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  25 January 2011

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 saw the opening of the 2nd WIETE Annual Conference on Engineering and Technology Education in Pattaya, Thailand. The four-day conference, was again held at Seri Place Hotel Pattaya. Around 20 research and development papers were presented by international academics, mostly WIETE individual members and representatives of partner institutions of the WIETE. Although a small meeting in terms of the number of papers presented, the Conference again attracted the most loyal and dedicated of colleagues and friends. Despite the current global economic difficulties, they continue to demonstrate their support of the WIETE and its global effort by attending and presenting their research and development papers.

The WIETE Director, Professor Zenon J. Pudlowski, opened the Conference with an introductory address in which he presented the Conference’s aims and objectives. He pointed out that by choosing the theme Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, the intention was to facilitate discussion and personal interaction between academics involved in engineering and technology education from different cultural backgrounds. It was envisaged that this theme would allow authors to identify and present the best collaborative programmes and projects, as well as examples relevant to the main theme. Addressing issues of concern and discussing the status and quality of global engineering education are also important objectives of the Conference.

Two opening address were presented during the opening ceremony. The first address, Global crisis in engineering education, was given by Professor Adinarayana Kalanidhi, the Vice-President of the Commonwealth Science and Technology Academy for Research (C-STAR), Chennai, India, and President of the WIETE International Academic Advisory Committee (WIETE-IAAC). The second address, Enriching student learning experiences in remote laboratories, co-authored by Dr Zorica Nedic, Dr Jan F. Machotka and Professor Andrew Nafalski of the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, was presented by Prof. A. Nafalski, also a Vice-President of the WIETE-IAAC.

The Annual Meeting of the WIETE was held on the first day of the Conference, with Prof. Z.J. Pudlowski, outlining the activities and accomplishments of the WIETE in 2010. The last day of the Conference saw an address delivered by Professor George Metaxas, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Technological Education Institute - Piraeus in Piraeus-Athens, Greece, and Director of the first WIETE satellite centre, the Mediterranean Centre for Engineering and Technology Education (MCETE). During his presentation, he enlightened participants on the current status and development of the MCETE.

Several important outcomes critical to the continued effective operation of the WIETE and its global network of engineering and technology educators resulted from the Conference. The Conference Proceedings, including 16 peer refereed papers, were published on CD and are now available on the WIETE Web site.

Prof. A. Kalanidhi (left) and Prof. Z.J. Pudlowski are pictured at the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd WIETE Annual Conference on Engineering and Technology Education in Pattaya, Thailand.