Date: 17 July 2018
Time: 7.00am - 6.00pm
Venue: Chancellor Hall, UTP.
Date: 18 July 2018
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Seminar Room 4, Undercroft, UTP
Date: 21 - 22 July 2018
Time: 8.00am - 11.00pm
Venue: MPH (CETaL), UTP
Date: 24 July 2018
Time: 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: Senate Hall, UTP
Date: 25 July 2018
Time: 8.00pm - 11.30pm
Venue: Main Hall, UTP
Date: 9 - 19 August 2018
Time: 8.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Chancellor Hall, Seminar Room 6 - 8, Undercroft, UTP.
Date: 13 - 15 August 2018
Time: 8.00am - 10.00pm
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Date: 30 August 2018
Time: 8.00am - 6.00pm
Venue: Seminar Room 7 & 8, Undercroft, UTP
Date: 4 September 2018
Venue: Chancellor Hall, UTP
Date: 5 September 2018
Time: 3.00pm - 5.00pm
Date: 12 - 16 September 2018
Venue: MPH, Seminar Room 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Meeting Room 1 & 2, & Lecture Room 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Date: 12 September 2018
Time: 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Date: 18 - 19 September 2018
Venue: MPH, UTP
Date: 19 September 2018
Venue: Chancellor Complex Foyer
Date : Sunday, 18 November 2018
Time : 8.00am to 6pm
Venue : UTP Chancellor Hall
Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah launched a book titled ‘Perak Sultanate: The Historic Royal Glory of Perak Tengah’, at Malaysia Petroleum Club, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Published by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) and The New Straits Times Press, the book is part of UTP's corporate social responsibility to help highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Perak Sultanate.
Sultan Nazrin in his speech said the book shows UTP's deep commitment to the important task of preserving the past and learning some of its lessons, as an essential part of preparing to meet the challenges of the future.
“As a historian myself, albeit more directly concerned with its economic aspects, I endorse this aspiration and welcome the contribution of this book towards it.
“It is also commendable that the university that was established to pursue excellence and innovation in the realm of sciences is taking such an interest in supporting an endeavor that is so fully centred on the arts, in the form of culture and history of our region and its monarchy,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin described the book as not only a delight to peruse with its beautiful design and photographs, as befitting its regal subject matter, but also a unique repository of some of the most striking aspects of the Perak Sultanate's cultural heritage and some of the important events that have shaped the Sultanate over its nearly half a millennium history.
“As the (former) UTP Vice-Chancellor Datuk Ir Abdul Rahim Hashim said in his foreword, the rich historical tapestry that is woven by the book provides its readers with both a greater understanding of the past and inspiration for the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib who succeeded Abdul Rahim as UTP vice-chancellor in May this year, said he hoped the book will help the younger generation gain knowledge on the monarchy in this country.
“This book was written with an easy-to-understand writing approach to attract the interest of young people, especially students to understand and appreciate the (line of) succession of the Sultanate of Perak which started in Perak Tengah,” he said.
The book was jointly written by the senior director of UTP's Project Management Office, Associate Professor Dr Shahrina Md Nordin and NSTP chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Jalil Hamid.
Also present at the launching ceremony was Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Media Prima group managing director Datuk Kamal Khalid.
To purchase the book, email the UTP author at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 05-3688686.
Source: NST TV
A chemical engineer turns waste into fuel.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS’ (UTP) has announced the appointment of its new Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib.
Its acting vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said the appointment was to facilitate the building of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Exploration Centre. He said the exploration centre, initiated using funds from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sirim Berhad and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), would benefit UTP students and the public. "We fully welcome the appointment as a trust and responsibility given to us which we will shoulder with full transparency and integrity," he said at the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on the wakaf effort and zakat distribution for the B40 group, here, today.
Meanwhile, MAIPk Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Amiruddin Muhamed said MAIPk approved UTP's application to be the 'mutawalli' for a period of two years as it could comply with the shariah rules. "The role of the 'mutawalli' is to collect enough wakaf funds to develop a specific project that has been approved," he said.
At the MoA-signing ceremony, UTP was represented by Mohamed Ibrahim and MAIPk by Amiruddin, and witnessed by Institute of Technology Petronas Sdn Bhd (ITPSB) board member, Datuk Raiha Azni Abdul Rahman.
Earlier, ITPSB handed over a zakat contribution of RM1 million to Tabung Amanah Zakat UTP, as well as zakat and incentive payments to 72 needy students of UTP.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS is the 77th best university among the universities in the BRICS region and emerging economies according to the Times Higher Education (THE) University Rankings 2018.
The university jumps 14 places from its previous ranking of 91st last year.
This places UTP amongst the top 100 of the best research-led universities in the developing world. Within Malaysia, UTP is ranked second after UM.
Eight other Malaysian universities also made it into the rank, namely UM at 27, UTM at 101, UPM at 108, UTAR at 114, USM at 135, UKM at 151 and UNITEN 159. UUM made it within the 251 – 300 band. In terms of score, UTP scored an overall mark of 32.0. where else UM 40.9.
UTP scores the highest in industry income (87.5%) in Malaysia and second in Malaysia after UM for international outlook (63.2%).
