in the Administrative Group and 46 teams from the Academics Group showed of their imaginative power through their “creative arena entrances”, demonstrating their genius as they paraded into the stadium according to their own uniquely choreographed styles, with teachers and students side-by-side, filling the onlookers faces with smiles. The top three awards for the most creative teams in the Administrative Group went to the university’ kindergarten, Computer Center, and Environmental Health and Safety Center, in respective order; and for the Academics Group, it was the Department of Animal Science, Department of Water and Soil Conservation and the Department of Aquaculture who took the top three spots. The events were held over a two day period, with the teams from the entire university passionately competing against one another. Whether it was cheers of victory or the unwillingness to accept defeat, it was the sweat and tears that wrote most touching chapters for the students of NPUST at this year’s fun and memorable Anniversary Celebration Sports Day competitions.
Compal and NPUST Cooperate on High Level Imaging Diagnostics Center for Animals
2018-04-12 The biomedical subsidiary of Compal Electronics spent six months planning out the UniCore Animal Hospital, which is cooperating with the NPUST College of Veterinary Medicine to raise the level of veterinary medicine services for pets by using human-calibre medical equipment, including top-end MRI and PET/CT instruments, for animal diagnostics and treatment. Two specialists from the NPUST Department of Veterinary Medicine, assistant professor Lee-Shuan Lin and assistant professor Cheng-Shu Chung, are also working for the hospital, providing pet owners with top quality medical care for their animals. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai pointed out that “the pet industry has been experiencing stable growth over the years and NPUST’s Department of Veterinary Medicine has been meeting demand by providing programs which not only focus on professional knowledge acquisition, but also emphasize practical clinical medicine training. Currently, two thirds of all the veterinary medicine businesses in Taiwan have originated from NPUST, demonstrating that our veterinary medicine incubation approach is the gold standard. At this time, we are cooperating with the ICT giant Compal Electronics, to establish the UniCore Animal Hospital and provide professional imaging and diagnostics for animals, while also allowing for closer integration between education and industry.” Ray Chen, the general manager of Compal Electronics and chairman of their bio medicine subsidiary emphasized that “the use of human grade medical equipment at the UniCore Animal Hospital represents an important milestone for the medical treatment of pets. The hospital provides top imaging diagnostic services and employs professional medical personnel from NPUST to analyze the results, effectively determining the causes and accurately providing treatment to extend the lives of the animals. Additionally, by integrating the development capabilities of Compal and by aggressively incorporating an electronic medical record system, in the future, we will be able to contribute to big data analysis for medical treatment of animals, thus helping veterinarians to be more precise with their treatment and assessments.” Asst. Prof. Lee-Shuan, who is director of the imaging division of NPUST Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (獸醫教學醫院) and faculty member of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, overseas the UniCore Animal Hospital’s imaging diagnostics. The hospital’s director of anesthesia and emergency medical treatment is Asst. Prof. Cheng-Shu Chung, a professor from the same faculty who specializes in trauma, rehabilitation, anesthesia and regenerative medicine for small animals. In addition to the services provided by these two professional medical practitioners, the hospital has hired a number of veterinary medicine doctors from the NPUST Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital who specialize in imaging diagnostics and anesthesiology, adding to the reputation of the university’s veterinarians and raising the level of animal medical treatment at the hospital. Currently with low birthrates, fewer people marring and aging populations, the structure of the family is gradually changing – and for more and more couples, pets are filling the role once occupied by children. Thus those involved with this cooperative cross-domain initiative between NPUST and Compal trust that they will be able to bring greater happiness to more pets and their owners around Taiwan.
NPUST and Charles Darwin University Hold Psychological Treatment Workshop
2018-04-12 On May 10th, 2018, the NPUST Department of Social Work invited members of Charles Darwin University (CDU) to hold a special “resilience training” workshop at the Humanities Building on the NPUST campus. Due to its geographical positioning and climate, Taiwan experiences a considerable amount of natural disasters, including earthquakes, typhoons, floods and mudslides. The island nation has also suffered from a few man-made disasters in the past several years, including a gas explosion in Kaohsiung City and a colored power explosion at a theme park in the Bali district. With considerations given to such things, a workshop entitled “Being With Model: Taiwan Resilience Training 2018” was organized by the two universities to equip NPUST students and faculty with a special set of skills. CDU Professor of Psychology and creator of the treatment model, Dr. Mary Morris, personally instructed the workshop together with Dr. Jelena Zeleskov Doric. Former director of the Department of Social Work and current director of the Student Consultation Center, Professor Li-ju Jang, shared on the event, stating that “through the training and processes of exploration, faculty and graduate students from the Department of Social Work and the professional counselors from the Student Consultation Center learned about concepts and techniques from the “Being With Model” and will be able to apply them in the future on cases related to trauma, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal behavior, drug and alcohol addictions and depression.” “Gestalt Therapy” is human orientated, with roots in existentialism, phenomenology, and Buddhist Zen psychotherapy methods. Through the workshop training, the participants explored the meanings of basic concepts pertaining to psychological health. Additionally, they gained insight on how to understand the pain of early stage mental health symptoms and provide psychological aid to those impacted by natural disasters. The workshop instructors presented different case studies, and through active group participation they experienced and learned about the Gestalt Therapy processes. As the participants underwent the psychological resilience training, they explored traumatic experiences, leaned how to use artistic techniques for common creation therapy and practiced their practical communication skills. The workshop participants also learned how to distinguish between people with anxiety and depression, how to support them, and how to use experiential training and role playing to develop psychological resilience.
