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NPUST President Tai Reappointed for Second Term
2018-08-09 On August 1st, Education Minister, Yeh Jiunn-rong, presented NPUST’s President Chang-Hsien Tai with a letter of re-appointment at the Ceremony for Outgoing, Incoming and Re-Appointed National University Presidents. Over the past four years, under the watch of President Tai, NPUST has seen improvement both on in terms of research quality and quality of education. The university’s reputation continues to spread and it has made advancements on many university rankings. NPUST has also recently been dubbed the “uncontested technology leader of the South”. With his re-appointment confirmed, President Tai plans to spend the next four years furthering his work on various projects with the aim of reinforcing the university’s foundation while bringing it to new heights as it draws near to its 100th anniversary.
Agro 4.0: NPUST Plans Cooperation with Denmark’s Dalum Academy
2018-08-07 National Pingtung University of Science and Technology was established on agricultural research and its geographical position has allowed it to pursue tropical agriculture and related technologies with remarkable success. Currently, in an effort to improve livestock rearing capabilities, the university’s Department of Animal Science is forging new relationships with foreign institutions which share common goals. Taiwan’s hot and humid weather is one obstacle preventing local livestock productivity to be lower than what is seen in Europe and America. Also, the traditional livestock rearing methods used are labor intensive. The government would like to see the situation improve and have singled out NPUST to help shoulder the work of bringing up a new generation of agriculturalists. The NPUST Department of Animal Science has been heavily invested in developing animal rearing technology, providing students with technical knowhow, and advancing the application of smart technology and big data in their field and now, with the help of government and business sectors, the department will be embarking on a new cooperative enterprise with the largest and oldest agriculture school in Denmark. Following a visit in February of this year, the Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business, NPUST and the Taiwan Sugar Company have laid out a plan for a three-way cooperation between the parties. NPUST has 59 hectares on campus dedicated to livestock rearing and has the most comprehensive livestock equipment out of any educational institution in Taiwan. It has also developed professional technology for improved swine breading, artificial reproduction, site management, livestock wastewater treatment and feed dispensing system design. However, in order to pursue more advanced smart rearing technology, improve the welfare of animals, and raise the market value of meat products it will need to mirror the advancements of other countries. When it comes to total land area, Taiwan and Denmark are similar. However, the livestock industry in in Denmark is considerably advanced. The Dalum Academy of Agricultural Business was established in 1886 and has developed into a modern, international institution fir agriculture education. Dalum has developed smart, automated equipment for swine management and has successfully united academics with industry through the establishment of a professional consultation service center for swine rearing. With high levels of efficiency Denmark has been able to market meat products around the world, while simultaneously serving as a cradle for fostering professional talent in livestock raising. Now, through an MOU agreement, plans are in place to conduct student and teacher exchanges and cooperate in the pursuit of mutually beneficial goals. Hopes are that can establish a cooperation platform which will help Taiwan to improve the efficiency of its swine industry and allow Denmark to advance its technology for raising swine in Tropical regions. Additionally, Taiwan Sugar Company, which recently established Taiwan’s first ever Circular Agriculture Park, will serve as an industry consultant and host for internships. Hopes are that these new cross-domain cooperation activities Taiwan’s will give new impetus to Taiwan’s swine rearing industries.
“Godfather” of Organic Agriculture Named Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalist
2018-07-31 Director and professor at the Department of Plant Industry, Dr. Chong-Ho Wang, has been invested in research on organic agriculture, soil productivity, re-use of agriculture waste and rationalized fertilization for many years now and the results of his research and develop can be read about in the 700 plus literary contributions that he has seen published in a variety of journals, magazines, technical books and conference publications throughout his career. Through his work, Dr. Wang has helped to raise the bar for agriculture technology in Taiwan. He has actively been involved with organic farming technology transfers, cultivated talented agriculturalists and equipped agriculture workers with valuable knowledge in their field. The valued contributions he has made have not only earned him the reputation of being “godfather of organic agriculture”, but have now also earned him recognition at this year’s Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists Awards. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai stated that “for eight years in a row, professors from NPUST have been singled out to receive the Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists award. This is a reflection of the outstanding contributions that NPUST professors are making in the field of agriculture with respect to academics, industry-academic cooperation, talent cultivation and agriculture extension. Professor Wang is a superb professor – and in order to promote and implement organic agriculture in Taiwan, he has traversed the country. He has made outstanding contributions in the promotion of organic and sustainable agriculture, raising the standard of agriculture management and technology for farmers in Taiwan. His work has been affirmed by his peers and now he has been selected to receive the Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalists award”. Though many in his field see him as a godfather, Dr. Wang thinks of himself as organic agriculture “volunteer”. He loves his work, and over the years has taught many undergraduate, master’s and PhD courses on subjects related to organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture, organic fertilization, soil and fertilizers. He has also served on the NPUST Agricultural Extension Committee and as a member and convener for the review group at the Taiwan Accreditation Foundation Organic Certification Agency. The dean of the NPUST College of Agriculture also shared some comments on the award winning professor, stating that “almost every organic farmer from every corner of Taiwan has taken an organic farming course from Professor Wang, even Malaysian businesses have come to learn from him. He is an important figure in the development of talent for the promotion of safe food and crop cultivation”. Professor Wang also currently serves as the Chairman of the Association of Taiwan Organic Agriculture Promotion, Vice Chairman of Chinese Sustainable Agriculture Association and as member of a variety of other agriculture education committees actively promoting organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture operations, organic fertilizer production and applied and economic crop fertilizer technology.
