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JGSEE Faculty Member to Receive an NRCT Invention Award 2009 for a Prototype of Smoke-Haze Forecast System

The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) has recently announced Asst. Prof. Dr. Kasemsan Manomaiphiboon to receive an Invention Award for his developed prototype of Smoke-Haze Forecast System for Upper North Thailand. Dr. Manomaiphiboon is a full-time faculty member at the JGSEE in Atmospheric Science and Modeling Group (ASMG) of Environment Division. His invention won the award in the area of Science, Technology, and Industry (Physical Science and Mathematics category), and it is among a total of 23 inventions selected from 189 in all categories, submitted for consideration.  His prototype deals with the commonly-known regional smoke-haze problem in Upper North Thailand, which typically recurs in the drought season each year due to the increased presence of forest fires and agricultural-residue burnings. The haze problem negatively affects tourism, business, air and land transportation, and, most importantly, public health. There are several dimensions of the problem, raising a number of questions needed to be answered, e.g., causes, prevention, mitigation, impacts, and public warning. The last question formed the motivational basis of this work. Dr. Manomaiphiboon started to sketch the concept and design of the prototype and its essential components in April 2007 following the news of Upper North Thailand very hard-hit by smoke haze during March 2007, and the development grew more sophisticated along its course, eventually with several thousands of computer code lines written by himself. The prototype is fundamentally to estimate how smoke haze is going to be elevated due to fires and burnings, and this information can be useful to the public and to whom it may concern. A small research grant was kindly given by the NRCT to support the work in September 2007. An experimental forecast operation of the prototype was also conducted during March-April 2008 and its results were broadcast through a website set by the Pollution Control Department (PCD). In receiving this award, he is thankful to the JGSEE, the NRCT, and the PCD for their kind support, and a number of students, researchers, and colleagues at the school and other universities and organizations, as well as his family, for their assistance, advice, and encouragement. The official awarding ceremony will be held in the National Inventor Day 2009 Expo at the Muang Thong Thani Convention Center, Nonthaburi, in early February 2009.

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