Animal Biologics Pilot Production Center Gives Taiwan New Foothold
2018-04-12 As a result of its outstanding professional performance, the NPUST Animal Biologics Pilot Production Center (動物製劑研究中心) has be selected from among 65 special field research centers at 24 universities to receive grant money from the Ministry of Education’s 2018 Higher Education Sprout Project (高等教育深耕計畫). Also, standing out from a large number of competitors, the NPUST research facility has also been awarded a five year 2.5 billion NTD grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, standing among research centers from Taiwan University, Tsing Hua University, Chiao Tung University and Cheng Kung University. NPUST’s president, Chang-Hsien Tai pointed out that that tropical agriculture technology is one of NPUST’s special areas of development. Located in the southern Taiwan, NPUST is also a hub for animal husbandry related industries, and has an intimate knowledge on animal vaccinations, diseases prevention, and methods to reduce reliance on antibodies while raising healthy livestock for consumption. In 2003, NPUST established the Animal Vaccine Center (動物疫苗中心), working hard to cultivate talented animal vaccine researchers and conduct in depth research on animal immunization. Winning affirmation of both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology is the result of 10 years of work by the members of the research teams, continuously honing their skills and improving their techniques. In the future, we will continue to make persistent efforts and cooperate with top experts from around the world. In recent years, we have had professional exchanges with the France’s Vibrac Group of France, Canada’s University of Saskatchewan International Vaccine Center and England’s University of St. Andrew. Through technological innovation we are working to internationalize Taiwan’s animal immunization technologies. At the same time, we are equipping students with skills to be competitive in the job market, helping industries to increase output value, and working to maintain Taiwan’s upper hand in agriculture for a better and brighter future. The Animal Biologics Pilot Production Center project host, Wen-Bin Chung, explained that, in 2016, the global animal vaccination production value was worth 6 billion USD, and it is expected to see a 5.8% annual growth rate up through to 2021, at which point it will reach 7.7 billion. In Southeast Asia and China, due to the rapid economic growth, the animal immunization demands are increasing by over 10% per year. Immunization is one of the main targets of promotion in the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) Agricultural Technology Industries Project (農業科技產業計畫). Development of pig vaccinations over the next 5 years, focus will those which are most urgent, necessary, pathogen-specific, and advantageous to regional industries, so that Taiwan will take a leading position, globally, in the field of swine vaccinations. The Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park has also established an animal immunization zone which has attracted many companies, thus this location is turning into a hub for animal immunization R&D. Human, animal and environmental health issues have arisen as a result of globalization, thus, animal vaccinations, disease prevention, improved immunity, and reduced reliance on antibiotics for improved food safety have become part of the responsibility that countries share to maintain the planet and its health. In addition to being a key area of agriculture technology development in Taiwan, immunization technology is also a foothold for the island nation to compete among related international organizations. Additionally, considering the consolidation of and competition within animal health industries worldwide, to be a mainstay in the field of animal immunization means continuously developing and innovating, and in the face of new challenges, rising to the occasion.
