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SKRU Exchange Results Celebrated with a Songkran Splash!
2019-05-13 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
2019-05-03 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
2019-04-20 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.”
ICDF Cooperates on Vocational Youth Overseas Technical Services
2019-04-12 With the long-term support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF), National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) has taken on the responsibility of cultivating international talent and conducting academic and technical diplomacy – the results of which have already received government affirmation. Today (Apr. 12), ICDF Secretary General Timothy T. Y. Hsiang and NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai signed a Letter of Intent to execute the “Vocational Youth Overseas Technical Assistance Service Project” thereby providing vocational students with the opportunity to take part in Taiwan foreign aid work. Students may receive endorsement as early as August of this year (2019) to go to ally countries where Taiwan has established technical groups, such as Kingdom of Eswatini, Kiribati, Palau, or St. Vincent, and take part in services there. President Chang-Hsien Tai made some remarks on the development, expressing that “from the agriculture teams in the early days to the training classes and formal degree programs of the present time, NPUST has equipped a great number of outstanding overseas Alumni with valuable skills. In the future we will use this cooperative project to bring students together on interdisciplinary teams, not only providing them with an opportunity to go overseas to broaden their horizons, but also to apply the knowledge they acquired in various departments, learn from one another, and serve our allies abroad.” ICDF Secretary General Timothy T. Y. Hsiang stated that “after reforming the recruitment system, the number of men taking part in alternative civilian services will gradually decrease. This project is not an alternative, rather it is a supplement. Hopes are that through it, university students will be able to take part in and undertake international work during the time of their studies. In the past, when I served abroad as an ambassador, I observed how alternative civilian services men serving abroad saw tremendous growth— in technical skills, language ability, and international outlook alike. I trust that through this project, as students participate, their learning and language will be refined. At the same time, by participating in overseas diplomacy work they will experience considerable help with respect to their visions for the future and personal vantage points.” The “Vocational College Youth Overseas Technical Assistance Service Project” targets Taiwan’s technical foreign aid projects and coordinates with internship programs established by vocational universities and colleges in Taiwan to provide students with an opportunity to go abroad to take part in a variety of cooperative activities which will be counted as credit towards their academic degrees. This year, the ICDF has provided six internship opportunities covering the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, and mechanical and electrical engineering. An explanatory session has been planned for April 22, 2019 at the university to provide information on the various internships items, application procedures, internship benefits and life management practices relevant to the project. Introductions will also be provided on the ICDF and overseas work teams. Young vocational students with technical skills and expertise are encouraged to put their knowledge to use, hone their techniques and broaden their world views. They will also have the opportunity to become overseas technical reserves in the future. For the past 20 plus years, the ICDF and NPUST have enjoyed good relations, cooperating on talent exchanges and various foreign aid projects, and now they have become the first signatory partners in this current project. Along with the trends towards intelligent agricultural development, hopes are that in the future the ICDF and NPUST will be able to continue to cooperate with one another and mutually assist the government in developing overseas aid work and cultivating international talent!