More than 350 institutions from 42 countries, classified by the FTSE as "advanced emerging", "secondary emerging" and "frontier".
The ranking uses the same 13 rigorous performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings, examining each university's strengths against all of its core missions. The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer). However, the methodology has been carefully recalibrated to better reflect the characteristics and development priorities of the universities in emerging economies.
"The recognition by THE is an accomplishment that we are very proud of and we will continue to strive up the rankings. The quality of everyone's continuous dedication and commitment in ensuring excellence through various initiatives like teaching and research activities and other university operations, are well reflected in this university ranking," said UTP Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib.
Credit: Times Higher Education (THE)
Full Emerging Economies University Rankings: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/emerging-economies-university-rankings
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) and The Energy Institute (EI) of the United Kingdom today announced that they have entered an agreement for UTP to establish the Oil and Gas Industry Education Hub (OGIE-Hub) that creates greater professional exchange and skills' development opportunities through an establishment of a reference centre of knowledge in energy sector.
EI is the UK's professional body responsible for developing and sharing knowledge, skills and good practice towards achieving a safe, secure and sustainable future for the energy sector as a whole.
Located in Malaysia, OGIE-Hub will be headed by Professor Ir Dr Mohd Shahir Liew, who is also UTP's Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation.
OGIE-Hub will become the centre of excellence in quality and standardisation among Malaysia-based institution of higher learnings that offer energy related programmes. The hub will also be the ambassador among university students and stakeholders to support the broader industry education and fostering increasing links between industry and academia.
UTP and EI will also collaborate with partners of the OGIE-Hub to solve societal challenges related to energy and renewable energy.
OGIE-Hub is an initiative to position Malaysia within the Global Energy Landscape. Strong energy demand in Southeast Asia is contributing to the shift in the global energy system's centre of gravity from West to East.
In addition, the government is ambitiously transforming Malaysia into a major maritime energy hub and revitalising the oil and gas sector. Under these circumstances, it is necessary to establish the OGIE-Hub.
The idea of pursuing a Hydrocarbon Working Group at EI has been enhanced further after syndication of UTP's steering role in EI. To that effect, EI Leadership team endorses a full reformation and restructuring of the EI Malaysia Exco to have better representation from the upstream, midstream, downstream, academia, industry or government through an establishment of local sub-branch of EI Malaysia in Perak.
"UTP is not only committed to fundamental research, but also emphasises on industrial engagement. We are committed to ensure that our academicians are professionally recognised at international level and all research conducted must be beneficial for the society and has business value," said UTP Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib.
"UTP welcomes collaborations that would complement the function of OGIE-Hub. The establishment of OGIE-Hub will assist the university's outreach efforts to serve its students and stakeholders better, as UTP move towards global prominence. We are honoured to have this opportunity which further signifies UTP as the leading private university in Malaysia."
Managing Director (Asia Pacific) of the Energy Institute United Kingdom Peter Godfrey said that EI aims to contribute to both economic growth and a high quality of life (QoL) as it undertakes to resolve various challenges in society through innovations in science and technology. In doing so, it is important to produce graduates from accredited institutions.
"The OGIE-Hub will serve as a reference centre of knowledge where expertise and knowledge in energy will be gathered and quality and standardisation of energy education will be assured," he said.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) and Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall will once again collaborate to organise the Red Sonata Fiesta 2018 (RSF2018), a Chinese Orchestra competition.
This was announced by UTP Director of Centre for Student Development Associate Professor Dr Nurlidia Mansor and Huazong Deputy President Datuk Cheng Lai Hock, at a press conference recently.
This year's RSF will be held from 29-30 June at UTP campus in Seri Iskandar Perak, anticipating 5,000 participants.
With the theme "Reminiscing Fall", RSF2018 provides a platform for Chinese orchestra enthusiasts to showcase their talents and skills. Furthermore, it is an avenue to spark and increase the young generation's interests, especially primary and secondary students, in traditional Chinese music, particularly Chinese Orchestra.
UTP would like to invite students from the primary, secondary and higher institutions, as well as the public to participate in RSF2018. The competition is divided into six categories namely Chinese Big Orchestra Competition, Chinese Orchestra Small Chamber Competition, Band Competition, Dance Competition, Choir Competition and Solo Competition.
Participants also have the opportunity to join Master Class sessions for classical piano, conductor or erhu, and Suona Sharing Session which will be held on July 1.
To register or for more information on the event, participants can visit RSF's website at https://rsf2018.weebly.com/.
At UTP, students are given various opportunities to participate in sports and take part in cultural activities and performing arts. This is in line with UTP's aim to produce well-rounded graduates, who are not only outstanding in academic but who are also innovative and creative.
UTP's Chinese Orchestra encourages talented young musicians to explore and share their love of Chinese traditional music. It also seeks to diversify UTP's musical community through orchestral performances and activities.
Through event like RSF2018, UTP's Chinese Orchestra is set to inspire young people to play music together to bridge cultural and musical differences.
UTP congratulates Dr Subarna Sivapalan, Head of the Centre for Social Transformation for Sustainable Lifestyles on winning the National Eco-Lecturer Award, in conjunction with WWF Malaysia's National Eco-Champions award recently.