NPUST Unveils the Yunus Social Business Center
2018-07-18 On July 17, an unveiling ceremony was held for the newly established Yunus Social Business Center at the NPUST College of Management marking the beginning of operations for the fifth center of its kind in Taiwan. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai and the chairperson of Foundation for Yunus Social Business Taiwan, Philippa Tsai, jointly hosted the event, during which President Tai said that “because people are always aiming to maximize, societies experience turmoil. This can even lead to war. The thoughts of Dr. Yunus can allow societies to allocate resources in a more beneficial and balanced way. For many years NPUST has helped farmers by coaching them on a variety of methods in planting, production and marketing. Currently, with the help of the Yunus Foundation, more matchmaking work can be done to help more businesses and farmers cooperate according to a comprehensive care approach, from the beginning of production right through to marketing and management. This way we can meet the objectives of the Yunus Social Business Center and continue to work hard along the path that NPUST adheres to.” Chairwoman of the Yunus Foundation, Philippa Tsai, expressed that “Dr. Yunus believes that in the 21st century the greatest enterprises are those which are able to solve societies’ problems: whether it be protecting and conserving the environment and ecosystems or sustainable economic and financial practices. Hopefully, by coming from the position of the university educators, students will be able to find work immediately after graduation or even start businesses and together will be able to promote social enterprises and contribute more to the world.” In 2006, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, said that “there are no magnets in the hands of poor people. It is hard for them to attract anything. However, Yunus’s new economic solution allows us to believe that one person can change the world. We have the ability to change everything for the better!” This seed from Bangladesh has grown and spread around the world. The idea of Dr. Yunus is to use social enterprise to meet specific social objectives and solve social problems, planting seeds of doing good to create a happier more prosperous world, and to make poverty a relic of the past. Following three months of planning and six months of hard work, the Yunus Social Business Center at NPUST has come to fruition. It is now the 50th world-wide and the 5th in Taiwan. The unveiling ceremony brought focus to the “three zeros” concept of Yunus Social Business, namely “zero poverty, zero un-employment and net zero carbon emissions”. Emphasis was placed on the belief that now is the right time to use the potential of social business to solve inequalities between the rich and poor, un-employment and social collapse. The director of the Yunus Social Business Center, Professor Alex Chang, expressed that “we strongly hope that in the future, with the establishment of the Center, that we will be able to make a concrete contribution to Taiwan’s society, creating a platform for social business operations and education”.