Professor Kuo, Guardian of the Forests
2019-04-02 Professor Yau-Lun Kuo has been named “2019 Commendable Contributor to the Conservation of Forests and Nature” by the Council of Agriculture. On April 2nd, the Department of Forestry Nursery held a press conference, hosted by NPUST President Chan-Hsien Tai. The dean of the College of Agriculture, Professor Fure-Chyi Chen, director of the Department of Forestry, Professor Chih-Chiang Wang, and Professor Mei-Huei Chen were also invited to be present for the meeting. Professor Yau-Lun Kuo of the NPUST Department of Forestry has spared no effort in his forestry and natural ecosystem conservation research. His expertise includes forest ecology physiology, control and ecological rehabilitation of the Leucaena leucocephala, and shade and drought tolerance of Taiwan’s native tree species. He has received national acclaim in his field and five times been named an Outstanding Professional by the Ministry of Science and Technology. He has also been an active promotor of the cultivation and health benefits of the red Chenopodium, and has advanced knowledge on invasive tree species control. Both in academic theory and practical technology, Professor Kuo has made outstanding contributions in his field. Professor Kuo, expressed that looking back at the 31 years he has spent as an educator and researcher at the school, he is very grateful that the university has been able to provide the department with a 5-hectare nursery to carry out its research. He explained that “over the past 15 years, by personally conducting cultivation work, field collections, purchasing seeds and obtaining seeds from the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, we have already collected more than half of Taiwan’s 588 native tree species -- with somewhere around 360 types of broad leaved trees planted at the nursery. There is no other university in Taiwan which has made so much progress in this area. In addition to providing students with the means to distinguish between trees, it also raises their competitiveness in hands-on work in the field.” Thanks to Professor Kuo’s research, they have been able to establish the characteristics Taiwan’s native trees and complete a directory of 300 shade tolerant plants; thus providing an important reference for people conducting horticulture, landscaping and tree planting activities. Professor Kuo also explained how 13 years ago a student discovered that members of the Paiwan Tribe nearby the university were planting a colorful Chenopodium, the name of which was not determined. The tribe was using the plant in the brewing of millet wine. Kuo thus began researching the red-colored Chenopodium and sharing the information he obtained. Professor Kuo formed an inter-disciplinary research team with many different teachers and after 3 years they were finally able to confirm via the Kyoto University Herbarium that the plant was endemic to Taiwan – the Chenopodium formosanum. They also learned that this red Chenopodium is rich in nutritious properties; and so, they worked to get the word out and help the indigenous tribe to reap in the economic benefits of this plant which is part of their heritage. NPUST President Change-Hsien Tai expressed that “under Professor Kuo’s sustainable thinking, he has shouldered a mission to foster talent in the field and promote forest conservation. He has contributed to the development of Taiwan’s agriculture and forestry industries and advanced the conservation of biodiversity – sparing no effort in his work. He is a guardian of the forests and natural ecosystems and also a model for our students and society. Now, on account of his meritorious work, he has been honored as a Commendable Contributor to the Conservation of Forests.”
NPUST Enjoys Great Kick-Off to Sports Day Celebration in 94th Year
2019-03-28 This academic year marks the 94th year since the founding of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology. For many years now, the university has been carrying on a tradition of holding an annual Sports Day Celebration, each spring, to celebrate the university’s health and vitality –and to help foster team spirit and a rich sense of togetherness among the members of the school. As per tradition, the event kicked off in the evening on the last Friday of March with a colorful and boisterous opening ceremony, during which all the different groups within the university made its own creative contribution. The mood for the evening was set by the “Creative Entrance Competition”, a custom which invites each of the departments, faculties and administrative offices to demonstrate their team spirit, imagination and originality by choreographing their own unique routine to perform as they make a grand entrance into the stadium. Adding to the entertainment, the ceremony also included a song and dance competition – this year, with five administrative offices and 15 education groups putting their talents on display and striving for the top prize. NPUST President Chang Hsien Tai commented on the annual affair, explaining that “the university uses the Sports Day as school-wide day of celebration. Students demonstrate health and activity, team spirit and cooperation; and also, rich creativity – it’s all part of NPUST’s enthusiastic character. We hope that the students can truly enjoy the positive physical and mental benefits of sports activities, and that they will have bright and healthy futures!” The Creative Entrance competition is a tradition that has been held for a number of years already. Every year, teams of administrators, educators and students find new ways to express their unique flavors by coming up with creative costume designs and dance moves which will win cheers and smiles from their peers – and points from the judges! – as they march into the stadium The competition is strong and the stakes are high, with a top prize being a 5000 NTD and a medal to boot. To ensure impartiality, six neutral judges are specially invited in from outside to judge the competition, following an objective criterion to select the winners of 15 different award categories. With hopes of taking home the top prize, each of the groups worked hard, investing skill and imagination into the creation of presentations that would demonstrate their special features while, hopefully, capturing the overall spirit of the celebration. The main event of the evening, however, took things up a notch further. This event, was the Cheerleader Competition, with three teams representing four departments contending for the title. The teams hailed from the Department of Recreational Sport & Health Promotion, Department of Agribusiness Management, and a joint team formed by students from the Department of Information Science and Department of Hotel & Restaurant Management. All three teams trained hard for a full semester to get ready for the intense competition, but in the end the Agribusiness Management team came out on top; with the joint team taking runner-up. The competition was riveting and got everyone’s adrenaline pumping, all while inspiring a sense of youthful enthusiasm and unity. With great cheer, lots of excitement, and a real sense of togetherness, the ceremony was a great kick-off to the Sports Day celebrations and a great time to appreciate another year of fruitful progress at NPUST.
