2nd Mahidol University on-site lab workshop held in Kyoto (25 November 2019)

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On 25 November, the second Mahidol University (MU) on-site laboratory workshop took place on KyotoU's Yoshida and Katsura campuses.

The previous workshop was held 8 March 2019 at MU, Thailand, to mark the opening of the "On-site Laboratory at Mahidol University for Educational and Research Collaboration in Environmental Studies", established by KyotoU's Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) and MU's Faculty of Engineering . The facility is locally managed under Kyoto University's on-site lab program.

The 25 November workshop was attended by 15 MU officials, including Dr Watcharra Chintakovid, assistant to vice-president, and Dr Pornchai Chanyagorn, vice-dean for process quality development at the Faculty of Engineering , along with 29 KyotoU faculty.

The program was comprised of a plenary session and four parallel sessions: "environmental engineering", "chemical engineering", "agricultural sciences", and "public health".

The plenary session was held at Research Building 5 on the Yoshida campus and live-streamed to Katsura. After self-introductions by all the participants, GSGES Professor Shigeho Fujii outlined the history and other aspects of the on-site laboratory initiative, the relationship between the two universities, and the agenda of the workshop. Both sides then presented on their ongoing research and education in environmental engineering, chemical engineering, agricultural sciences, and public health. This offered an invaluable opportunity for face-to-face discussion among the participating researchers, who represented diverse areas of study between four departments each of KyotoU and MU: the former's schools of global environmental studies, engineering, agriculture, and medicine, and the latter's of engineering, public health, environment and resources studies, and interdisciplinary studies.

The parallel sessions then followed, with the "environmental engineering" and "chemical engineering" sessions commencing on the Yoshida campus. Participants toured experimental rooms for two GSGES laboratories — "Environmentally-friendly Industries for Sustainable Development" and "Environmental Infrastructure Engineering" — before moving to Katsura.

On the Katsura campus, the "environmental engineering" group — including Dr Nawatch Surinkul, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and three other MU representatives — toured C Cluster facilities under the guidance of the Graduate School of Engineering (GSE) Associate Professor Fumitake Nishimura and additional faculty. The tour featured a visit to the experimental room for environmental engineering laboratories, and an opportunity to observe instruments for analyzing environmental samples. The MU officials were then joined by six KyotoU faculty, including GSE Professor Minoru Yoneda, for a meeting where the two sides introduced their research and discussed possible collaborations.

The "chemical engineering" group, which included Lecturer Sakhon Ratchaha and one other MU representative, toured three A Cluster laboratories — Surface Control Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering, and Separation Engineering — with GSE Professor Noriaki Sano guiding. The pair then sat down for a meeting with eight KyotoU faculty.

In the "agricultural sciences" session, Associate Professor Watchara Chintakovidand and three other MU representatives visited the Graduate School of Agriculture's five laboratories — Biomaterials Design, Forest Ecology, Crop Science, Forest Resources and Society, and Forest Hydrology — where KyotoU researchers outlined their projects, describing the experiments involved and the analytical equipment used. The two sides then exchanged views on possible collaborations in research and education, including the establishment of double-degree master's programs.

The "public health" group included Lecturer Arthit Phosri and three others from MU, who were led by the Graduate School of Medicine's Associate Professor Koji Harada and visited two facilities: an experimental room for the Department of Health and Environmental Science s and the  biospecimen bank for chemical research . This was followed by a meeting between the MU officials and eight KyotoU faculty.

The third workshop is scheduled to take place at MU from February to March 2020, which is anticipated to further advance the partnership between the two universities.

Briefing during the plenary session

In the experimental room for environmental engineering laboratories

In the experimental room for public health laboratories

After the plenary session

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