Dr. Thaweesak "Hugh" Koanantakool
National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC)
National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)
Thaweesak received his Bachelor and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University, UK in 1975 and 1980 respectively. He had a number of industrial contracts in the UK, including a major research contract with the Admiralty UK, before he started his government service career in Thailand.
In 1981, he taught in Electrical Engineering at Prince of Songkla University. In 1983, he joined Thammasat University as the Associate Director of the Information processing Institute for Education and Development, as well as teaching in MIS in Thammasat.
In 1983, he co-founded Telbiz Company Limited, an innovating company in Thai Language system for computer and electronic mail. In 1987, he co-founded the Advanced Research Group Company Limites (AR Group), a major publisher and business research on IT subjects in Thailand.
Since 1994, he became a Deputy Director of NECTEC with a mission to lead the Network/Software Technology laboratories. The Network lab pioneered the Internet in Thailand by developing the largest academic and research network known as ThaiSarn. In 1995, he co-founded the first Internet service provider, Internet Thailand Company Limited. The ISP is the largest ISP in Thailand, with 45% market share by IP numbers managed in 1998. Internet Thailand Company, or INET, went for the initial public offering in the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2001.
During 1996-1997, Thaweesak led SchoolNet Thailand Program and the Information Superhighway testbed project at NECTEC. SchoolNet is the backbone of the school informatization program which provide free Internet access across the Kingdom since 1997. The project was also a diving force to encourage online local content production and teachers' training on the use of Internet in schools. In addition, SchoolNet inspired the development of "Linux SIS", or School Internet Server package, using Thai language user interface, to make sure that the Internet servers are affordable in Thailand.
During July 1998 - June 2002, he was appointed the Director of NECTEC to lead the national body for R&D programs in IT. He also served as the Executive Secretary of the country's IT planning body: the National Information Technology Committee (NITC). NECTEC, through the secretariat office of the NITC, has completed the National ICT Master Plan (2002-2006) in September 2002. In October 2002, Thaweesak was re-appointed as the Director of NECTEC.
He was bestowed the royal decorations twice by His Majesty the King. in May 2000, he received the decoration The Companion of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, and in May 2004, he received the decoration The Knight Companion of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao .
Thaweesak published more than 12 books and 170 papers and articles (in Thai and English).