Engineering is a fascinating subject; presenting opportunities to travel to anywhere on the planet and, ultimately, being able to study the influence of culture on the development of technology. I spent this summer travelling across Thailand – a diverse and (in some places) underdeveloped nation living through a tourism boom. Where tourism prospers, engineering is there to create the infrastructure necessary to cope with the sudden increase in urban movement. Having just graduated as an engineer, I suddenly realised the knowledge I have learned at university has completely altered the way I view the world. Every bridge, building, factory and railway has changed.
Arriving into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport it was evident that the tourism industry is putting massive strains on this impressive facility. To keep up with the demand, the Thai government must continue to reinvest in innovative solutions to these problems. Aeronautical engineering is fascinating to me as it is a well-established and mature sector that is in desperate need of engineers – especially with the ever increasing easy of travel.
With the initial intention of attending engineering symposiums, I quickly realised that a real life, practical experience was far superior. This would allow me to experience the city as it was designed – on foot and by Tuk Tuk. Visiting museums such as the Bangkok National Science Museum was interesting to see exhibitions outlining the history of Thailand’s traditional technologies; from pottery to metallurgy. Other Thai marvels included the impressive scale of temples and shrines to buddha. These cavernous spaces were only made possible through collective effort and a determination by ancient engineers who dreamed big! But these would not have been possible without funding from the kings that ruled at the time. This runs parallel to the current day; where the Thai government must choose which areas of this nation to re-invest in – a crucial decision if they wish to keep up with this tourism explosion.
Travelling abroad, my aim was to expose my knowledge to a practical environment and (hopefully) find interest in a sector that I can invest my future into. This trip has certainly opened my mind and has given me many ideas to play about with. Leaving University behind is a daunting task but by combining the knowledge learned with a bit of imagination it is now evident that, regardless of the scale, location or time, it is possible to create true engineering marvels for the world to enjoy. I think this trip was eye opening and I would like to thank the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund for helping me achieve what I set out to do.