Robot Competition Helps Initiate Engineering Education
2019-03-19 On March 16th, the Fourteenth Industrial Robot Competition was jointly hosted by National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology and the Taiwan Industrial Robot Association at the NKUST Student Activity Center. The competition brought together 210 robot enthusiasts ranging from elementary school all the way up through university. A total of 74 teams put their skills to the test in a variety of different categories, including automatic forklift, remote controlled forklift (for elementary, junior high, and high school levels), automatic logistics management, remote control logistics management, innovative robotics and robotic skills. On the day of the competition, the gathering of robots made the venue feel like an interactive robot exposition. The main objective behind the competition is to help strengthen basic industrial robot education while allowing students to get interested in robotics engineering, develop professional know-how and hone their skills in innovation. The participating students had the opportunity to demonstrate their own skills while also observing and learning from others. Two of the featured events at the competition included the GMT Cup and the Feton Cup. The main objective of the former was to demonstrate methods of connecting smart sensors with smart controls used for manufacturing purposes. While the later called on participants to apply their skills in PLC machine automation, I/O Wiring and other skills related to the system logic developed by Feton Automation Industry. Industrial robots and AI integration are part of a trend that has only begun, thus in the future, the need for people skilled in automation techniques will undoubtedly see a continuous rise. NPUST is using its strong foundation in technological agriculture to make contributions to forms of technology that branch out into a diversity of fields ranging from mechanical engineering right through to the humanities. Hopes are that through this type of industrial robot competition, engineering education can become more widespread and closer to life, and that students will be encouraged to get involved early on.
Taiwan-Japan Exchange Cultivates Forestry Talent
2019-03-12 Since the time their sister-school relationship was formalized, NPUST and Rakuno Gakuen University have maintained an active and intimate relationship. The two universities are united by many common characteristics of development and enjoy learning from one another. For three professors from the two universities, Prof. Masami Kaneko, Prof. Buho Hoshino and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chien-Chang Chen, forestry research has been the basis for a very close partnership – and a joint research lab has even been set up for them on the RGU campus to conduct their work. Since 2007, the exchanges between students and teachers has been frequent. Every year the two universities swap students as part of an overseas practicum student exchange. The teachers as well, due to their closely related bodies of knowledge, often take part in inter-university activities. Through the intensive teacher-student exchanges, students have been able to develop their professional abilities, diversify the knowledge-base and expand their international outlooks. This year, during the winter break, four students from NPUST traveled to RGU to take part in a practicum aimed at helping them better understand the differences between the forestry industries in Taiwan and Japan. The students learned about professional geographic information systems and the application of remote sensing detection technology while exploring geographical changes that resulted from the recent natural disaster in Hokkaido. They learnt how to conducted satellite imagery analyses of vegetation distribution, by studying images take of the Hokkaido area. Four students from RGU also took part in the exchange – travelling to NPUST for a six-week practicum in February and March. The students learned about technologies used in the forestry industry, including UAVs and optical laser scanning systems. They also took part in forest resources data collection surveys, going to the Daren Forest Area in Taitung, Baoli Forest area in Pingtung, and Taiping Mountain and Chilan Mountain in Yilan. Holding classes in the forest areas, Professor Chen taught the students about the history of Taiwan’s forestry industry and about the current conservation activities. The Japanese students to observe the different climactic conditions in northeastern Taiwan, which is a cradle for precious woods such as the Formosan cypress and Chamaecyparis, and southern Taiwan, where the forests are largely populated by broadleaved trees. Through the cooperative relationship between the two universities, teachers have been able to raise the level of talent cultivation and expand their bases of professional knowledge. With a stable foundation for forestry operations and resource conservation in Taiwan and Japan, hopes are that their impact will extend from Asia to other parts of the world, helping to further the goal of sustainability.
