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We are honored that Thailand is the host country for one of the Institute’s international field sites, because it is viewed by the surrounding countries of Southeast Asia as a model for future development. Thailand has international environmental programs that train people from Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, and Laos. Many of the environmental/energy related problems experienced in Thailand today are, or will be, experienced in other developing/industrializing countries. The Thailand Field Site itself is hosted by King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT).

As comfort with the Thai lifestyle and language proficiency increases, UNC students, along with their Thai student colleagues, often take trips to Hill Tribe villages, or go on mountain rafting and elephant treks. Some even visit Laos and Malaysia, or Thai rural communities that have not changed very much in the past century.


The program runs from early January to late July (spring semester). UNC students return to North Carolina in time to start the fall semester.

Award Opportunities

Please visit the Institute’s Awards + Scholarships page for more information on these awards


Students will take the following courses for UNC graded credit:


  • ENEC 241: Energy and Culture Seminar for the Thailand Field Site


  • ENEC 395: Research in Environmental Science and Studies (3 cr)
  • ENEC 403: Environmental Chemistry Processes (3 cr)
  • ENVR 404: Life Cycle Life Cycle Assessment (3 cr)
  • ENEC 698: Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems (3 cr)
  • Energy electives – Students will select two from the following 3-credit hour KMUTT-JGSEE courses taught from January-May:
    Energy Management in Buildings; Environmental and Health Risk Assessment; Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy; Energy Technology. Students will earn 6 transfer credits for these courses.

The capstone research project will take place in June-July after the regular classes conclude.

Coursework for this field site would be suitable for students pursuing a concentration area in Energy, Environmental Infrastructure and Sustainability.

Students are strongly encouraged to have completed Chemistry 101 and Math 231 (or equivalent) prior to participation on this program.


  • UNC Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering Richard Kamens oversees the Thailand Field Site and leads the Capstone
  • Dr. Shabbir Gheewala, KMUTT, teaches the Life Cycle Analysis course

Published Student Research

  • Cameron Smith, John Burrows, Eric Scheier, Amberli Young, Jessica Smith, Tiffany Young, Shabbir H. Gheewala, Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of a Thai Island’s diesel/PV/wind hybrid microgrid, Renewable Energy, Volume 80, August 2015, Pages 85-100, ISSN 0960-1481, (
  • Keith A. Glassbrook, Adam H. Carra, Mark L. Drosnesa, T. Reade Oakleya, Richard M. Kamens, Shabbir H. Gheewalab. Life Cycle Assessment and Feasibility Study of Small Wind Power in . International Journal of Energy Research in press, December 2013.
  • Jacob Bukoski, Shabbir Gheewala, Ashley Mui, Mathew Smead, Surapong Chirarattananon. The Life Cycle Assessment of a solar-assisted absorption chilling system in Bangkok, Thailand. Energy and Buildings 72, 150-156, 2014
  • Noah Kitner, Shabbir Gheewala, Richard M. Kamens. 5. An Environmental Life cycle Comparison of Single-crystalline and Amorphous-silicon Thin-film Photovoltaic Systems in Thailand, d Energy for Sustainable Development, 17, 605–614, 2013.
  • David R. Bell, Thapat Silalertruksa, Shabbir H. Gheewala, Richard Kamens. The Net Cost of Biofuels in Thailand – An Economic Analysis, Energy Policy 39, 834-843, 2011.
  • Austin Milt, Aaron Milano, Savitri Garivait, Richard Kamens. Effects of 10% biofuel substitution on ground level ozone formation in Bangkok, Thailand, Atmos. Environ 43, 5962-5970, 2009.

Contact Information

For more information about the Thailand Field Site, please contact Richard Kamens at 919-966-7301 or