Annual ATPAC-MOST-OHEC-IPST Conference
Marriott Suites on Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, FL
January 26-28, 2018

Building Human Intellectual Capital for Thailand 4.0


“Thailand 4.0” is Thailand’s new economic model aimed at driving the country out of the middle-income trap to become a high-income nation. It aims to do so by elevating the economy that currently depends on heavy industry, export promotion, and strong dependency on foreign direct investments to a high value-based economy that is driven by innovation. At the heart of an innovation-driven economy is the ability of the country to produce sustained innovations to fuel the new engines of growth in the chosen strategic areas. In the case of Thailand 4.0, Thailand has chosen to pursue five growth engines, namely: Biotechnology to fuel food and agricultural industries; Biomedical technology to drive health and wellness quality and the related burgeoning businesses in healthcare; Smart devices, robotics, mechatronics, sensors and AI technologies to support the human’s pursuit of superior and smart livings (society), and highly- automated intelligent manufacturing (industry); Embedded technology and big-data science and technology to quicken the deployment of IoT-related technologies and to drive the  development of smart cyber-physical systems for the 21st century digital economy; and finally Service and design technology to power creative, cultural and high-value services industries. To achieve those aspiring goals, it is clear that Thailand must develop its own stockpiles of intellectual capitals to draw upon to drive innovation necessary to fuel the five engines of growth. At the core of intellectual capitals is the human intellectual capital, those who are capable of producing real innovations that matter.


In addition to galvanizing and organizing existing groups of potential innovators, Thailand should adopt a more focused model of human intellectual capital development, going forward. It should be technology-centric, concentrating on enabling technologies that will fuel the five engines of growth. And it should be team-based, since solutions to complex technological problems often require expertise from various disciplines working in a well-coordinated unison toward a common goal.


The principal aim of this conference is to provide a forum for exploring strategies for developing human intellectual capital for Thailand 4.0 in the next decade. The conference will focus on four key enabling technologies required for Thailand 4.0, namely: smart sensors, energy storages, big- data science and technology, and water resources management and technology. A key group of participants will be US-based post-graduate (particularly doctoral) students currently conducting research in the four areas identified above. They are potential contributors to Thailand’s intellectual capitals required for Thailand 4.0. The specific objectives in bringing this group of participants are to let them learn more about Thailand 4.0, to let them share ideas that they deem worth sharing, and to create an environment conducive to networking and team forming among these potential intellectual contributors to Thailand 4.0.

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Program Schedule


January 26, 2018







Registration of Conference Participants


Background and Objectives of the Conference by Methi Wecharatana,
ATPAC President


Keynote Address: Building National Growth Engine
through R&D and Innovation by Air Chief Marshall Prajin Juntong Ph.D.,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice



Special Address: Roles of Research and Innovations in the Private
Sector in National Strategy for Research and Innovations and Thailand 4.0:
by Wilaiporn Chetanachan, Ph.D. Director-Corporate Technology Office,
Siam Cement Group (SCG)



Coffee Break


Strategy for Building Human Capital for Innovation for Thailand 4.0

  • MOST’s Strategy and Program, Prof. Soranit Siltharm, M.D. Permanent Secretary,
    Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)


  • Thailand National Research and Innovation Strategic Plan,
    Dr. Sirirurg Songsivilai M.D.,
    Secretary General, National Research Council of Thailand


  • OHEC’s and MOE’s Strategy and Program, Suphat Champatong, Ph.D.,
    Secretary General for Higher Education


  • IPST’s Strategy and Program, Pornpun Waitayangkoon D., President,
    The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST)


  • NSTDA Strategy for Building Human Intellectual Capital for Thailand 0:
    Charnwit Tribuddharat, M.D. Acting Vice President, National Science and
    Technology Development Agency


  • A Holistic Approach to Building Human Capital in Thailand
    (Rattikorn Hewett, D., ATPAC Board Member)


Moderator: Nisai Wanakule, Ph.D.; Rapporteur: Chuleeporn Changchit, Ph.D.


