Industry Mentors Lead Students to Innovate

The USAID BUILD-IT & Dow Vietnam STEM Program connects industry and young engineers.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – July 24, 2020 – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance and the Dow Vietnam STEM Program hosted their first industry mentorship showcase; the eProjects Innovation Showcase. The showcase saw six student teams demonstrate their industry-linked prototypes to an audience of students, faculty, and industry professionals from across Vietnam. During the eProjects program which was facilitated by BUILD-IT, students, faculty, and professional mentors from Dow Vietnam developed unique solutions to Dow Vietnam’s sustainability, recycling, and warehouse management challenges.

Warehouse iOT by Ho Chi Minh University of TechnologyThe six project teams developed their prototypes through regular consultation with Dow Vietnam mentors. The professional mentors reviewed each team’s progress, shared their technical expertise, and worked together to build prototypes. Since March, the teams worked online and on campus to build and test their prototypes. During eProjects, the students gained professional skills in technical communication, team collaboration, and project management, are better equipped with soft skills needed to succeed in advanced science and technology careers.

The Innovation Showcase celebrated projects with the most effective messaging, teamwork, and onstage presentations. Student team from HCMC University of Technology won two prizes for the “most effective solution” and the “best teamwork”, the University of Danang – University of Science and Technology was awarded with the “best presentation prize. Mr. Toan Nguyen, Dow’s Country Logistics Lead shared, “Despite social distancing, my team met online, in cafes, and in the classroom to complete our technical designs. Then we built a miniature warehouse to test our Smart Warehouse device. I was proud to see my students build something that could add value to Dow’s operations. This is a real industry experience”.

The team from the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology won two awards for most effective solution and best teamwork, while the Da Nang University of Technology team pocketed the best project presentation award.

Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan - General Director of Dow Vietnam is delivering remarks at the Innovation ShowcaseFor the third consecutive year, USAID BUILD-IT and Dow Vietnam joined forces to support industry-linked applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and professional pipelines for students across Vietnam. Dow Vietnam has leveraged over $100,000 to provide more than 700 opportunities to students to gain the confidence and capacity to lead engineering and social innovations. Presenting eProjects Awards, Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, General Director of Dow Vietnam shared, “One of our sustainability goals is to engage our employees’ passion and expertise to advance the well-being of people and the planet. This creates an environment of social responsibility both inside and outside the workplace, improves our employee experience and advances Dow’s ambition to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science companies in the world.”

The USAID BUILD-IT Alliance is a public-private partnership founded to support world-class engineering programs for work-ready graduates in Vietnam. Implemented by Arizona State University, the Alliance has over 16 industry partners and 11 Vietnamese university partners. BUILD-IT has leveraged over $6 million in industry contributions to support its university partners to revamp their curricula, adopt new learning technologies and projects, further develop their teaching and leadership capacity, and achieve international accreditation. These transformations assure that Vietnamese graduates develop both the technical and soft skills needed to drive Vietnam’s growth for decades to come.

Six student teams demonstrate their industry-linked prototypes in the following projects:

Warehouse iOT by Ho Chi Minh University of Technology: Digitalization of warehouse management: this project aims at building an affordable warehouse management system that can support warehouse operations process automatically by using barcode scanning.

Smart Water Trash Collection by Danang University of Technology: collect plastic waste, automatically check water quality and save energy as much as possible. This system is the combination of mechanical engineering, automation control and information technology parts.

Eject by Can Tho University: A machine will help to reduce the amount of plastic waste by recycling plastic wastes from abandoned bottles, mistaken 3D printed products, etc. to recyclable items like printed plastic rolls, hanger, plastic toys, etc.

Real-time Transportation Management Solution (RT-TMS) by Ho Chi Minh University of Technology and Education: an IoT application system to constantly monitor goods constantly in real -time and examined freight condition.

Good Behavior by Lac Hong University: Project “Good Behavior” aims to raise people’s awareness of plastic pollution and change their ways of using plastic to protect the environment.

The Electrostatic precipitator by Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City: a system that removes small particles of dust from the air flow through the filter chamber, on the principle of ionization and separates dust from the air as they pass through the area with a large electric field.

About the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people progress beyond assistance. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Please visit or follow for more information.

By modernizing technology and engineering higher education in Vietnamese universities, the BUILD-IT Alliance is helping Vietnamese model universities produce graduates with the skills that Vietnam’s increasingly sophisticated economy demands. BUILD-IT leverages diverse government, industry, and academic partners to directly link higher education to the needs of the private sector. The Alliance builds strategic leadership skills to help the university’s own leaders advance university autonomy, improve program and instructional quality, and form lasting partnerships with the private sector. BUILD-IT supports women’s participation in technology and engineering programs through leadership forums, academic initiatives, and scholarships. For more information, visit:

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University was ranked the #1 Most Innovative University in America by U.S. News & World Report for six consecutive years since 2014. With over 100,000 students, ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

About Dow Vietnam
Dow has been present in Vietnam since 1995. The Company today counts around 110 employees at three main locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and its manufacturing site in Dong Nai Province, serving customers in the consumer care, infrastructure and packaging industries. Dow is a partner in Vietnam’s economic growth by adding more value to the country’s advanced manufacturing industries, providing more innovative and sustainable solutions to help Vietnam address the challenges and a caring member of the Vietnamese community. For more information, please visit