MINE 2013: Microbiology Students Class of 2010 Excursion to Thailand

July 1, 2016 8:50 am

Last year, on 9-14 September 2013, 43 students of Microbiology Study Program class of 2010 had an excursion or also called Microbiology International Excursion (MINE).In this excursion they went to various universities, companies, or industries that has microbiology as their basic of technology, application and development in Thailand. This excursion is held annually as their seniors, class of 2008 who went to Singapore and class of 2009 who went to China. Thailand, which well known as Country of White Elephant, has been chosen as their destination because of its similarity profile with Indonesia as agricultural country. Thailand is one of industrial countries in ASEAN that has developed pretty advanced in microbial technology, hoped that this excursion could bring more insight which applicable for Indonesian people, especially for ITB microbiology students.

Ekskursi 2010-1

Excursion Participants: Microbiology’10

Group of MINE 2013 consisted not only microbiology students 2010, but also representative students from ITB Biological Engineering, Agricultural Engineering and Forestry Engineering Study Program. There also came lecturers of ITB School of Life Science And Technology, such as Mrs. Pingkan, Mrs. Dea, and Mr. Indra. This group departed from Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta to Bangkok, Thailand. They were divided into 3 flight, several participants went in the morning by using Air Asia, and the others in the afternoon by using Air Asia and Tiger Mandala. It took approximately 3 hours from Jakarta to Bangkok. Mia, one of BM’10 students  said, “Atmosphere in Bangkok is not much differ with Indonesia, but it’s tidier, cleaner, and there is no garbage at all, even the street vendors also maintain the cleanliness of their merchandise, you can say that Bangkok is cleaner version  of Jakarta”

On the first day, after their group arrived in Bangkok, they make a visit to the Faculty of Agro-Industry, Kasetsart University. It’s interesting to find that students in this university wore black and white uniforms as their identity. Kasetsart University has chosen to be “should be visited” place because Kasetsart is a national research center that belong to government of Thailand. It has been determined to be “the world’s leading research university in the field of agriculture, food, technology, industry and innovation” by the Commission of High Education in Thailand. With this vision, Kasetsart is ready be a world-class universities in the near future. When group of MINE 2013 came to Kasetsart University, they welcomed warmly by the people there. Moreover, Kasetsart also introduced a variety of technology tools such as highly sophisticated fermentation called Fermentor which supposed to be very expensive.

From Kasetsart, the group went on a visit to Microbiology Faculty of Science Mahidol University. Mahidol University (MU) is a university that was initially focused on the health sector and the first medical university in Thailand. However, Mahidol now has expanded into other areas, such as the natural sciences to liberal arts. Different with Kasetsart which moving from science to industrial applications, Mahidol moves from science to health applications. Mahidol also has a scientific research center as the result of collaboration with Japan. Based on what BM’10 Muti has said, while the group visit Mahidol, they were highly accepted with friendliness. The group was also given a presentation of stem cells by an expert professors.

On the second day, group of MINE 2013 visited Faculty of Sciences called King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). KMUTT  is a university that focus on teaching and doing research in technique science and technology with services in industry engineering. In KMUTT, MINE 2013 were given exposition about topics that has been done and will be done by professors and researchers there. KMUTT laboratory has similar aspects with ITB’s laboratory, but they are more sophisticated. In KMUTT, The Student Board of Microbiology Students Association, “Archaea” ITB get a chance to mingle and meet with several students there. This KMUTT was the last university that MINE 2013 visited in Thailand and then they went to visit several companies that applying the science of microbiology in Thailand such as Yakult.

In Thailand, MINE 2013 also visited Bio-Science Department that similar to the ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) in the United States of America.  This Bio-Science Department is a biological resource center that focuses on the acquisition, authentication, production, preservation, development and distribution of microorganisms called Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research or TISTR. TISTR has culture collection called TISTR Culture Collection which consists of more than 2058 non-pathogenic microbial collection, include algae, bacteria, fungi and yeast and this culture collection is intended for application fields of agriculture, industry and the environment. The main services TISTR Culture Collection is such as supplying culture, the deposit of microorganisms, preservation and identification of strains, strain isolation and purification as well as training services. Various research also conducted by TISTR in the agriculture, such as biofertilizer TISTR, insecticide, Fungicide, plant hormones, and soil conditioner, while research in the environmental field is such as biocontrol alga blooming in freshwater and utilization of  microalgae in the food industry and paint industries. TISTR’s technology is classified as highly developed and sophisticated enough that could be compared with the science of technology in the Western world. Even, Mrs. Pingkan as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs in School of Life Sciences and Technology, also as Lecturer in Microbiology said that later microbiology students should be able to have Kerja Praktek or do their thesis in TISTR. That’s sound very interesting and hopefully will be realized soon by the students of microbiology in the future.

In addition to their excursion, MINE 2013 also have walked around Thailand and bought some souvenirs at Hongnam before went back to Indonesia. MINE 2013 excursion not only brought a lot of knowledge and new technologies for the participants, especially the microbiology student, but also an insight of the university culture in Thailand that doing research of something that could be applied in their society. Hoped that these various insights can be implied in Indonesia.

(Author: Ratna Eka P)

* This article was also published in the monthly Bulletin “Hi, Archaea!” In September 2013 the third edition by Angga Hidayatullah