  • Lunch Break


Ideas Worth Sharing: Smart Sensors

  • Why Smart Sensors? Vira Chankong, Associate Professor, Case Western
    Reserve University

  • Ittipon Jirapan, U of California, San Diego: “Wearable
    Electrochemical Sensors”

  • Nichanun Sirasunthorn, Wake Forest University “Utility of N-mustard Analogs
    of S-Adenosyl-L-methionine as Biochemical Probes of DNA Methylation”

  • Kattika Kaarj, U of Arizona, “Microfluidic Paper-based Analytical Devices for
    Drug toxicity screening and Viral Detection”

  • Pattipong Wisanpitayakorn, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, “Biosensors from
    Molecular Motors and Cytoskeletal Filaments”

Moderator: Vira Chankong; Rapporteur: Praprut Songchitruksa and
Natchanon Amornthammarong


Coffee Break


Ideas Worth Sharing: Data Science and Technology

  • Why Data Science and Technology? Rattikorn Hewett, Professor,
    Texas Tech University

  • Data Analytics with application in healthcare and business, Wanpracha Chaovalitwongse,
    21st Century Leadership Chair Professor, of Arkansas

  • Smart Money: How Data and Machine Transform Banking,
    Thadpong Pongthawornkamol, Ph. D., Principal Visionary Architect,
    KASIKORN-Technology Business Group

“Smart Money:
How Data and
Machine Transform

The future
of Banking

  • Sorathan Chaturapruek, Stanford University “Designing Information Systems to
    Support Human Decision Making”

  • Sarun Seepun, Claremont Graduate University, “Personalized Assistant for
    Health-Conscious Grocery Shoppers—Mobile Application”

  • Khetpakorn Chakarawat, UC Berkeley, “Single Molecule Magnets for High Density
    Data Storage”

    Moderator: Rattikorn Hewett; Rapporteurs: Wallapak Tavanapong, Gaviphat Lekutai


  • Special Address: Banking in the Next Decade,
    by Somkid Jiranuntarat, Chairman of KASIKORN-Business Technology Group


  • Dinner and Introducing DPST and Olympic students


January 27, 2018






Keynote Address: Cultivations
of Human Intellectual Capitals for Thailand 4.0: Ecosystems and Career Paths
by Dr. Pornchai Matangkasombut, M.D., Ph.D., Professor,
former President of Mahidol University


Ideas Worth Sharing: Energy and Energy Storages

  • Why Energy Storage? Methi Wecharatana, Professor,

    New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Advances in Energy Storage Technologies, Sirivatch Shimpalee,

    Research Professor, University of South Carolina


  • Carbon Capture Technology, Jak Tanthana, Research Chemical Engineer,

    Energy Technology Division (ETD), RTI International, Durham NC


  • Kittikun Songsomboon, Cornell U, “Breeding of Switchgrass:

    Learning to Improve Yields of Energy Plant Biomass”

  • Weerapha Panatdasirisuk, Penn State U, “Ultrafine Electrospun Fibers

    to Make Energy Storage Cloth and Health Sensors”

Moderator: Methi Wecharatana; Rapporteur: Sirivatch Shimpalee


Coffee Break


Ideas Worth Sharing: Water Management and Environmental Technologies

  • Why Water Management and Environmental Technologies? Nisai Wanakule,

    Lead Water Resources System Engineer, Tampa Bay Water


  • Advances in Water Management and Environmental Technologies for Thailand 0, Eakalak Khan,

    Walter B. Booth Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University;

    Natchanon Amornthammarong, Scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric

    Administration, and Uni. of Miami

  • Nudthawud Homtong, U of Nevada, Las Vegas,“The Mekong River Basin including

    the Nam Phong Basin: Study of Impacts of Climate Change and Hydropower

    Development and Shallow Groundwater Potential Evaluation”

  • Sirapop Klinkachorn, Hoderness School, “Alternative Method of Water Leak

    Detection using In-pipe Robot to Measure Pressure Gradient”

  • Warittha Panasawatwong, MIT, “Evaluating Trends and Impact Factors of

    Southeast Asian Monsoon”

Moderator: Nisai Wanakule; Rapporteur: Mongkol Mahavongtrakul




ATPAC-Thai Research Experiences for Thai Undergraduates Sirivatch Shimpalee,
Research Professor, University of South Carolina



Going forward:

  • Takeaways and a viewpoint from students (Sorathan Chaturapruek, Stanford;

    and Nudthawud Homtong, U of Nevada, Las Vegas)

  • Viewpoint from ATPAC: Present and (Proposed) Future ATPAC Activities

    (Methi Wecharatana)