The prestigious Eco-Champions awards pays tribute to local environmentalists who have gone the extra mile to contribute towards sustainability efforts within their communities.
UTP is proud to have a national award winning eco-award winner amongst us. We wish Dr Subarna all the best in her upcoming environmental and sustainability initiatives.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in collaboration with National Professors Council (MPN) Cluster of Industry & Innovationrecently organised the roundtable discussion on the topic "Establishment of an Ecosytem for Producing Innovative Graduates".
The discussion started with an opening remarks by MPN Cluster Head of Industry & Innovation Prof Dr Mohamad Kamal Harun followed by a forum.
The panellists for the forum, CyberSecurity Malaysia Chief Executive Officer YBhg Dato' Dr Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab, Norimax Sdn Bhd Executive Director Ir Max Ong Chong Hup and Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) Director of CEO's Office Dr Zainul Fadziruddin Zainuddin shared their insight with attendees who included academicians and industry players.
UTP Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs and Alumni acted as the moderator.
The MPN Industry and Innovative Cluster has been conducting several roundtable discussions on issues concerning the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0).
One of the key areas is to achieve an 'Innovation Driven Economy'. The Cluster has identified that there is a critical need to establish a conducive ecosystem in providing a suitable environment for nurturing and developing the innovative capabilities of our graduates.
Apart from the forum, there were also workshops to discuss issues and challenges related to the topic.
At the end of the roundtable discussion, UTP Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib handed over the roundtable discussion resolutions to Prof Mohamad Kamal.
As a higher institution, UTP will ensure that continuous efforts are made so that its students are equipped with the capabilities to adapt the opportunities and challenges of IR 4.0.
90 Form Five students received book vouchers from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) staff today under the Menggapai Impian (MI) 2018 programme, witnessed by UTP Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib.
The students were from SMK Tronoh and SMK Seri Iskandar.
For this programme, UTP and PETRONAS staff via Yayasan UTP (UTP Foundation) contribute a minimum of RM150 worth of book voucher to each student for the purchase of SPM reference books.
"Through this programme, we hope to encourage academic excellence among these students for their SPM, in addition to keeping them motivated and excited about learning. It is my hope that these students will come back here again, but as UTP students.
"We are also planning to have a year-long motivation session such as tuition classes, counselling and career guidance sessions, to nurture these students' interest in English, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects," said Mohamed Ibrahim.
MI 2018 is UTP's educational university social responsibility (USR) programme and is part of the university's continuous effort to contribute to the well-being of its surrounding communities.
The event is also a means for the university's staff to give back to those in need and foster the spirit of sharing.
Since its launch in 2007, over 700 students from orphanages, welfare homes and schools in Perak have benefitted from Menggapai Impian. Each child was given basic school necessities such as school uniforms, bags, shoes and stationeries for the new school term.
However, for this year, MI is back with a difference as it focuses on SPM students and are given book vouchers and SPM motivational package.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) emerged as the champion in the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Asia 2018 University R&D Showcase and Challenge for its project entitled "Poseidon: An Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring System for Offshore Facilities".
UTP's project was selected as the winner as it complied with the challenge's theme on how we can make future offshore development more cost competitive in the global energy market. In addition, the technology proposed by UTP team was relevant with the current oil and gas trends of automation, unmanned facilities and data analytics to support decision making.
This was indeed a major achievement for UTP since it had to compete against top-ranking world universities such as National University of Singapore, Kyoto University Japan, Monash University Australia, University of Western Australia and Chulalongkorn University Thailand.
The OTC Asia 2018 University R&D Showcase and Challenge was held in conjunction with OTC ASIA 2018. It provides universities the opportunity to share with attendees their current and planned R&D projects that are relevant to offshore technology and collaborate with industry professionals to develop innovative ideas to address challenges facing the offshore energy industry.
UTP team was represented by Lee Hsiu Eik, Muhammad Imran, Dr Ahmad Mahamad Al-Yacouby and Ir Lim Eu Shawn (postgraduate and researchers from Offshore Engineering Centre UTP).
The team was further supported by key industry professionals. They are PETRONAS' Malaysia Petroleum Management Head of Planning and Control Asset Decommissioning Ir M Nasahie Akbar Ali, PETRONAS Group Technical Solutions Civil Technical Custodian Ir M Nazri Mustafa, IEV Malaysia Sdn Bhd Managing Director Juzer Norman and Merit Composites Sdn Bhd Technical Director Jeffrey de Jong.
UTP offers a wide spectrum of postgraduate courses that are designed to provide an excellent opportunity for in-depth study in specialised areas of science, engineering and technology.
The university is focused in developing its postgraduates to become competent professionals trained to solve real world issues relevant to the industry's needs. Graduates have the opportunities to work on exciting projects and work with the experts. With strong linkages to industry, UTP provides opportunities for the integration of academic research and industry applications.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) continues to rise in the world rankings. In the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Broad Subject of Engineering and Technology 2018, UTP climbs 88 places and is ranked 145th, the highest jump by the university in all of its ranking so far.
In 2017, UTP hit 233 on the list, and in 2016, it was 288. UTP's higher ranking is due to improved overall scores of 74.2 in the indexes of Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Citations per Paper and H-index Citations.