Optimizing Rice through SPRI System of Probiotic and Rice Intensification
2019-02-21 With Department of Civil Engineering Director Yu-Min Wang at the helm, the International Irrigation Research Center has been cooperating with the Council of Agriculture, the Pingtung Farmland Water Conservation Association, and the Society for SRI Conservation Agriculture and Environmental Studies to develop a high quality probiotic to use in a rice cultivation method that can reduce water usage by 15% and increase overall production value by 30%. The research team also cooperated with the Kaohsiung Agriculture Research and Extension Center to develop a brown rice that, when its enzyme are fully activated, is rich in γ-Aminobutyric acid (“GABA”; 11 times greater than white rice), IP6, Inositol, Ferulic acid, vitamin B, vitamin 3, magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, protein and dietary fiber, making it the best choice for health conscious consumers in the modern era. On February 20th, a press conference was held to share some of the impressive details of the research and a memorandum of understanding was signed between NPUST and DaBomb Protein Co. Ltd., a company that will be working with the university to help bring new value to the rice industry. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai stated that “in response to the many different challenges the agriculture industry is facing, NPUST has been integrating technologies from different areas of expertise on campus. Whether the problems are related to agriculture techniques, water and soil conservation or labor shortages, we are finding ways to apply research results directly to the field.” Professor Yu-Min Wang, Director of the Department of Civil Engineering explained that “using the SPRI System of Probiotic and Rice Intensification reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides – and the natural probiotics used help improve soil quality. It also allows for lower water usage and higher overall production value. NPUST has begun using this technology to extend service to farmers. Currently it is being applied in Tainan, Taitung and Pingtung and hopes are that in the future it will spread throughout Taiwan, not only benefiting the soil but also allowing more people to taste this flavorful rice.” The rice that the team is using in its research is the Kaohsiung 147 (KH147) variety cultivated by the Kaohsiung Agriculture Research and Extension Center. Not only does the rice perform very well in the desired conditions, but when combined with the research of Assistant Professor Su-Ju Lin of the Department of Plant Industry, the results are even better. Professor Lin discovered that γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which has been become a popular supplement in recent years, exists in its highest concentration when the rice buds are 1.5mm long –and, through a unique soaking and germinating technique, the length of the bud can be limited to precisely that length with a germination rate of 95%. In the past, Taiwan relied on agriculture as it transitioned to industry; but current development is using industry to complement agriculture and leading it into an era of smart cultivation.
NPUST Team Helps Launch “Eighteen Luohans” Visitor Station
2019-02-21 Thanks to efforts made by Department of Forestry Professor Mei-Hui Chen and the NPUST Community Forestry Industry Center, a new visitor station has been established for visitors headed to the Eighteen Luohans Mountain Conservation Area. In January of 2017, the Community Forestry Industry Center at NPUST was commissioned by the Pingtung Forest Management Office to provide training to locals who would later take on the responsibilities of conservation and tour services at the Eighteen Luohans Mountain Conservation Area. With the assistance of government agencies and community organizations in the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area, the work of the team has resulted in the successful advancement of Taiwan’s first-ever community operated nature conservation area. Originally, tours were only provided for those who made reservations 15 days in advance. However, in order improve services and make things more convenient to the public, the “Eighteen Luohans Mountain Conservation Area Visitor Services Station” has been established and will be open to applicants on holidays, so that more visitors will be able to enjoy the conservation area and experience this valuable nature preserve. On February 16, 2019 the Deputy-Director I-Kuang Liao of the Forestry Bureau, Director Ching-fa Chien of the Maolin National Scenic Area Management Office and a number of other local government representatives and local residents were in attendance on the opening day to witness this milestone event for the Eighteen Luohans Mountain Conservation Area. Professor Meih-hui Chen explained that “the Eighteen Luohans team was formed a little over a year ago and consists of local tour guides from all walks of life, ranging between 30 and 70 years of age”. She pointed out that “they not only will provide commentary on the natural features, including bats and other protected life in the area, but will also shoulder the responsibility of conducting periodic patrols and monitoring activities”. Professor Chen added that “the university, government and the community are working together to conduct the regional revitalization activities”, emphasizing that “without the participation of all three, it just won’t work”. “‘Social responsibility’ in higher education means bringing research out of the confines of the campus to help create sustainable communities where business and conservation activities can coincide.”