Kittichai wattananikorn was born in Lampang, northern Thailand in 1948. He is married to Dr. Sopa (nee Sugunasil) and has two daughters, Promporn and Ong-On. After graduating with a doctoral degree in Mining and Engineering from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, UK in 1978, he returned to Thailand and taught at Chiang Mai University as a lecturer, and later became assistant professor, associate professor and full professor in 1996. During his career, he was appointed Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the Faculty of Science, and Vice President of the University.
Prof. Kittichai retired from Chiang Mai University in 2008. He was honoured with the Professor Emeritus status in 2009 and later became the Chairman of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University’s Council, the Chairman of National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand's Executive Board, the Vice Chairman of Higher Education Commission. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education Standards, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.
After retirement, due to his past experiences as a descendant of teak foresters, he wrote several books about British teak foresters in northern Thailand, including a book in English entitled “British Teak Wallahs in Northern Thailand from 1876-1956” published by White Lotus, www.whitelotuspress.com.