Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority signs multi-million Baht deal for 40 staff scholarships and research at AIT

Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority signs multi-million Baht deal for 40 staff scholarships and research at AIT

In a multi-million baht deal, the Asian Institute of Technology has partnered with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) to offer master’s degree level scholarship opportunities for up to 40 PEA staff over the next four years. The education and research partnership was formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at a ceremony on June 16th at the headquarters of PEA in Bangkok.

According to the agreement signed by the Provincial Electric Authority Governor Mr. Adisorn Kiatchokewiwat, and AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust, PEA will provide 27,374,000 Baht for up to 10 members of its staff per year to study in the Energy Field of Study at AIT's School of Environment, Resources and Development. The government enterprise under the Thai Ministry of Interior will also cooperate in an alliance with AIT for research and technology development for practical applications and transfer spin-offs. PEA staff selected for scholarships will study for 22 months at AIT.

For its part, the Asian Institute of Technology will also support partial tuition fees of up to 13,440,000 Baht for PEA staff to enroll at AIT, starting with the initial batch in the August 2008 semester. The institute located north of Bangkok agreed to liaise with its partner universities and research institutes in Europe and North America to find opportunities for PEA students to conduct research during inter-semester breaks. PEA will fund international research field visits for staff scholarship recipients.

Officials expressed confidence this innovative partnership will benefit both parties. For PEA, the tie-up with AIT forms a major part of its effort to develop the skill and capacity of its employees to improve the implementation of its energy services, and to work in international environments by engaging in high-level research and development. PEA will get all students’ research outputs, officials said.

At the ceremony, Governor Adisorn Kiatechokvivat called the partnership with AIT a key investment for the long term development of PEA’s professional human resources, especially in the field of energy engineering education and research. AIT President Irandoust echoed these sentiments, telling a large delegation of 25 senior PEA executives that AIT was impressed by PEA’s ambition in terms of its commitment to increasing the professional, experiential and technical skills of it staff, and of its desire to increase the quality of its service to Thailand and the region. Calling its energy program a key academic strength of AIT, President Irandoust added that the institute looked forward to translating its research outputs into viable practical applications for use by PEA, via this partnership agreement.

Established in 1960, the Provincial Electricity Authority is primarily concerned with the generation, distribution, sales and provision of electric energy services to the business and industrial sectors as well as to the general public in provincial areas of Thailand. The authority has expanded electricity supply to 73 provinces of Thailand, covering 99% of the country’s geographical land area.

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