NPUST Professor Develops Natural Fruit Pearl for Bubble Tea
2018-07-11 In Taiwan it is not unusual to hear reports on overproduction of fruit causing prices to fall and farmers to take a hit. Another topic that continues to come up is centered on the concern that food additives are negatively affecting people’s health. For Professor Pao-Chuan Hsieh of the NPUST Department of Food Science, these question set the direction for a new research objective: help fruit farmers find a market for the excess fruit and help people improve their diets. Putting together a research team, the food specialist honed in on one of Taiwan’s favorite treats: pearl milk tea (a.k.a. “bubble tea”). Looking at the overproduced fruits which needed the most attention, dragon fruit, bananas and pineapples, the team developed a method to use the fruits to create healthy, colorful, gummy pearls for milk tea. This would not only allow for consumers to consume healthier treats, but will also add value to fruit production. NPUST President Chang Hsien Tai expressed that “pearl milk tea is a representative part of Taiwan’s food culture. However, the pearls generally sold on the market contain chemical additives. Professor Hsieh used his expertise in food sciences to develop a natural fruit pearl. The flavor is excellent and it can increase agriculture product sales”. Professor Hsieh explained that “the eye-catching rich red pigment of dragon fruit is a natural food coloring. It can also be considered a healthy food-coloring as it has detoxifying, anti-aging, skin revitalizing and weight-loss functions. In recent years, demand for dragon fruit increased so farmers worked hard plant lots of new trees; but this resulted in overproduction and the prices fell. So we developed this red dragon fruit pearl to improve sales.” Fruits like pineapples and bananas also often experience supply and demand imbalances, and they have very short shelf-lives, so the prices fall quickly. So, Professor Hsieh’s research team began working with these fruits while looking fixing problems related to food additives. Ultimately the team was able to use the naturally bright pigments found in these fruits for food coloring and develop natural fruit pearls using phosphoric anhydride-free modified starch. According to statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, every year in Taiwan 1.02 billion tea beverages are sold, which is an average of 44 cups per person. The market potential is huge— and in recent years, the hand shaken beverage industry has seen continuous growth. In 2016 it was valued at 49.1 billion NTD and by the end of 2017 it had grown 6.1%, reaching a record 50 billion NTD. Currently there are many businesses which are actively taking advantage of technology transfers and it can be expected that in the future, the fruit pearls developed by NPUST will be all the rages for hand-shaken beverages.
Student Develops Natural Mosquito Repellant with Native Taiwan Plant Extract
2018-06-29 Jen-Yu Chang, a fourth year student from the NPUST Department of Wood Science and Design was interested in finding a new way to combat mosquitoes in a manner that is more natural and closer to home. She took her idea to Professor Hong-Lin Lee of the NPUST Graduate Institute of Bioresources, and working together, they developed a natural mosquito repellant ointment based on a plant variety native to Taiwan and commonly found in Pingtung, the “Clausena excavata Burm. f.” The newly developed repellant was put head to head repellant made from Cajeput Oil, a product that is currently on the market and which often contains additives. The results showed that the effectiveness of new natural product was superior to that Cajeput oil based alternative. Jen-Yu Chang entered her research results at the 2018 National College and University Student Practical Project Competition and Achievement Exhibition in the “Biotechnology, Medicine and Agriculture” category and was selected as the winner in the runoffs. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai made some context to the research, stating that “the Department of Wood Science and Design course design actually includes physics, chemistry and biology. In addition to using principles of physics to create furniture and design spaces, there are practical plant chemistry courses which emphasize concepts of circular economies. It is about helping students give back to society. Jen-Yu Chang product was able to stand out in a national competition, and it will also be able help reduce dengue. It is an outstanding performance, worth commending.” Clausena excavata Burm. f. is a plant native to Taiwan and is mostly found on central and southern parts of the island, most abundantly on the Hengchun Peninsula in Pingtung. The plant is often used by Taiwan’s aboriginals, and its rich scent is able to keep mosquitos at bay. Jen-Yu Chang shared her motivations, stating that in Taiwan “most essential oil products on the market are imported. My original idea was to use local plants to create a Made in Taiwan product. Adding the scent of Clausena excavata Burm. f. has a good repellant effect on mosquitos, so this set the stage for the research. Its my aim to develop a better formula and work towards getting it mass produced”. Under the direction of Hong-Lin Lee water distillation methods were used on the Clausena to extract its essential oils, then bees wax, sweet almond oil and other richly scented repellants including lemongrass, lemon tart, mint and cajeput were added to create a mosquito repellant with natural ingredients. Experiments proved its effectiveness. When comparing the new concoction with the Cajeput Oil at 5% concentration, the effectiveness of the new product lasted 7 minutes longer, totaling 20 minutes. At a 10% concentration, the effectiveness was more than twice as long, lasting 37 minutes. When the Clausena repellent was used at a concentration of 30%, it had an effectiveness that exceeded 2 hours. In order to confirm the mosquito repellent properties, gas chromatography mass spectrometry was used to conduct an analysis. The essential oils of the Clausena excavata Burm. f. were shown to have a high concentration of Safrole (55.39%), the fumes of which are toxic to insects. Additionally, it contained β- Caryophyllene (2.83%) and Terpinolene (15.50%), both of which are quite effective in warding off Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos. For modern health conscious consumers, natural ingredients are increasingly sought after and chemicals are avoided whenever possible. This current research devoted to developing a totally natural mosquito repellent using essential oils from Clausena excavata Burm. f should be able to give consumers peace of mind while adding new value to this native plant species of Taiwan.
