KKU and the safety technology for an ideal ‘Great Place to Live’

Utilization of appropriate technologies have now been an important part in a big organization’s development today in order to increase operational efficiency and enable personnel to use the technologies that will accommodate changes in all aspects under the competitive environment both in business and official organizations that have to meet the set indicators. Development with determined directions and policies that respond to the present world will lead an organization to achieve its missions. Khon Kaen University has applied the KKU Transformation policy, by striving for progress and sustainability by managing changes under the 3 key goals, namely, People, Ecological, and Spiritual, which cover the operational missions of an academic institution and will lead the organization towards the ultimate vision as a leading world class research university.

The living, welfare and safety of staff and students are one key policy of KKU, since the root of an organizational development arises from the strength that in turn is derived from human resources, who, then should be taken care of and provided with convenience and safety until they feel confident about the caring system. This is under the ‘Great Place to Live’ strategy.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Sompong Sitthiprom, Assistant to the President for Safety revealed that the policies given by the administrators and the university council has been put into effect under the lead of Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of KKU. The KKU Transformation policy is implemented in 3 fields: HR Transformation, Education Transformation, and Digital Transformation. The safety strategy is under the Ecological goal, that is, the university is pleasant to live. There are strategies that support KKU as a Great Place to Live, which include implementation in safety precautions. Khon Kaen University sees the importance in designing the system that accommodates the infrastructures, which is done by means of operating the Big Data. In this regard, the Big Data us divided into the following major components such as space and parking lots, that are now under implementation and are under the ongoing Zoning Project.

It is not only the safety of students and staff that the University sees as important, people who visit or come to the campus will also be taken care of. However, to make the work more efficient and answer the many physical changes, including traffic, space management and the growth of adjacent communities; the university is now adopting new technologies to respond to all these. The CCTV camera system, with 1200 cameras, has been installed at buildings, activity areas, traffic routes to guard for people and official assets. A number of cameras are installed with AI, or smart cameras that can identify the person and match this with the database. In addition, there are 25 Emergency Call Points, which receive report or calls for emergency cases, including the ones at Nongkhai campus. Next year, a Smart Gate Project will be operating, which has been approved in terms of budget.

“The Smart Gate” uses the database and digital technology in management to screen vehicles entering and leaving the university. The technology records the data of a vehicle such as the number plate, color, brand, that will help identify the owner. It is possible to trace the car, its route and parking place. Primarily, we need to build the database. This year is the beginning of the project and the committee members are having meetings to set the time frame and procedures. We hope the Smart Gate Project will compile the data of vehicles and people entering the campus and their use of parking spaces or activities. The results can be used in the management for more convenience of those contacting the different parts of the university. This includes applications that provide data about vacant parking places. People and staff entering and leaving the university have to register with us so that our officers can identify the vehicles that are not in the database. All of these are for the safety of everyone,” Asst. Prof. Dr. Sompong said.


Asst. Prof. Dr. Sompong added that in implementing the Smart Gate Project, the university sees the benefits in research of lecturers, for the database will be big and can be researched and developed. The use of technologies to support the operations will be from research by personnel of the university and in AI as well as external technologies that emphasize efficiency and breakeven of the budget. “We have seen the works in other institutions and compared the weakness and strengths for our own system.”

Mr. Kasem Phuthamma, Director of Division of Safety as the implementor of the policy in safety said that the university sees the importance in development of the work related to safety and have adopted modern technologies in many parts. There are 210 staff members of the division, who work in the safety unit, traffic unit, investigation and news reporting unit, protection and disaster mitigation unit, and safety technology unit. Most of the staff members are university employees whose qualifications are not very high, and thus the skills in the use of modern equipment and technologies are to be trained. However, with the KKU Transformation policy, they will be trained in the use of equipment and technologies required. The division is acquiring more tools such as computers from other organizations for the staff to use so that they are able to use the applications in the emergency reports. All staff members are keen to learn.

The university provides chances for the staff to conduct study trips so that they can learn about the work in other places and can build their own network. The university has continuously allocated budget for implementation of various projects. Next year, the division will recruit one more information officer who can work on digital technologies. The structure of the organization has been divided so that the job related to safety through the use of technologies can be managed.

“The Smart Gate Project shows the vision of good developmental work for the safety of people, students, and personnel with the use of modern technologies that are facilitating tools for officers who perform the duty. The success of the project still needs cooperation from KKU personnel by registering their data for the database. This has to be made understood among all staff members of KKU,” Mr. Kasem said.

Khon Kaen University has been ranked among the front-line institutions which are accepted by all in terms of academic and research qualities, instructional qualities. The university does not neglect the vision to make the place pleasant to work and to study. This is done under the university’s goal in Ecological and the ‘Great Place to Live’ and ‘Best place to work’ strategies that reflect the concrete attention in this aspect.

News: Udomchai Supannawong

Photos: Division of Safety and Protection



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