San Diego Cake Competition Champion Ignites Flash Lectures
2018-04-10 The NPUST Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management has started an innovative “flash lecture” education module to introduce students to new professional techniques and open up their horizons. For the inaugural lecture, which took place on April 9th, Li Mu Xuan and Mick Song, two instructors from the 32 Miss Fondant Design Training Center (32小姐翻糖造型培訓中心), where invited to give a talk on fondant cake design. The training center received considerable attention lately, after a student from the NPUST Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Jhai Yu-Fan, used his extracurricular time to hone his skills there. Only in his second year at NPUST, Jhai Yu-Fan used those skills to create a stunning fondant cake, designed as a model the historical Chinese imperial warlord, Lü Bu, and won the “Professional Grand Prize” at this year’s San Diego Cake Competition. Jhai Yu-Fan harnessed his interest and passion for fondant design and worked hard to get himself trained, with his family and the teachers from his department supporting him all the way. His outstanding performance has not only brought honor to Taiwan, but has also encouraged students to work harder to improve their skills and has ignited a totally new way of thinking about course design. For the first flash lecture, the instructors from 32 Miss were given the podium, and Jhai Yu-Fan was called to share on his learning process and reflect on the competition. It’s non-credit, non-graded approach to learning, where “interest” is the requirement – and there was no shortage of that. As soon as the lecture was announced, all the available seats were accounted for. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai expressed his views that “the flash lecture is a type of ‘micro-credit’. It breaks free from traditional semester based credits system and typical course design, using weekends and summer breaks to interact with the professional sector, gain experience, and learn techniques. NPUST is working to get students in touch with more diversified knowledge and allow them to become more competitive in the job sector. And we hope that Jhai Yu-Fan will continue to cultivate his skills under the direction of his teachers and incorporate more cross-domain knowledge into his craft, developing a stable entrepreneurial base and finding ways to commercialize his products and meet market demand.” 32 Miss Fondant Design Training Center’s Li Mu Xuan explained “that ‘fondant’ is an artistic cake that originates from England. Currently, it is mostly used as a surface decoration technique for cakes and pastries. Because of its ductility, it allows for the creation of all types of detailed shapes, perfectly integrating all kinds of appearances for rich and varied designs that transcend the traditional limitations of cake design. The production process, however, is time-consuming, labor intensive and expensive and it has become the most challenging art form in the dessert industry.” The Director Hui-Chen Chang of the Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management pointed out that “the technical learning aspect of the hospitality industry is broad and diverse. Services can focus on Chinese or Western cuisine, baking, beverages, and other hospitality related items. Within each category there are also certain sets of more precisions and professional skills, like vegetable carving, fondant cake design, latte art, and napkin folding. In order to adapt to rapidly diversifying hospitality techniques and areas of knowledge, the department is promoting “flash lectures”, not only helping students to discover and develop interest, but also helping professors to acquire skills outside of their main expertise.
The 2018 Indonesian Cultural Festival
2018-04-02 On March 27th a charming gathering of bright-eyed students took place on the square in front of the General Education Building to celebrate the annual Indonesian Cultural Festival at NPUST. As the university’s vice-president, Dr. Chung-Ruey Yen, and Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei (IETO) senior assistant, Mrs Mulyansari kicked off the event, they thanked the Indonesian students for making NPUST into the type of multicultural environment that it is. Vice-President Yen also expressed his gratitude to the IETO and Indonesian Student Association for their efforts and shared his anticipation that the festival would be a great opportunity for Indonesian students to interact with local ones and make new friends. The organizers did a fine job of bringing Indonesian culture to life on campus, with traditional Indonesian performances, music, games, a fashion show and authentic cuisine. Among these included a song and dance tradition local to Sumatera Utara called the “Tari Tor-Tor”. Dressed in full costume, students danced to music in a performance which represents the convening and transmigration of souls. Participants also enjoyed “Tahu Tek”, a tasty dish made of rice noodles, bean curd, bean sprouts and a traditional Indonesian sauce. They also cooled off with some “Cendol”, a beverage made of coconut milk, sugar water and bean starch vermicelli. Students and teachers had a great time interacting with one another as they enjoyed the festivities. And in order to help facilitate communication between the participants of different backgrounds, the activity organizers coordinated with the NPUST Language Center to design a special language learning handout. Over the years, the internationalization of NPUST has been very successful. Currently, the university is home to 780 international students; 36 of which are of Indonesian nationality. Indonesia is itself a multicultural environment, with art, religions, languages and customs unique to its various islands. Thus, in addition to bringing students and teachers together for an enjoyable experience, the festival was designed to provide participants with a great opportunity learn something new about the archipelago nation south of Taiwan which is known as the “Emerald of the Equator”.
