NIBONG TEBAL, 24 February 2016 – A visit by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Collin Grant from the University of Bath (UoB), United Kingdom to the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Engineering Campus recently has presented various opportunities for academic and research cooperation especially in the field of engineering.
USM Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah said, UoB in scouting for a strategic partner in Malaysia to pursue research and academic collaborations.
“We are always ready and open to propositions for cooperation with any party in raising the standards in academics as well as in research,” he said.
He also expressed his hope for the smart partnership between USM and UoB to provide opportunities for collaborations in research and academics, which would surely favour USM in achieving the status of a Global University, especially with the efforts of the Engineering Campus.
Ahmad Farhan also hoped for the involvement of other parties at the Engineering Campus, in efforts to strengthen any cooperation initiative and to realise the aim of establishing collaborations in the field of engineering.
In the meeting, three groups of researchers presented their research profiles, which were the cluster on "water security" headed by Professor Dr. Ismail Abustan from the School of Civil Engineering, the Bioecology Drainage System (Bioecods) led by Professor Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria from the River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC) and the research team for “Green Engine Initiative” led by Professor Dr. Zainal Alimuddin Zainal Alauddin, from the School of Mechanical Engineering.
After discussions which lasted almost two hours, both sides were truly satisfied as the fields of research in focus for the three scopes discussed earlier parallel each other and having a high possibility for cooperation.
In the meantime, according to Collin Grant, he felt that the discussions and visit have been truly worthwhile and was truly pleased with the level and scope of excellence achieved by the USM Engineering Campus.
“USM possesses the capability and has been recognised for the excellence in the research on water through the School of Civil Engineering and REDAC, being the only such HICoE (Higher Institution Centre of Excellence) in Malaysia,” he said.
He explained that, the exercise towards the cooperation could provide added value to both sides especially to REDAC, the Engineering Campus and also UoB.
“I have high hopes from this visit, not only in the collaborations in research and relations established but also in other cooperation with the various sections”, he explained when met after a guided tour of the Bioecods and the Hydraulics Laboratory at REDAC.
Notwithstanding the capability of UoB, Collin Grant was also impressed with the capacity and performance of the USM engineering research team.
He was involved earlier in discussions with the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr. See Ching Mey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International Affairs), Professor Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Research Fellow from Research Internationalisation@USM, Professor Dato’ Dr. V. Navaratnam and key university officials at the Main Campus in the morning.
Meanwhile Nor Azazi Zakaria said that, the visit would be the next agenda in enhancing cooperative ties with REDAC at the international stage, particularly in "water security".
“I see that UoB is truly interested and has the intention of cooperating with us, which indirectly would assist in raising the status of the HICoE which we have obtained earlier on.
“We would provide assistance and begin making plans from now on, to move ahead with the networking effort and later on with research cooperation,” added Nor Azazi.
Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin
Text: Mohd Kamil Ashar / Photos: Bani Faidzzainami Baniyamin