Affiliation and year: School of Engineering, IMAC-U Course, 3rd year
An IMAC-U student Sirinda Khurewattanakul is spending her 3rd year at Tohoku University. Having moved from Bangkok Thailand, she has gone through the first two years acquiring a solid foundation in liberal education on Kawauchi Campus.
Now, she mainly stays on Aobayama Campus to focus on experiments and specialized classes, and says that the new environment is very different from previous places. “Before, almost all students at lectures were international students, but now I get to know quite a few Japanese students of my own age through a laboratory, which is nice” she says. She belongs to Prof. Kosuge’s system robotics lab, where there are more female students than at other laboratories. Joining the department’s field trip let her get to know the other female students well. Asked about the Japanese students, she says “they are always very helpful, whether male or female. If handouts are in Japanese, they explain them for me.”
To our surprise, Sirinda’s first choice for her field was not robotics at the beginning. “I was drawn to the computer field, but rather than just dealing with information and serial numbers, assembling stuff and machines was more fun, I found,” she said. In fact, her knowledge of computer and programming helps her very much when working on robots and mechanisms. As is often said, everything is of use! “I still need to know more about programming for controlling mechanics…” She seems to have been, and still is, on the right truck.
IMAC-U students actually participate in a program called Team-Based Engineering from sophomore year, in which Sirinda studied about silicon dioxide. There, doing experiments with a team was the main purpose, and she had to wear special white cover-alls, and get air-showered to become completely clean to prevent the experiments from being contaminated. So students can do fully-fledged experiments from an early stage. According to her, some other laboratories let their student participate in an international competition, and they were able to fly to the US where the competition was held.
While being super busy with her school work, Sirinda thinks of what she will do in the future. “After receiving a bachelor’s degree, I want to go for a master’s degree, then work at some Japanese company in Thailand.” She has a clear picture of her future self. Though a student on an English degree course, she speaks Japanese quite well. Thanks to the new environment with many Japanese students, her abilities are improving more and more. With brilliant equipment and tools added to her competence, Sirinda will be able to become an outstanding female engineer.
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