By Muhammad Suryanegara

In 18th-22nd July 2010, I was attending PICMET Conference in Phuket Thailand. I went together with Professor Miyazaki and Kato-san, one of lab members from Miyazaki Lab. After 6 hours flight, we arrived in Phuket airport on Sunday evening, then took taxi directly to Hilton Arcadia hotel. Phuket is a beautiful island in southern part of Thailand, being a main tourists’ destination. The island is not only well known for a beautiful sunset panorama, but also renowned for its local people’s hospitality.

In Monday morning, Prof Kocaoglu (President of PICMET) opened the conference. It was mentioned that this year’s PICMET has received around 700 submissions and 330 of them were accepted for inclusion in the conference. This year is also the first time that PICMET to be held in resort area. The session was started by a plenary talk by Dr. Pansak Sirirachatapong, Executive Director, National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Thailand. He gave a keynote speech explaining the STI Policy in Thailand and presenting the role of STI in Thailand’s GDP contribution.

In general, the conference has provided an opportunity to understand fruitful knowledge in the field of technology management. Many scholars reported their researches on various scopes, ranging from entrepreneur field to manufacturing management. They were coming from diverse institutions and countries. I met some scholars from Cambridge, Iran, Lebanon, Finland, Russia, India and even from Canary Island in Spain.

Even though the topics are rich and complex, but each of them has a deep research exploration. In one session, there was a paper proposed a method called “social mapping” to foster entrepreneurship capability of people in rural areas. On the other hand, several researchers in Thailand presented their works on surveying technological awareness of WiMAX technology.

Kato-san and I presented papers in Tuesday. Chaired by Professor Miyazaki, the sessions have taken place very well. Both presentations have invited several comments and questions from audiences, leading to new contacts with other scholars and PhD candidates from many countries. In other rooms, members from Osada-lab and Tanaka-lab also presented their researches in the field of Quality Management and Intellectual Property.

On Wednesday, I came to PhD colloquium, chaired by Prof Charles Weber from Portland State University. The first part was about discussion among PhD candidates, exchanging experiences on doing the researches. Prof Weber shared the vision of being PhD student. It is interesting to note his statement that persons who are doing PhD research should have a clear and firm motivation (because being a PhD student spends 20% of life-productivity !!).  In the second part, Prof Fred Philips, editor of Journal of Technological Forecasting and Social Changes gave presentation about how to publish research works on journal. In his talks, Prof Philips also delivered several important issues such as building collaborative work with other scholars. 

In short, I learned so much from this journey. I think the most significant one is the experiences of making contacts with international scholars from various countries. Attending a conference is not only about publishing our works but also about living in a strong research atmosphere. Lastly, I thank to Professor Kumiko Miyazaki, which has guided me on preparing the paper, and provided me a funding to come to PICMET. 

Khob-kun-Krub !! (Thai words for thank you).

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