On November 11, 2023, Mr. Stefan Karsten Krohn, Honorary Consul in Hamburg, together with Lady Barbara Riepl, former Honorary Consul in Munich, Federal Republic of Germany, traveled to Thailand and host a dinner in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the DESY Summer Student Program; the program is under the royal initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on the purpose of supporting opportunity to conduct research in Hamburg and Zeuthen, Germany for the bachelor's and master's level of Thai youth. The event was attended by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khunying Sumonta Promboon, member of NSTDA Governing Board, Prof. Dr. Sukit Limpijumnong, President of NSTDA, Dr. Chadamas Thuvasethakul, The Committee member and deputy secretary-general of The Information Technology Foundation under the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Ms. Ruetai Chongsrid, The Committee member and secretary of the DESY Summer Student Program and a group of alumni from the DESY Summer Student Program from the 1st to the 20th generation as welcome people.
The event was warm and welcoming. The alumni association organized a “Bai Sri” and water pouring ceremony to celebrate the consul's 60th birthday. Mr. Stefan Karsten Krohn delivered a message from Prof. Dr. Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the DESY Board of Directors, expressed congratulations and encouraged to all Thai summer students to be successful in your future career. In addition, he expressed his gratitude for the great kindness of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who continually supports science in Thailand, creating international opportunities and research programs for the next generation of Thai researchers. Her dedication and vision not only increased opportunities for the next generation of scientists but also strengthens confidence and ability in the Thai science community. He also appreciated and admired NSTDA for their important role in supporting and developing the joint summer student program between Thailand and Germany, which is important for promoting science and research for both countries, and finally he showed an appreciation for a dedication of Mr. Stefan Karsten Krohn who have made an important contribution in supporting the next generation of scientists.
Ms. Ruetai Chongsrid said that throughout the 20-year period (2003 - 2023) the DESY Summer Student Program have been significantly successful, there are 53 Thai representatives participating in the program and currently there are 31 alumni who are working in the University, research institutes and the private sector. For example, Dr. Satita Tapaneeyakorn, researcher at the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), Asst. Prof. Dr. Teerasak E-komon, Lecturer, Department of Genetics. Faculty of Science Kasetsart University and Deputy Dean of the Graduate School Kasetsart University, Dr. Nirawat Thammajak, Director of The Science and Technology Development Subdivision, Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TRSI).
In addition, there are 22 alumni who are continuing their studies, many of them have research that has created an impact on the economy and society of Thailand. For example, Asst. Prof. Dr. Teerasak E-komon, a graduate of the third cohort, has been studying genetics for many years. He has recently published a research paper on the extract of snail slime that has been used as an ingredient in cosmetics to help reduce wrinkles and stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. His research has been very successful in commercializing his research. He also received the distinguished lecturer award for teaching first-year medical students from Phramongkutklao College of Medicine this year.
Another outstanding alumnus from the fifth cohort, namely Dr. Pinit Kidkhunthod, Head of the Synchrotron Light Research and Application Department, Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization) who recently received the 2022 Outstanding Young Materials Researcher Award from the Thailand Materials Research Association for his research on developing techniques and studying the structure of advanced materials using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) from synchrotron light. Dr. Pinij also collaborating with the research team to develop an X-ray absorption technique for studying the structure of various advanced functional materials, such as catalysts for batteries in order to develop various innovations with the goal of extending research into real industrial applications. This is an extension of the knowledge that has been studied and researched for nearly a decade for the purpose of creating economic impact and value in the future as well.
Dr. Suttipong Wannapaiboon, a beamline scientist at the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization), a DESY Summer Student Program 2009 alumnus, expressed his feelings about the DESY Summer Student Program:
“Receiving the royal grace to participate in the DESY Summer Student Program is what I’m proud of, it was an important opportunity for me in my educational and professional journey as a beamline scientist. Activities in the DESY program helped me to develop my knowledge and skills in cutting-edge science and technology, to learn about different cultures from around the world, and to collaborate with other students from different countries. These experiences have prepared me to become a part of the mechanism that drives the country forward.”
Ms. Jidapa Lakronwat, a master's student in the international program in physics at the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, posted:
"I am proud to serve as a representative participating in the DESY Summer Student Program. Beyond acquiring academic knowledge, the experiences gained are integral in motivating me to delve deeper into research in this field, extending the potential benefits. Moreover, I have formed meaningful friendships through this program."
Before closing the event, the Honorary Consul expressed gratitude and happiness at meeting the working group and alumni. He emphasized that support goes beyond financial contributions, and witnessing the success and progress of all DESY alumni is the most meaningful way to convey appreciation.