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Up Close & Personal: UTP’s New Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research & Innovation


Prof Ir Dr Mohd Shahir Liew was appointed as the new Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation effective 1 May 2017.

What is the first thing that you will do during your first 100 days in the office?
Make an impact on a grand scale. Balance outward and inward perspectives so that we can make UTP relevant to the industry and serve our stakeholders better. And also ensure that Research & Innovation Office (RIO) can be more effective in the future.    

Do we have adequate resources? 

We have good resources. But we need to coach our staff. I'm a great-believer in coaching and mentoring. For example, if we want to produce world-class researchers, their research works should not end when the project ends. We need to ask ourselves, how can their research benefit the industry and society? Thus, we have to give them ample opportunities and exposure, to be bold and take calculated risks to sell their ideas and inventions.  


Prof Ir Dr Mohd Shahir graduated from Texas Tech University, USA with a BSc in Civil Engineering and PhD in Structure Dynamics in 1983 and 1988, respectively.  He is a Professional Engineer with the State of Texas (1992), registered Professional Engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (1996) and also an Asean Engineer (2014).  After spending 23 years in the industry predominantly as consulting professional engineers in the USA, Malaysia, and the Asian countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand), he joined UTP in July of 2009 as an Associate Professor. 

Throughout his tenure in UTP, he was made the Head of Civil Engineering Department in January 2011 and eventually the Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering in July 2013.  He has been the Head of Offshore Engineering Center since 2011 winning approximately RM6.5m research grants in total for all the members.  He is also currently active in engaging the industries ranging from the Production Sharing Contractors (PSCs) and the Tier 2 oil and gas companies in Malaysia.  He has held several exco positions, nationally and internationally with the NGOs and is instrumental in developing young engineers and researchers.  With his key interest in the industry networking and linkages, he is committed to ensure the relevance of research and its application for the benefit of the industry and society as a whole.