Exchange between Lund University and Jigme Namgyel Engineering College

On Easter Monday we arrived at Dewathang (Deothang) in south-eastern Bhutan. The flight via Delhi and Guwahati and a drive through north-east India made one a little sore on arrival.

The next day, on Tuesday, we started our teaching at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC). I talked about energy calculations for residential buildings and my colleague Dennis Johansson at Installation Technology, LTH in Lund, talked about ventilation. For three days we held a short but intensive course for a group of students at the school.

The days get pretty intense. When it’s not teaching, something else is going on. Visits to workshops, visits to farmers outside the city and nice dinners. The visit to the farmer was rewarding. In addition to the teacher exchange project, we also have a fruit dryer project together with universities in Bhutan and Nepal. On Friday, there were religious ceremonies at JNEC. Not that I understood what was happening, but it was definitely exciting. And we got nice food too.

On Saturday and Sunday we moved from Dewathang to Phuentsholing in southwest Bhutan. We had to take the long way with an overnight stay in Bumthang. 15 hours of driving per day can hardly be optimal in terms of safety. The driver must have been tired. And you hardly want a tired driver on Bhutan’s roads.

Once in Phuentsholing we began a second teaching session. Dennis talked about ventilation, control systems and energy in buildings when this time I ran a series of lectures and computer exercises about solar cells.

Teaching in Bhutan is not always easy. The students are talented and very interested in learning new things. They work hard and concentrate. However, communication with the students is difficult to say the least. Not because their English is not enough, but because they are so shy.

Nobody says anything, almost nobody asks anything. If I ask the question is everyone is done with the assignment, they either nod or remain silent. When I then go around the classroom to see if they are really done, it turns out that only half actually got as far as they said they had. Well, after a couple of days it got a little better. An occasional question was asked. The student who asked first received a prize, a bag of Jungle Roar. It is unclear whether the student appreciated the Swedish favourite.

After finishing the teaching, we headed to Thimphu for sightseeing. The next day I went up to Tiger’s Nest for the third time. Just as amazing every time. Bhutan is a stunningly beautiful country. Not least for a Scanian who is used to a much flatter landscape.

We have soon completed a longer series of teacher-student exchanges between RUB in Bhutan and Lund University in Sweden. In total, we have had two students from Sweden, four students from Bhutan, four teachers from Sweden and four teachers from Bhutan who completed an exchange.

However, this does not mean that we are in any way done. Now, of course, we want to carry out even more such exchanges. Hopefully thumbs up on our latest application regarding exchanges. Then we mix Kathmandu University in Nepal into the group. That we look forward to.

Henrik Davidsson, Energy and Building Design, Lund University

From left Mr Sangay Chedup, Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages; Dennis Johansson, Associate Professor; Dr Tshewang Lhendup, President; Henrik Davidsson, Senior Lecturer, and Samten Lhendup, Dean of Academic Affairs

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