The QS World University Rankings for this year analysed over 22 million papers, producing nearly 200 million citations. A total of 1,130 institutions were ranked across 48 subjects in five subject areas, creating 14,000 published entries.
UTP has also been ranked in four subjects, namely Chemical Engineering (101-150), Mechanical Engineering (151-200), Electrical Engineering (201-250) and Computer Science & Information System (251-300).
Apart from the QS World University Rankings, UTP also takes part in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, Rating System for Institutions of Higher Learning (SETARA) and the Malaysian Research Assessment (MyRA).
"By participating in rankings, it gives us a better understanding in where we stand in comparison to our peers. They measure our performance from different angles. We then could make an informed decision on gap mitigation strategies in attaining excellence especially with regards to teaching, research and student experience," says UTP Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib.
Volunteering is a great way to enhance one's skills and give back to the community. With this thought in mind, nearly 100 participants from the ASEAN region took part in the Regional Conference on Student Activism (RECONSA) 2018.
This year the event was organised by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in collaboration with Students Volunteer Foundation, a wholly owned entity of the Ministry of Higher Education, and Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisation (MAPIM).
Participating institutions included Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember Indonesia, Yangon University of Education Myanmar, International Islamic University Malaysia and UTP.
First held in 2012, RECONSA is an annual event that provides opportunities for students and volunteers to share their ideas, views, and experiences on volunteerism as an effective way of making a difference in the world.
It featured two notable speakers in volunteerism, Tony Tay and Mohd Hakim Mohd Nor. Tony, a Singaporean, was the winner of the 2017 Philippines Ramon Magsaysay award. He was also the founder of a volunteer group providing hot meals to the poor, Willing Hearts.
The second speaker, Mohd Hakim is no stranger to UTP. A UTP alumni, he graduated with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2009. He is currently the Secretary General of Welfare Organisation Serantau Muslim and the recipient of Hang Tuah Award at the Malay and Islamic World Convention in Medan, Indonesia.
Themed "Student Activism: Going Beyond the Future", RECONSA focuses on mobilising volunteerism using sustainable futuristic strategies to effectively deliver the voices of global activist networks that emphasise on three critical elements namely technology, efficient governance, and maximisation of resources.
UTP Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said UTP aspires to develop graduates who are not only creative and innovative but who are also responsible global citizens actively involved in improving the lives of the surrounding community, especially those closer to the university.
"The university is proud to witness the tremendous impact that RECONSA has created since its establishment, as more and more students from diverse background have become more involved in volunteering and making a difference in people's lives," he said.
During RECONSA 2018, participants presented their papers on various areas that included health and environment, consumerism, social, humanitarian, religions, gender, science and technology. They also went for a tour around the campus and selected locations at Perak and took part in a corporate social responsibility program at MRSM Parit.
Universitas Pertamina (UP) Indonesia awarded five Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) researchers with the
International UTP-UP Collaborative Research Grant to encourage research collaboration and firmly establish networking and linkages between UTP and UP both parties.
A special award ceremony was held to mark the occasion. UP Institute of Research, Community Development and Innovation Director Dr Wahyu Agung Pramudito presented the award to Assoc Prof Dr Gunawan Witjaksono Djaswadi (Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department), Assoc Prof Dr Abdul Rahim Othman (Mechanical Engineering Department), Dr Nonni Soraya Sambudi (Chemical Engineering Department), Dr Mohamed Shuaib Mohamaed Saheed (Fundamental & Applied Sciences Department) and Dr Kiki Adi Kurnia (Chemical Engineering Department).
The International UTP-UP Collaborative Research Grant is a result of an MOU signing between both institutions early last year.
Under this collaborative research grant, researchers will receive funds with the maximum amount of up to USD5000 per research project for the duration of 12 months.
The collaboration will further strengthen UTP's international affiliation and bring two prominent institutions of higher learning together, working in different areas such as joint publication, joint supervision, research attachment and staff exchange.
"I would like to congratulate all grant recipients. This is an important collaboration between both institutions and I hope it will continue in the long run," said Dr Wahyu.
UTP Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research & Innovation Prof Ir Dr M Shahir Liew said the award ceremony is a testimony of a successful strategic partnership between UTP and UP.
"This is a very significant step for UTP, both in the field of research and achieving its goal of becoming a globally prominent university," he said.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) has leaped 36 places from its 2017 performance and is now ranked at 114th in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2018.
Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) also made the list.
Despite its young age of 21 years, UTP has continuously achieved excellence that is proven through its improved position and placed itself among the more established universities such as UM, USM, UKM, USM and UTM.
The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017 uses the same 13 performance indicators as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but the weightings are specially recalibrated to reflect the attributes of Asian institutions.
The universities are judged across all of their core missions, which are teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income in order to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available.
Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said UTP is proud of this achievement and it will continue to strive up the rankings.
"This achievement bears testimony of our hard work and diligence in support of the university's journey towards achieving global prominence," he said.
