A Very Fruitful International Research Collaboration with Prof. Kim Irvine from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 

Visiting Prof. Dr. Ranjna Jindal, Program Director of International PhD Program in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University successfully cultivated a very fruitful international research collaboration with Prof. Kim Irvine from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore resulting in completion of 3 masters students’ studies within 2 years.  The research team of 4 masters students – Ms. Shwe Sin Ko Ko from Myanmar (under Norwegian Scholarship), Ms. Kanha But from Cambodia (under ASEA-UNINET Scholarship), Ms. Anuva Bhowmick from Bangladesh and Mr. Thaw Tar from Myanmar (under Norwegian Scholarship) carried out research at Cha-Am Municipality Wastewater Treatment Plant from February to September 2015.  Group research work included: “Study of Dissolved Oxygen Dynamics using Mathematical Modelling and GIS”, “Investigations of Effluent Quality”,  and “Mathematical Modelling of Effluent Quality using PCSWMM” in the Cha-Am Municipality Wastewater Treatment Ponds System; as well as “Mathematical Modelling of Wastewater Collection System in Cha-Am Municipality using PCSWMM”.

This collaboration kicked off with the first brain storming session in February 2014 with Prof. Kim Irvine, Prof. Ranjna Jindal and the 4 students.  This was subsequently followed by numerous meetings and discussions, field visits to the research site at Cha-Am, both on-site and off-site experimental work, and analyzing the results. The findings were reported in 4 presentations made at the 3 International Conferences.  Finally, 3 students have completed their Masters studies under this research collaboration within 2 years following their enrollment at Mahidol University in August 2014.

The tremendous input and support from Prof. Kim Irvine included: his very frequent visits to Mahidol University from his parent institution - NTU, Singapore; training the students through PCSWMM Workshop; lending the 2 expensive on-site continuous water quality monitoring devices (YSIs 6920 datasondes) that were installed in the 2 treatment ponds at Cha-Am; co-supervising the 4 students along with the Major Advisor - Prof. Ranjna Jindal; co-advising the 3 students on their research papers publications in the Proceedings of the 3 International Conferences as well as in their theses writing, and finally, and serving as the committee member of the theses defense exams of 3 students.

Indeed a very fruitful international research collaboration that has already produced 4 international conferences papers, 2 articles submitted for publication to one international journal, and completion of 3 masters studies.  The fourth student has one more academic semester to finish his 2 years masters study program.