Chatchai Piyasombatkul

’82, P’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, '25; Chairman, Metro-Ply Group

Mr. Piyasombatkul has been working at Metro-Ply Group, a family-owned business, since 1982. Metro-Ply has since grown from a manufacturer of plywood to a full range of 12 wood panel products from 27 facilities in 9 different locations with more than 5,000 employees. Beyond the main wood panel businesses, Metro-Ply has diversified into 3 other industries: forestry, sustainable energy, and chemicals. In addition to the 5,000 hectares of sustainable forestry, Metro Forestry also promotes and supports local farmers to conduct sustainable plantations according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Group also founded Metro Green Energy, which is a carbon footprint reduction initiative that currently generates 40 MW of electricity through solar power. The group has multiple production facilities in Thailand, Myanmar, and Australia.

Mr. Piyasombatkul also founded Piyasombat Group, which owns hotels, office buildings, apartment buildings, and other properties in the central business district of Bangkok. In 2021, Mr. Piyasombatkul acquired a publicly listed real-estate developing company, Nirvana DevelopmentPCL, which specializes in luxury residential and branded condominiums. From 2009-2011, Mr. Piyasombatkul was appointed to be Vice Minister to the deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. From 2014-2019, he was appointed to be a member of The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand.

As a dedicated and passionate alumnus and a 3-time Columbia Engineering parent, he has served as a member of the Board of Visitors to Columbia Engineering for almost 18 years in total. He has been appointed President of the Columbia University Alumni Association of Thailand (CAAT). His many years of volunteerism and support granted him the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association’s prestigious Samuel Johnson Medal in 2023, which recognizes distinguished achievement from an Engineering alum in fields beyond engineering and applied science.