In support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UTP has embarked on the UTP ECO PROJECT, a student led endeavor, supported by the Institute for Sustainable Living. The UTP ECO PROJECT uses a whole institution approach, involving all stakeholders of the university, to promote and adopt sustainable development initiatives and a greener lifestyle on campus. A key initiative under the UTP ECO PROJECT will be the move to obtain international green flag certification for UTP, under the Foundation for Environmental Education Eco-Campus Programme.
The UTP ECO PROJECT student committee is made up of students from the Eco Campus Student Work Group (ECSWG), Go Green Movement (GGM), Innovation and Design Club (IDEC) and AiCHE UTP Student Chapter.
The student committee line up is led by Umadevy Selva Kumaran as Project Director assisted by Melvinder Singh as Deputy Director, Nisha Pattu as Assistant Project Director 1, Baldeep Singh as Assistant Project Director 2 and Devi Abhirami and Sitisaro Binawae as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
Meanwhile, Vivekka Olivia John and Raajabairavi Sivaprakas is the Treasurer and Vice Treasurer, Syafiq, Mahaletchimi Murugan and Nasuha Suliyana is the Head & Deputies of Publicity, Lim Jia Rou, Rashidi and Khaiyuum as Head and Deputies of External Engagement, Seow Zhen Quan, Rishvan Gunalan and Loo Tun Liang as Head and Deputies of Research, Wan Farra Ayesha, Mohintan and Naveendran and Head and Deputies of Capacity Building and finally, Narrhveein Rajasegaran, Chuah Sze Yu and Deng Wol as Head and Deputies of Small Projects.
Institute for Sustainable Living Director, AP Dr Noor Amila Wan Abdullah Zawawi serves as the Patron of the UTP ECO PROJECT, while Dr Subarna Sivapalan, Dr Noridah Osman, AP Dr Balbir Singh Mahinder Singh, Dr Kiki Adi Kurnia and Muhammad Azfar Mohamed are the advisors. Wan Nabihan Wan Sulaiman of the Institute for Sustainable Living assumes the secretariat role.
The UTP ECO PROJECT is supported by WWF Malaysia.
Professor Robert B. Laughlin, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics, inspired more than 2,000 students and professors at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Perak today as part of the Honeywell Initiative for Science & Engineering (HISE). It is the first time Honeywell's global programme was conducted at UTP.
Sponsored by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company's corporate citizenship initiative, HISE aims to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For more than a decade, it has benefited thousands of students and teachers at top universities in China, India, the United States, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Mexico and Romania. The initiative includes a series of laureate lectures and career discussions with Honeywell's top engineers.
Laughlin, who received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations, is among 27 Nobel laureates sponsored by Honeywell at universities worldwide since 2006. Laughlin, along with two other researchers, had discovered that electrons acting together in strong magnetic fields can form new types of "particles,", with charges that are fractions of electron charges.
It is the second time the program has been presented to a university in Malaysia. In 2010, the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur hosted the HISE event.
"At UTP, we are committed to ensuring we are a centre for creating and sharing new knowledge that promotes a lifelong desire among our students to learn, discover, and innovate," said Acting Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib. "We are delighted to collaborate with Honeywell and welcome Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin to our campus. Our hope is that today's HISE event helps students see their career possibilities."
Laughlin is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. He earned a B.A. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the president of KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea. His many awards include the National Academy of Sciences, the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Physics, and the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.
During his lecture, Laughlin inspired students to pursue their dreams, regardless of the challenges they may have to overcome. "Great people come from all walks in life," He told the students. "Stay true to yourself, stay focused, and you will succeed."
"The complexities of today's world require young people to be equipped with a new set of core knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems," said Briand Greer, President of Honeywell ASEAN. "By offering UTP students the opportunity to learn from a Nobel laureate and interact with Honeywell engineers, we hope to inspire and prepare students for a workforce where success comes not just from their knowledge of STEM subjects, but what they are able to do with that knowledge."
Honeywell closely cooperates with the Malaysia's technical universities on programs such as engineering lectures, collaborative projects, student events, academic thesis opportunities and internships.
Honeywell Hometown Solutions supports STEM education in Malaysia by inviting local middle school science and math teachers and high school students to attend the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in the United States each year. Additionally, Honeywell's Safe Kids at Home in Malaysia helps educate parents and children on how to avoid fire, burn and scalds in the home.
His Royal Highness (HRH) the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah delivered his royal address entitled “‘Building a Dynamic and Inclusive Education Ecosystem” on 6 December 2017.
The royal address was held at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in conjunction with the university’s 20th anniversary celebration.
In his address, HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah said that higher education has still a long way to go towards building a higher education eco-system that is fully capable of adapting to the opportunities and challenges associated with the so-called 4th Industrial Revolution. To prepare students to flourish in the unpredictable environments of the future, such an education system must itself be highly agile and flexible, capable of anticipating and responding to the coming changes.
HRH added that the education system must also be bold and innovative, qualities that go against the grain for tradition-steeped higher education institutions. Such an eco-system must also by definition be comprehensive and systematic. This implies sweeping and radical changes to the current model, which is based on teaching, assessment and ranking methods that were developed in and for a very different era.
This is the second series of the Royal Address by HRH The Sultan of Perak organised by UTP, the first was held in 2008.
