The Faculty of Engineering of Chulalongkorn University hosted the Asian Engineering Student Network (AESN) Camp 2015 last January 19-24, 2015 at Bangkok, Thailand. There were a total of 50 delegates from different Asian countries: Philippines, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos. Among those fifty, 10 came from the Philippines –five from both DLSU and UP Diliman. BS-MS in Civil Engineering student Kenneth Elevado along with four other engineering students were chosen to represent the Gokongwei College of Engineering of DLSU.
The primary goals of the AESN Camp 2015 were to establish student network among the Asian engineering students in anticipation to the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community this year. Also, the camp was designed to enhance the personal development and the leadership skills of the participants and as well as to provide valuable education and cultural experience for top engineering undergraduate students from Asia and Oceania.
Some of the activities of the camp include various lectures regarding Collaboration for Innovation and Education 4.0, Creative Design Thinking and Leadership Workshop, city and cultural tours and a plant visit to SCG. Additionally, the delegates were randomly grouped into eight, which also served as their groupings in the group project. The group project, on the other hand, required each group to present an innovative solution to a certain problem (natural disaster, health problems, waste management, smartphone addiction, transportation problem, waste pollution, energy problem and an accident) using the methodology of creative design thinking.
With the informative lectures, creative workshops and innovative presentations, the delegates were challenged to step out of their comfort zone and to interact with the other delegates especially in their preparation for their presentations. The delegates experienced sleepless nights in order to come up with an innovative solution. But beyond those fun and educational activities, the DLSU delegates also had the chance to experience and learn the culture of other Asian countries, develop their leadership and public-relation skills and most importantly, apply the Expected La Sallian Graduate Attributes by being an effective communicator and reflective lifelong learner through socializing and interacting with all the international delegates and valuing the purpose and essence of the camp as well. In addition, the delegates were able to learn how to manage their time wisely especially that only 2 days were allotted for the preparation of their presentations, handle stress, which at the same time developed their well-roundedness, and communicate with other nationalities considering language barrier.
Currently, the universities involved in this year’s AESN Camp are planning to conduct such activity annually at different Asian countries. Additionally, they plan to extend their network and include other schools from other countries to expand the connection between these countries considering the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community. In this way, it is believed that more students would have the chance to experience this kind of international event and that the organizers would enhance the activities for a better Asian Engineering Student Network Camp.