Message from the president

Now it is the midyear again, time really flies, isn't it? ECTI is busy connecting to various international organisations during this time.  We are hoping to join effort with another one or two organisation before the end of this year.  So far, I think we are doing well in this front.  I will keep you inform when we have concrete results.

It is also the time for new and veteran researchers alike to apply for research fund.  For this purpose, I have some observation.  I always ask myself in the past (even today), how I reconcile two goals in research that seem to be apart? One goal is to do a research that follows the trend of the world. Another goal is to do a research that is useful to my country now.  I still ponder about it, hence I will not offer any answer right away.  However, the more I hear that research agencies want to fund the research that has "economic value" (that can be used now), the more I think, "Is this the right way to develop research in Thailand?".

In my experience, the "value" of research has both short term and long term.  I am good at digital design (such as special purpose computing engines), but my main successful research is "optimization".  My latter work has been very successful and I got a good number of publications. Now, I still design computing engines from time to time (you can google "natural graphics npu" to sample my work). It is part of my belief that this is an important skill that I must preserve for future generation of engineers.  I never be able to "commercialise" my design and I gave up that thought long time ago.  However, as luck may have it, recently a Thai company needs such a design.  We collaborate on a commercial project. The moral of the story is, how can I know what kind of research work will be "salable"?  A simple answer is "it is impossible to know".  So, my long term is very long.  It took me 25 years to finally land some commercial design. If we do have good collaboration with industry the time will be shorter.

My advice to young researchers is that no one know what kind of research is applicable in a short time (research is a risky business).  So, if you want to make impact to society you do both kinds, short term and long term.  Don't worry too much about the slogan "from the shelves to the department store".  Person who said that don't know it better than us!

Prabhas Chongstitvatana

President

 

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