The university’s Royal Lecture series is a significant forum for knowledge sharing on various topics and issues including national development, economics, corporate governance and education between the Ruler, the university and the surrounding communities.
The knowledge and information gained from these sessions complement and enhance what UTP students gain within the classroom and from formal education.
As for UTP lecturers and staff and the surrounding community, such sessions will provide them with better insights into national and global issues.
More than 2,000 people attended the event which included Perak Chief Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan UTP Pro Chancellor, distinguished guests from the state of Perak, Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib acting UTP Vice Chancellor, UTP Management Committee members, industry practitioners, government officers, PETRONAS staff as well as UTP students and staff.
A total of 8 universities were awarded the much coveted 6 star rating (Outstanding) by the Rating for Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia, or better know as SETARA, in their highly anticipated 2017 ratings.Out of the 71 universities evaluated, a total of 58 managed to snag a rating of at least 4 stars (Very Good), which according to SETARA, is considered an improvement. The 8 universities that did receive 6 stars include Universiti Malaya (UM); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM); Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP); Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM); International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), Monash University Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Moving further down the list, a total of 21 universities managed to gain 5 stars this year, and this list includes Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN); Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM); Swinburne University of Technology (Kampus Sarawak); Curtin University; The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus; Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP); Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM); Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS); Taylor's University; UCSI University; Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM); Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP); Management and Science University (MSU); Sunway University; Asia Pacific University of Technolgy and Innovation (APU); Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT); The Global University of Islamic Finance (INCEIF); Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR); Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences and Lincoln University College.SETARA measures the quality of teaching and learning at level six (undergraduate level) of the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF). Tier 6 is considered Outstanding, Tier 5 is Excellent, whereas Tier 4 is Very Good. No institution achieved a Tier 6 rating in SETARA's rankings in 2013, further proof of the strides made by the Malaysian education system.
3 UTP students made the university proud when their app-based business proposal was announced as the winner of the Varsity Entrepreneurship Skills and Talent (VEST) beating two other finalists from Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), first and second runner up respectively.
UTP team walked away with a cash prizes of RM25,000. They also made history as they were the first team from a private institution winning the competition.SolviePro is an app that is created and developed by Abdul Qayyum Halid, Muhammad Abdul Haiy Halid and Mohd Ikmal Ahmad Zaihidi. All are enrolled in the Business Information Systems programme. The app allows job seekers to search for jobs based on their geolocation. It also serves as a platform for employers to channel their feedback on potential employment. These feedbacks will help build and improve a candidate's resume based on criteria required by employers in the market.The app also provides hourly and daily part time job which give flexibility to users who want to earn income and gather working experience.VEST is a competition that started in April and ran for 6 months. It was participated by 1696 students from more than 20 higher learning institutions nationwide, with a total of 273 business ideas being pitched.Consisted of three stages, participants are taught and mentored on sale techniques, marketing, branding, effective communication, building franchise networks and financial planning in preparation to be groomed as future entrepreneurs."Some universities had undergone the two stages earlier than us, but we successfully made it to the Top 10 even though we started very late in September. Later we became the Top 3, advanced to the final and eventually became the champion," said Abdul Qayyum.The final pitching on business idea was performed in front of the Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak and more than 2000 audience members at Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak UKM. Winners were judged based on creativity, franchise marketability, online-friendly and mobile-friendly.During the pitching the team presented the technology concept of the business idea, the income generation method, the business plan for different phases from 2017-2025 and the collaborative network to enhance SolviePro viability.UTP aspires to invest in the development of its students' entrepreneurial skills. With this in mind, UTP Technopreneurship Centre is established in September last year to inculcate and nurture students' innovative and technopreneurial skills. The skills learned will assist them in solving global problems through entrepreneurship and technopreneurship while developing critical organisational skills and creating the next great university spinoff. SolviePro is one of the Startups that is developed through UTP Technopreneurship Centre. The SolviePro team is one of the earliest recipients of the MicroBiz Fund worth RM2,000 from the Centre to enable them to kickstart their business project back in June 2017.The Centre is headed by Zamri Abdullah, a senior lecturer from Chemical Engineering Department.
Seri Iskandar, 31 October – Ministry of Higher Education today announced the appointment of YBhg Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Haji Hashim as the new Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya effective from 1 November 2017.
Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, the current Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic will be covering for the position of Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) also effective from 1 November 2017.
Datuk Abdul Rahim was appointed as Vice Chancellor of UTP on 1 November 2012.
His exemplary leadership, expertise, experience and knowledge has led UTP to achieve numerous prestigious national and international recognitions.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) recently celebrated its 17th convocation ceremony where 1,250 graduates of different fields were conferred degrees.
From the total, the university conferred 96 PhDs, 110 Masters and 1,044 bachelor's degrees in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
At the convocation ceremony, UTP Pro Chancellor, Tan Sri Sidek Hassan conferred the scrolls to the graduates in the morning session. In the afternoon, the graduates received their scrolls from UTP Pro Chancellor Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.
Business Information Systems graduate Farah Iliyana Binti Mohd Noor was awarded the Chancellor Gold Award, while Khairul bin Anuar (Petroleum Engineering) and Phua Yun Hock (Chemical Engineering) received the Chancellor Silver Award and Chancellor Bronze Award respectively.