100% of Solid Edge Students Get Certified
2018-06-29 As part of the effort to keep in step with the automation and smart technology associated with “industry 4.0” and train students in production automation and computer assisted design, the director of the Department of Industrial Management, Yi-Jau Huang, made the decision to introduce Solid Edge 3D mechanical design software to the faculty and encouraged professors to take part in the Siemens Solid Edge teachers training course offered by Caidex Technology. This resulted in the first offering of a Solid Edge training course to students at NPUST in 2017. A total of 84 students enrolled in the course and after completing their training, 100% of them successfully earned Solid Edge international certification. Things were taken a step further when, on June 27, 2018, Caidex and the department jointly established the Solid Edge Authorized Training and Certification Center at the NPUST Industrial Management Simulation Factory. NPUST president, Chang-Hsien Tai, College of Management dean, Shu-Chu Liu, and Caidex Technology general manager, Daniel Yu, were present for the opening ceremony. President Chang-Hsien Tai made some remarks, stating that “the future will be a time of cross-domain integration. This current cooperative relationship not only allows students to be able to learn skills in backend management but also extends to mechanical operations and smart vehicle integration of the front end. These can be used for the development of technological agriculture and then passed on to the agriculturalists. Along with efforts made by faculty members in the College of Engineering and College of Management, we hope that students will take advantage of these learning resources and that the university will equip them with high levels professionalism and technical knowhow – this will be very beneficial for them when they seek employment in the future” Cadex’s Daniel Yu explained that “Cadex Technology has obtained Siemens professional certification and has been commissioned by them to acts as their general agent within Taiwan’s education market. Cadex has been working hard to help Taiwan’s universities and colleges with industry related upgrades so that students can access better technical training and get certified – and hopefully this will mean that they will be picked up for employment immediately after they graduate. Students who are certified also will have the opportunity to be recommended to Siemens, Cadex or to our clients for employment. In Germany, the largest agriculture equipment manufacturers are also using Solid Edge, and so, we are encouraging students at NPUST to learn the software well, get certified and create their own visions for their futures”.
The Class of 2018
2018-06-23 Always long awaited, yet always coming sooner than expected; on the morning of June 23rd, NPUST students gathered into the Shu Yun Hall to take part in the ceremony and receive their diplomas of graduation.This year, those ascending the stage to receive diplomas included 17 PhD students, 484 graduates and 1870 bachelors. These were joined by another 183 students from the extension education master’s program, 352 from the extension education bachelor’s program and six two-year certificate program students. In total, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai represented the university in issuing 2912 diplomas of graduation, representative of programs in 43 departments or faculties and six colleges. President Tai offered words of encouragement to those present, stating that “when encountering difficulties in life, keep a calm attitude. Face your challenges or changes in environment; boldly face your frustrations or failures and you will become a person of perseverance!” Aaron Chen, the popular host of the “Plungon” television show was also invited to encourage the students with stories of his experiences growing up. Aaron, who eventually would go on to win the Golden Bell Award, explained that 13 years ago, when he made his debut, he was only earning 2500 NTD (80 USD) a month. Looking back he said “only by bravely venturing out can you know your own limitations. Don’t be afraid; face your fears. Behind those fears lies something beautiful.” Mr. Chang Kao-Lang made the ceremony a little more special as well. At 80 years of age, Mr. Chang was there that morning to collect his master’s degree. Back in 1979, Mr. Chang qualified himself for a position at the Ministry of Transportation, serving as a technical staff member, technician, section chief, and special committee members before retiring --- only to establish the Chang Kao Lang Architectural Firm. In 2016 he then enrolled for studies at NPUST successfully bringing them completion this year. The diploma he was issued was not enough, however. The university also decided it would be appropriate to granted him the “Diligence Award” as a testament to his dedicated learning and model behavior. At the end of the ceremony, the president of the Alumni Association represented the graduating students to share some sentiments on graduation and asked members of the NPUST Ping Feng Guitar Society to sing a farewell song to those departing the university for their next adventure. The guitarists were then joined by Professor I-Chun Chiang on the piano to play the school anthem while the graduating students tossed their caps high into the air, marking the close of the ceremony and the beginning of a new journey.
