The USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program connects industry and young engineers

Ho Chi Minh City, 24/03/2023 – Today, 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 Program hosted their fourth industry mentorship eProjects Innovation Showcase. The showcase witnessed 7 student teams of 37 students demonstrate their industry-linked prototypes to an audience of students, faculty, and industry professionals from across Vietnam. During the Engineering Projects (eProjects) program which was facilitated by BUILD-IT, students, faculty, and professional mentors from Dow Vietnam, Rockwell Automation, First Solar, Benkon and Gcalls, students developed unique solutions to address challenges in water treatment, transportation, customer services, recycling process, model-based design, logistics process, and digital learning assessment.

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. All teams have begun developing and testing their prototypes online on campus and at Dow's manufacturing facility as of October 28, 2022. eProjects connect students and industry to find innovative solutions for real-world problems. Students can also develop project management, teamwork and communication skills while applying newly acquired knowledge, giving them the best workplace experience available in eProjects. Through attentive coaching, they are better able to acquire the technical and soft skills required to be successful in advanced science and technology fields.

In the Innovation Showcase, students build solutions in partnership with their mentors to address real-world business and societal issues. They also produce project posters that share their own experiences with project conception, prototype design, and goal attainment. All teams have tried their best to prepare and also present their products, which made all industry mentors and faculty leads proud and catharsis. Teams from the following universities won prizes for their innovations

  • Best poster by onsite participants' evaluation and The most effective teamwork: HCMUT team 2 (mentored by Rockwell Automation Vietnam)
  • Best poster by program panel of judges' evaluation: HCMUT team 1 (mentored by First Solar Vietnam)
  • The most effective solution prize and The most effective Presentation: Can Tho University (mentored by Dow Vietnam)

Dow Vietnam STEM Program - Engineering Projects

Dow Vietnam Employee mentors a student team to solve the challenges

Dow Vietanm STEM Program - Most Effective Teamwork Award

All industry mentors and academic leads were enthusiastic to see students participating in a real industry experience and to provide real value to industry while observing and coaching students throughout the program.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Dow Vietnam STEM Program and the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance have teamed up to offer undergraduate students throughout Vietnam industry-related applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research. BUILD-IT is being implemented by Arizona State University. Dow maintains its collaboration with BUILD-IT to encourage Vietnamese students to be innovative and enterprising while also achieving environmental goals to cut down on carbon emissions, eliminate plastic waste, and close the loop. Applied projects not only foster technical expertise but also the 21st-century abilities of graduates to succeed in both the workplace and in life. Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, Dow Vietnam’s President, shares, “At Dow, collaboration and working together lead to innovation to provide products that bring value to our customers. We strongly encourage our employees to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address the challenges. By creating a linkage between the industry and university, we are bringing young innovators the opportunity to solve the issues with real-world applications.”

The USAID BUILD-IT Alliance is a public-private partnership founded to support world-class engineering programs for work-ready graduates in Vietnam. Implemented by Arizona State University, the Alliance has over 16 industry partners and 11 Vietnamese university partners.  BUILD-IT has leveraged more than $8.1 million dollars 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 Vietnam’s growth for decades to come.

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