Tareq Aziz Hasan Al-Qutami, an MSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate from Yemen, received the Alumni Postgraduate Award at the Master's level, while Hamayoun Mahmood, a PhD in Chemical Engineering graduate from Pakistan, was the recipient of the Alumni Postgraduate Award at the PhD level.
Mohamad Ali Hajian Maleki of Iran, an Information and Communication Technology graduate, was awarded the Best International Undergraduate Student award.
In conjunction with UTP 20th anniversary celebration this year, the 17th edition of the convocation also saw previous Chancellor Award recipients being honoured.
Also present at the event were ITPSB Board of Directors, representatives from other universities and UTP Vice Chancellor Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim.
Various events were organised in conjunction with the convocation ceremony.
UTP Acadrex is an event that features the university's academic and research exhibition. There was also an innovation challenge competition and a Government-University-Industry Forum & Roundtable titled 'The Future of Malaysia under the 4th Industrial Revolution'. The findings and outcomes from the roundtable were later presented to Deputy Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation, YBhg Datuk Wira Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah.
UTP also organised a convocation festival or Convofest at its campus featuring various activities. They included UTP students' performances, aerobic session, equestrian, kids colouring competition and performances by local artistes.
UTP also held the various CSR activities in conjunction with its convocation ceremony such as Convo Ride, Convo Run, Convo Kayak Exploration, Convo CSR Charity Ride 2017. The main objective of these activities were to collect funds to help the underprivileged at UTP's surrounding community. They were also held to increase interests in STEM subjects among students, promote healthy lifestyle and strengthen UTP's relationship with its surrounding community.
[13 May 2018, The STAR]
An android mobile app is helping stutterers to speak better and communicate confidently
FAZWA Mohd Fadzillah was nine years old when she started stuttering. As she entered secondary school the struggles with her speech worsened. Friends and classmates noticed and inevitably, there were unkind remarks that affected the young girl.
"I was hurt by the teasing, so to avoid it I would just stay silent and not speak at all," she recalls.
The 25-year-old from Manjung, Perak, says in the beginning she did not seek any treatment for the stuttering.
"Later, I looked for doctors who could help me overcome the problem but the cost of treatment was high so I ended up not doing anything about it," she adds.
Today, the Masters in Information Technology student at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) has come a long way from those years of struggling with her speech. Fazwa is now able to speak more smoothly and can carry out a phone conversation with ease.
"Previously it would take me a long time to resume a conversation after I began stuttering; now it's more smooth. But I am not completely cured…maybe about 80-90% cured," she says.
Her improvements are attributed to an app developed at UTP, called the Stutter Manager. This mobile app features five types of vocal learning exercises and games to address stuttering problems. These are Metronome, Delay Auditory Feedback, Mirroring, Stutter Rate and Add Word Game.
A research team led by principal investigator Dr Noreen Izza Arshad, a senior lecturer at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, first began developing the android mobile app in 2013. The team collaborated with KPerak Inc, a state-linked company that promotes the development of ICT and knowledge-driven activities in the state.
Armed with seed funding of RM10,000 from UTP and a RM68,200 grant from the Ministry of Higher Education, the team began by conducting interviews with the Ministry of Education – seeking feedback on issues and solutions for those with special education needs. The team also collaborated with speech pathologists before introducing a preliminary version of the app to rural schools near UTP as well as an orphanage in Ipoh.
The app was finally made available on the Google Play Store sometime in 2014. To date the app has notched 5,000 downloads, with 80% of these being from users in Malaysia.
"With the app, stutterers can carry out vocal learning exercises at any time and from anywhere. Through the app, the speech pathologists are able to monitor and track your progress, and provide comments and feedback," she says, adding that although the goal is not to replace speech pathologists, the app can reduce costs of travelling and meeting speech pathologists for face-to-face therapy sessions.
Next generation therapy
The exercises within the Stutter Manager have been developed from face-to-face speech therapy techniques. Elaborating on the different exercises, Noreen explains that the metronome technique allows a stutterer to practice words and sentences to a tempo or beat (per minute) that can be adjusted. The speech pathologist for instance, will advise a severe stutterer to follow a slow tempo – increasing it as his/her condition improves.
Mirroring and delayed auditory feedback, which are used in combination, allow the stutterers to not only see themselves when they speak but also listen to their speech. Through these techniques, stutterers are able to find out the words that require more practice and at the same time build their confidence when speaking to others and in public.
Targeted at children who have stuttering problems, stutter rate involves the use of flash cards. "This technique requires the help of a parent or teacher. A word will flash on the screen and you are required to repeat that word. Marks will then be recorded automatically and saved, and at the end of the session the results revealed. The results are also tracked over a period, whether it's a week, month or year, allowing parents and teachers to follow the child's progress," says Noreen.
A fun twist to the exercises is the add word game, created by UTP. Here, words are generated randomly, and the stutterer selects the words that they can pronounce correctly. Results at the end of the session will show the percentage of words that the stutterer can pronounce without difficulty.
"The speech pathologist is also able to analyse the words that cause stuttering, for example six-syllable words, and from there, advise and suggest other types of exercises," explains Noreen.
