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

Friday, March 24, 2023 (08:30 AM – 12:00 PM) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – 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 fourth industry mentorship eProjects Innovation Showcase. The showcase saw 7 student teams of 37 students 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, Rockwell Automation, First Solar, Benkon and Gcalls, students developed unique solutions to address challenges in water treatment, transportation, customer services, recycling process, model-based design, logistics process, and digital learning assessment.

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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. All teams have begun developing and testing their prototypes online on campus and at Dow's manufacturing facility as of October 28, 2022. eProjects connect students and industry to find innovative solutions for real-world problems. Students can also develop project management, teamwork and communication skills while applying newly acquired knowledge, giving them the best workplace experience available in eProjects. Through attentive coaching, they are better able to acquire the technical and soft skills required to be successful in advanced science and technology fields.

In the Innovation Showcase, students build solutions in partnership with their mentors to address real-world business and societal issues. They also produce project posters that share their own experiences with project conception, prototype design, and goal attainment. All teams have tried their best to prepare and also present their products, which made all industry mentors and faculty leads proud and catharsis. Teams from the following universities won prizes for their innovations.

  • Best poster by onsite participants' evaluation and The most effective teamwork: HCMUT team 2 (mentored by Rockwell Automation Vietnam)
  • Best poster by program panel of judges' evaluation: HCMUT team 1 (mentored by First Solar Vietnam)
  • The most effective solution prize and The most effective Presentation: Can Tho University (mentored by Dow Vietnam)

All industry mentors and academic leads were enthusiastic to see students participating in a real industry experience and to provide real value to industry while observing and coaching students throughout the program.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Dow Vietnam STEM Program and the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance have teamed up to offer undergraduate students throughout Vietnam industry-related applied projects in innovation, entrepreneurship, and research. BUILD-IT is being implemented by Arizona State University. Dow maintains its collaboration with BUILD-IT to encourage Vietnamese students to be innovative and enterprising while also achieving environmental goals to cut down on carbon emissions, eliminate plastic waste, and close the loop. Applied projects not only foster technical expertise but also the 21st-century abilities of graduates to succeed in both the workplace and in life. Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, Dow Vietnam’s President, shares, “At Dow, collaboration and working together lead to innovation to provide products that bring value to our customers. 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.”

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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 $8.1 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.

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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.

For more information, visit:

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 and mobility 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 eight consecutive years by 2023. 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.