|King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang|
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL for short) is a leading research and educational institution located in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1960 in Nonthaburi province as a telecommunications training center under the technical support of the Japanese government, the center was later named the Nonthaburi Institute of Telecommunications. Following moving to a new location at Lat Krabang near Suvarnabhumi Airport, the campus has since become King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. Engineering began at KMITL in 1960 with a course on telecommunications engineering. In 1982 KMITL launched the nation's first doctoral degree in electrical engineering and awarded a doctorate in electrical engineering to Dr. Chom Kimpan, who also earned the first Doctor of Engineering granted by a Thai university. More recently KMITL has partnered with Thailand Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a joint effort among Tokyo Institute of Technology, Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency, KMITL and SIIT to offer international Master's degree in Automotive Engineering. From its inception up to present day, KMITL has grown over time to comprise seven faculties and affiliated research centers.
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) is located in Lat Krabang (approximately 30 kilometres east of the center of Bangkok), and is a university with seven faculties: engineering, architecture, agricultural technology, science, industrial education, agricultural industry, and information technology. Since a technical cooperation agreement (August 1960-August 1965) was reached between the Japanese and Thai governments in 1960 to establish a telecommunications training center in Thailand, Japan has continued the cooperation over the course of 40 years. During which time, the telecommunications training center became a three-year specialty college in 1964, and then in 1971 joined two other colleges and rose to the ranks of a school named King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology. Part of the school moved to Ladkrabang campus, and architecture, industrial education/science, and agricultural technology departments were established. On the Japanese side, Tokai University (1977), Tokyo Institute of Technology (1992) and University of Electro-Communications (1997) concluded academic exchange agreements with the school, and also assisted with such things as the expansion of the university, human resource development and research promotion as part of second phase (December 1978-August 1983) and third phase (April 1988-March 1993) “Project-type Technical Cooperation” projects. Also, a Japanese corporation funded scholarship system was established (1971), as well as practical factory-based training (1977), a construction scholarship system (1989), etc. Thus, actual cooperation activities involving linkages with industry as well as things like the start of an invitation program to the Institute for Posts and Telecommunications Policy, a human resource exchange with a public institution, were also promoted. Furthermore, through the “Partners Project” (1992), making use of a satellite launched by Japan, joint experiments in applied technology (areas such as distance medicine, distance education, computer networking, satellite broadcast, and joint development of a human resource training system using distance education, as well as the implementation of a continuation project called the “Post-Partners Project” (1996).
Besides this, as a way of making use of the developed skills and facilities for the benefit of other developing countries, JICA has been active in supporting KMITL in organizing “third-country training” in information technology (started in 1978 and presently known as JTTP, the Japan-Thai Partnership Program, and having completed 11 programs with 13 courses established), dispatched KMITL professors to the engineering department of National University of Laos in neighboring Laos, and supported KMITL’s acceptance of research students from universities in Laos.
At present, KMITL has been recognized as one of the top science and technology universities in Thailand. One may conclude that this is because of: 1) Japan’s long-term and ongoing assistance; 2) comprehensive assistance to the university, industry and each level of government; 3) the significant influence of graduates of study abroad programs in Japan who had been sent for study in Japan at an early stage of the project. In the future, one can expect continued development through KMITL’s participation in the Southeast Asia Engineering Education Network (SEED-NET) and strengthening of linkages with other higher education institutions.
The KMITL Research Center for Communication and Information Technology (ReCCIT) project is the fourth “project-type technical cooperation” project implemented at KMITL, and has as its goals strengthening the center’s research and development capacity and the graduate school program. The implementing partner organizations are the Ministry of University Affairs and KMITL, and on the Japan side a Japan-based advisory committee (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications or formerly Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications; Tokyo Institute of Technology; Tokai University) has been established. Through dispatch of experts in information technology, technical training of overseas participants, provision of research and educational equipment, the goals of the project are being pursued. These are: 1) establishment of an information technology research center; and 2) strengthening of graduate school programs in the field of information technology at the Center and other research labs that are the targets of the cooperation. Through these research facilities, KMITL maintains creative partnerships with government and private industry
The I/UCRC in Data Storage Technology and Applications or iDSTA is formed under partnership between KMITL and NECTEC under the Thailand's Hard Disk Drive Competitiveness Enhancement Program. The aim is to increase research and development activities in this area and to enhance cooperation among researchers and between the researchers and the HDD industry in Thailand.