Mentorship project helps to connect industry, young engineers

September, 28/2022 - 15:00
In the Innovation Showcase, students displayed their project posters which tell their own stories about project development, prototype design, and how to achieve goals.
Students take a photo with their poster at the showcase. — Photo courtesy of the ASU

HCM CITY — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance and the Dow Vietnam STEM Programme hosted their third industry mentorship eProjects Innovation Showcase in HCM City on Tuesday.

The showcase saw six student teams demonstrate their industry-linked prototypes to an audience of students, faculty, and industry professionals from across Việt Nam.

During the Engineering Projects (eProjects) programme, which was facilitated by BUILD-IT, students, faculty, and professional mentors from Dow Vietnam and Rockwell Automation developed unique solutions to address challenges in aquaculture, emission reduction, plastic waste management, and warehouse management.

Over the last semester, eProjects teams developed their prototypes through regular consultation with professional mentors. The mentors set out the vision for each project, shared their technical expertise, and met with students to build their prototypes.

Since April 2022, teams have started working both online, on campus and at Dow's production plant to build and test their prototypes. Joining eProjects, the students gained professional skills in technical communication, team collaboration, and project management. Through patient mentoring, they are better equipped to develop the soft and technical skills needed to succeed in advanced science and technology careers.

In the Innovation Showcase, students displayed their project posters which tell their own stories about project development, prototype design, and how to achieve goals.

Teams from Đà Nẵng University of Science and Technology and HCMC University of Technology and Education won the poster award. The presentation round celebrated projects with the most effective messaging, teamwork, and onstage presentations. Students from HCM City University of Technology and Đà Nẵng University of Science and Technology won prizes for the “most effective solution”, the “best teamwork”, and the “best presentation” prize for their Optimal Logistic System for Organic Recycling Project and Recyclability of Siliconized PET used in electronics industry project.

Observing and mentoring students during the programme, all industry mentors and faculty leads were excited to see students engaged in real industry experience and adding real value to industry.

For the fourth year in a row, the USAID Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance, implemented by Arizona State University, and partnered with the Dow Vietnam STEM Program, have joined forces to bring industry-linked applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research to undergraduates across Việt Nam.

With the sustainability targets to reduce carbon emission, eliminate plastic waste and close the loop, Dow continues its partnership with BUILD-IT to inspire Vietnamese students in innovation and entrepreneurship. Applied projects not only develop technical know-how, but they also cultivate the 21st-century skills that graduates need to thrive in work and life.

Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, Dow Vietnam’s President, said. “As a material science company and solutions provider, we strongly encourage our employees to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address challenges. By creating a linkage between the industry and university, we are bringing young innovators the opportunity to solve issues with real-world applications.”

The USAID BUILD-IT Alliance is a public-private partnership founded to support world-class engineering programmes for work-ready graduates in Việt Nam. Implemented by Arizona State University, the Alliance has over 16 industry partners and 11 Vietnamese university partners. BUILD-IT has leveraged more than $8.0 million in industry contributions to support its university partners in revamping their curricula, adopting new learning technologies and projects, further developing their teaching and leadership capacity, and achieving international accreditation. These transformations ensure that Vietnamese graduates develop both the technical and soft skills needed to drive Việt Nam's growth for decades to come. — VNS

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