First Place: NPUST Cross-Discipline Cooperation Blossoms at Orchid Show
2018-03-23 The Taiwan International Orchids Show is a visual delight, to say the least. Every year, orchid enthusiasts from around the world travel to Taiwan to witness spectacular displays of the newest and best breeds of orchid flowers. The Orchid Show also incorporates a variety of competitions, including, for the first time this year, the “National Agriculture Education Orchid Landscape Layout Competition”, which put select student teams from seven national universities, two private universities and one high school up against each other to see who could come up with the best looking and most representative orchid arrangement. In the end, it was eleven students from two departments at NPUST who found the most favor from the judges, winning the top prize. The NPUST team was represented by Department of Plant Industry director Fure-Chyi Chen, professor Shih Wen Chin and Department of Fashion Design assoc. professor H. T. Chen, who initiated the interdisciplinary effort. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai commented on the successful results, saying “this accomplishment serves as an excellent example of what can be done through cross-discipline cooperation. Students from both the Department of Pant Industry and Department of Fashion Design were not only able to learn from new experiences through involvement in different areas of learning, but were also able use their skills to increase in value of a product. This is why interdisciplinary learning is an approach that is continually emphasized by our university.” The students were provided direction from Professor Shi and Assoc. Professor Chen as they combined landscaping ideas from the Department of Plant Industry with innovative design concepts from the Department of Fashion according to a theme of “Seeking Tracks of the Orchid with NPUST’s Southern Style”. The mountain back drop used for the arrangement was drawn by hand by a student from the Department of Fashion in a way that captured the feel of NPUST and incorporated the features of Pingtung. Tigerhead Orchids, Oncidiums, and phalaenopses were used to create layers which represent the lofty and beautiful Dawu Maountain, and white silk was used to create the appearance of a waterfall. Small phalaenopsis orchids were also used to represent the snorkel viper, which is the guardian of the Paiwan Tribe, and clay pots and costumes demonstrated the tribe’s traditional craftsmanship and cultural features. Both aesthetically pleasing and highly representative, the display received affirmation from the competition judges and the students of NPUST were awarded first place. They were, however, not the only NPUST representatives to win recognition at the show. Professor Fure-Chyi Chen also received two bronze medals and a “third prize” for the orchid breeds he entered into the competition. President Tai expressed hopes that in the future the university would able to accomplish mass production of the varieties bred by its researchers, while coordinating with other fields to further goals in agriculture technology. The Taiwan International Orchids Show was a not only an opportunity for Taiwan’s orchid industry to share its achievements with the world, but also a chance for NPUST to demonstrate the way in which its research, when combined with practical education, can lead to effective learning and value adding cooperation.
Arbor Day Leads to Forest Week at NPUST
2018-03-21 Arbor Day, which is named after the Latin word for “tree”, is the annual day for planting trees and this year, the NPUST Department of Forestry brought added attention to it by organizing a week-long educational activity dubbed the “Forest Week” Each morning at 8:00, from March 12th to 16th, students took their posts at the Forest Week exhibit, showing off a variety of interesting results and information from forest surveys and related research. The goal of the activity was to give outsiders an opportunity to learn more about the woodlands and also see the ways in which the Department of Forestry has been diversifying over the years. President of the Department of Forestry Student Association, Hsu Hui-chun, pointed out that “people often have misconceptions about the type of work that Department of Forestry students go on to do after graduation. Forest Week is providing the public with a better understanding of the Forestry Department, dispelling stereotypes and letting people know that, in addition to the harvesting trees, the Forestry Department also focuses on planting trees and relocating them and on conducting a variety of forest-related research.” Different types of woods, seeds, potted plants, creative crafts, and plant dyeing techniques were included in the exhibits. The students also provided information on the ways in which forest environments are being used for sustainable economic activities including the “under-forest economy” projects that Taiwan is currently developing. Activities falling under this umbrella include bee raising, Chinese medicinal herb cultivation, mushroom cultivation and other economically valuable activities that can be conducted sustainably in forested areas. Department of Forestry director, Mei-Hui Chen said: “the Department of Forestry is cross-discipline in nature; at times we focus on under-forest-economies, environmental education, and eco-tourism, while other times work involves the development of tribal communities. The results of several years of R&D directed at under-forest- economies have already spread to the Labuwan Tribe in Wutai Township, and the chickens they are raising and mushrooms they are cultivating in forested areas are already being sold successfully on the market”. Another member of the Forestry Department Student Association expressed concern, saying: “I often want to do something for our planet. Emissions, pollution, clear cutting and deforestation, problems like these are around us, but we are still students and have little power – no money and no prominence. We must do it ourselves; from reducing plastic use, and using eco-friendly reusable utensils, to planting seedlings – the type of things which are within our power. This is better than doing nothing.” But the forestry students recognize that not everyone knows how to go about planting a tree successfully. Taiwan has a warm climate with lots of rain, and weeds quickly outgrow saplings. Thus, clearing weeds and pruning back branches is essential work that needs to be done to provide seedlings with enough space and sunlight to grow. In order to spread this knowledge, at 3:00 on Arbor Day, a pruning and weed clearing activity was held on campus. The participants were taught how to care for a seedling after it is planted, properly prune the branches, increase the tree’s toughness and increase the chances that it will survive. During forestry week, the Forestry Department Student Association coordinated with the students and faculty of 7 research labs to exhibit research results related to community forestry, forestry education, forest soil microorganisms, forest ecology, forest policy, economics and ecotourism and remote sensing detection and forest measurements to give the outside world a better understanding of what the department is all about. Sustainable forestry is related to the fate of the nation – and the university is doing its part to allow for the better management of resources. By applying LIDAR and drone technology, work is being done to help address the deterioration of forest environments and to carry out “greenification” projects. As it develops such initiatives related to community forestry, under-forest-economies, eco-tourism and environmental education, NPUST is working to combine traditional forestry industries with new forestry industries, thus allowing for natural ecological development and sustainable growth for the future.