Industry Mentors Lead Students to Innovate

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

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – October 11, 2022 - 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 third industry mentorship 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 Engineering Projects (eProjects) program which was facilitated by BUILD-IT, students, faculty, and professional mentors from Dow Vietnam and Rockwell Automation, students developed unique solutions to address challenges in aquaculture, emission reduction, plastic waste management, and warehouse management.

vietnam innovation showcase group

Over the last semester, eProjects teams developed their prototypes through regular consultation with professional mentors. The mentors set out the vision for each project, shared their technical expertise, and met with students to build their prototypes. Since April 2022, teams have started working both online on campus and at Dow's production plant to build and test their prototypes. Joining the eProjects, the students gained professional skills in technical communication, team collaboration, and project management. Through patient mentoring, they are better equipped to develop the soft and technical skills needed to succeed in advanced science and technology careers.

In the Innovation Showcase, student teams displayed their project posters which tell their own stories about project development, prototype design, and how to achieve set goals. Teams from Da Nang University of Science and Technology (DUT) and HCMC University of Technology and Education (HCMUTE) won their poster award for poster challenge round. The presentation round celebrated projects with the most effective messaging, teamwork, and onstage presentations. Student teams from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) and Da Nang University of Science and Technology (DUT) won prizes for the “most effective solution”, the “best teamwork”, and the “best presentation” prize for their Optimal Logistic System for Organic Recycling Project and Recyclability of Siliconized PET used in electronics industry Project. Specifically:

vietnam innovation showcase group

  • Most Effective Teamwork: HCMUT – Project: Optimal Logistic System for Organic Recycling
  • Most Effective Solution: HCMUT – Project: Optimal Logistic System for Organic Recycling
  • Most Effective Presentation: DUT – Project: Recyclability of Siliconized PET used in electronics industry
  • Best Poster by Judge Program: HCMUTE – Project: IoT Platform for Aquaculture
  • Best Poster by On-site Participants: DUT – Project: Recyclability of Siliconized PET used in electronics industry

Observing and mentoring students during the program, all industry mentors and faculty leads were excited to see students engaged in a real industry experience and to add real value to industry.

For the fourth year in a row, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance, implemented by Arizona State University, and partnered with the Dow Vietnam STEM Program, have joined forces to bring industry-linked applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research to undergraduates across Vietnam. With the sustainability targets to reduce carbon emission, eliminate plastic waste and close the loop, Dow continues the partnership with BUILD-IT to inspire Vietnamese students in innovation and entrepreneurship. Applied projects not only develop technical know-how, but they also cultivate the 21st-century skills that graduates need to thrive in work and life. Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, Dow Vietnam’s President, shares, “As a material science company and solutions provider, we strongly encourage our employees to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to address the challenges. By creating a linkage between the industry and university, we are bringing young innovators the opportunity to solve the issues with real-world applications.”

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 more than $8.0 million dollars in industry contributions to support its university partners in revamping their curricula, adopting new learning technologies and projects, further developing their teaching and leadership capacity, and achieving international accreditation. These transformations ensure that Vietnamese graduates develop both the technical and soft skills needed to drive Vietnam’s growth for decades to come.

About Engineering Projects (eProjects)
eProjects is an engineering innovation program during which faculty and industry mentors guide teams to address an industry-proposed problem statement by implementing a student-led project. In eProjects teams learn the hard and soft skills needed to become a professional engineer. Hard skills are like designing, building, and testing a prototype and soft skills are like team & project management.

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.

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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 is a caring member of the Vietnamese community. For more information, please visit

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University was rank #1 Most Innovative University in America by U.S. News & World Report for seven consecutive years by 2022. 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.