Youth Training Results Exhibition and Tai-Thai Smart Agriculture Workshop
2018-06-22 Following a three-month training and internship program organized for students from Thailand by the NPUST Department of Biomechatronics Engineering, the students and faculty had an opportunity to share some of their achievements at the “Overseas Youth Short-Term Training Results Exhibition” hosted by the department. The exhibition was held in conjunction with the “2018 Taiwan-Thailand Smart Agriculture Workshop”, which kicked off with an opening ceremony on the morning of June 22nd. Students and faculty from the College of Engineering and representatives of businesses providing internships opportunities were present for the affair. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai, Dr. Wanrat Abdullakasim of Kasetsart University, and Dr. Sunate Surbkar, Dr. Sunate Surbkar and Dr. Choatpong Kanjanaphachoa of Maejo University were also in attendance. President Chang-Hsien Tai made some remarks, stating that “NPUST and Thailand share a close friendship. And now these professional agriculture equipment training courses are allowing for students from Maejo University to pick up new agriculture knowledge and while taking part in internships in related businesses. This way, students can strengthen both their theoretic knowledge and practical skills. They can take knowledge they’ve acquired on Taiwan’s smart agriculture back to their home country and help maintain friendly relations between Taiwan and Thailand.” After the opening ceremony the guests relocated to the Agriculture Machinery Training Center to view Taiwan’s latest models of agriculture equipment, including a red quinoa shucking machine used by farmers in the Pingtung area and a smart UAV crop duster. The guests also had an opportunity to try out the aerial spraying and aerial imaging equipment. The Thai students who took part in the three-month training course attended internships at a number of different companies. Many of the students expressed their hopes that after returning to Thailand they would be able to continue working with the Thai branches of the companies they interned for. During the “Smart Agriculture Workshop” discussions were held on topics related to Smart Agriculture and International Programs for Industry-Academia Collaboration. Several professors from NPUST and Thai universities offered presentations on topics related to the promotion of “5+2 Industrial Innovation” and “Thailand 4.0” industry development framework. There were more than 50 professors from Taiwan and Thailand present at the workshop and it was an excellent opportunity for participants to gain more in-depth understandings of regional development potential and create new opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
Social Work Students Learn, Serve, and Win
2018-06-22 In order to hone their skills in designing and executing social work projects, each year fourth-year students in the NPUST Department of Social Work are required to do an internship at a social service or welfare agency. Breaking up into teams, the students use the theory they have learned in the classroom to develop projects and activities which can make the lives of the people they are serving better. This year, 15 groups from the department conducted half-year internship projects in a variety of social work and welfare agencies from November 2017 to May 2018. After the internships were completed, the teams were enrolled in the National Technical University Social Work Project Design Competition to put their work up against other teams from around the country. When the results came in, four of the NPUST teams found themselves among the medalists, including the team directed by director and professor of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Hua-Chin Ho, which took home a gold medal in the Family (and Women’s) Welfare category; the teams under the direction of Dr. Ke-Mei Chen and Dr. Jenny Tseng, which won silver medals in the Senior Welfare category and Community (and Multi-Ethnic) Welfare category, respectively; and the team directed by Dr. Chun-Tsai Hsu, which won 3rd place in the Child and Youth Welfare category. The seven members of the gold medalist team included Chang Hao-Ya Chang, Ci-Hui Yin, Chia-ling Chen, Chia-Mao Hung, Hsiao-Chiao Huang, Chian-Hui Chen, and Jing-Hua Yu In their oral presentation, the team explained that while serving at the Eden Foundation, they used “EDEN” as an acronym to develop their philosophy of “Enthusiastically” participate, “Depend” with assurance, “Empathize” with others and meet the “Needs” of the people being served. The project had three main areas of focus, the first being “traveling unimpeded”, which gave physically or mentally disabled people an opportunity to ride on public transportation and get familiar with features designed for disabled people. The second one was “Stress -- Let it go”, in which emotional soothing teams used body-mind-and-spirit integration activities to provide emotional support to family members and primary caregivers of disabled people. The third was “disabilities don’t disable love”, where the group travelled to three aboriginal tribes to share information and help people understand more about physical and mental disabilities and related policies. The team leader, Chang Hao-Ya, believed that the reason they were able to stand out from so many competitors and win the competition was probably the result of their main trajectories being on target – that is why the students who took part in the projects were able to meet the needs of individuals, families and society. During the internship activities, the students were expected to be able to overcome the challenges and difficulties that they encountered. Through the process, they were able to grow and gain valuable experiences that they will be able to cherish throughout their entire lives.