Practice makes perfect
Fazwa, who is one of the members of the research team and one of the app's earliest users, credits the app for the improvements to her speech.
"I use the delayed auditory feedback and stutter rate, and practice daily for about 30 minutes," she says, adding that after two years she's noticed an improvement to both her speech and confidence. "Other people around me have also noticed that I don't stutter as much anymore."
She also likes being able to monitor her progress. "With the graphs I am able to track my progress, and if I am not doing well then I practice more," she adds.
To date, the Stutter Manager has won several awards including Silver at the 25th International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX2014) and Gold at the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE2015).
Noreen has also, since February 2017, received mentoring from Oxford Innovation through the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund. She is especially excited about working with Oxford Innovation, which has a 30-year track record of specialist coaching services and support of entrepreneurs.
"Through the mentoring we are looking at how to make the app profitable, and the different business models we can use," she says.
In the meantime, feedback from users is also being considered to refine and improve the app. The potential for the app is significant, says Noreen, adding that greater awareness of the app, especially among parents, is needed to encourage its use.
STUTTERING is a communication disorder involving disruptions, or disfluencies, in a person's speech. Stuttering can be referred to as either the specific speech disfluencies that are commonly produced by people who stutter or to the overall communication difficulty that people who stutter may experience. It has been estimated that about 1% of the general population stutters.
In addition to producing disfluencies, people who stutter often experience physical tension and struggle in their speech muscles, as well as embarrassment, anxiety, and fear about speaking. Together, these symptoms can make it very difficult for people who stutter to speak, and this makes it difficult for them to communicate effectively with others.
Most treatment programmes for people who stutter are behavioural – designed to teach the person specific skills or behaviours that lead to improved oral communication. For instance, many speech language pathologists teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak.
When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural.
Source: National Stuttering Association, US & American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
[29 April 2018, The STAR]
The automotive industry is looking ahead to when academic excellence and corporate expertise 'combust' to disrupt the energy industry.
WITH charging stations more common, electric cars are touted as the way forward in the not-too-distant future. Last July, Volvo announced that it is phasing out cars that rely on combustion engines. Every new model launched from 2019 will have an electric motor – a first by a premium carmaker that has always been at the forefront in applying new technology to the carbon-fuel-charged internal combustion engine.
The trend of electric-powered cars is growing far beyond hybrids as the shift away from the 200-year-old internal combustion engine technology gathers pace. France and Britain, for instance, plan to ban the sale of new petroleum-burning vehicles by 2040.
Even so, gas and diesel powered engines are not dead yet.
Mazda recently announced a big advance in a combustion method that could result in gasoline engines becoming 20-30% more efficient than its current best engines. To be introduced in 2019, in this method gasoline is ignited without using spark plugs.
Experts contend that improvements in internal combustion engines will continue. John Heywood, an MIT mechanical engineering professor predicts that by 2050, 60% of light-duty vehicles will still have combustion engines.
Closer to home, for almost a decade a research team has been toiling over improvements on the free piston engine – attempting to produce an engine without a crankshaft, with floating pistons to capture the power of combustion with measured control. Traditionally, the crankshaft controls the piston while imposing limitations on combustion efficiency. Getting rid of the crankshaft means combustion control.
Its greatest advantage is its performance efficiency, compared with standard engines. Taking that concept further, with its first patents from around 1940, the Free-Piston Linear Generator (FPLG) is a free-piston engine with a linear alternator. It converts chemical energy from fuel straightaway into electrical energy.
When Professor Abdul Rashid Abdul Aziz, Director of the Institute of Transport Infrastructure for Smart Mobility, and his team first embarked on this project, they thought it would take them three years to reach their target. They achieved their goal three prototypes and nine years later, in March 2017. The FPLG finally achieved its objective, managing to combust and producing electricity.
Despite the slow progress, the UTP team determinedly pressed on, undertaking advanced explorations into the possibilities of an alternative to conventional power generators such as micro turbines and diesel generators. The Free Piston Engine (FPE) was identified as an option, the key being piston motion control. This is the main challenge before the end result of the research can be commercialised.
However, in developing this capability, Rashid realised the need for collaboration. "You cannot do everything yourself. That's the recipe for failure. We cannot be experts in all the necessary areas," he says.
Through their strong, long-term links with the University of Brighton, they chose to collaborate on a four-year project with UK company Libertine FPE, designer and manufacturer of linear generators and piston power systems. Both partners have equal equity in the FPLG development.
Building Libertine's Linear Power Systems technology into their research engine programme allowed UTP to accelerate its research into a high-efficiency, fuel-flexible combustion system.
Libertine FPE's CEO Sam Cockerill says the collaboration with UTP has greatly helped his company. His company has focused and advanced their technology in this space, providing a template for their relationship with other FPE developers. This benefits UTP, he feels, since together they are able to share technology platform developments across multiple FPE programmes. This enhances each one's cost-effectiveness and performance. To Cockerill, UTP is an interested and engaged partner with very clear research objectives.
It is crucial, Cockerill feels, for industry players and universities to collaborate. This is because the number of university FPE R&D programmes, especially for smaller engines, has rapidly risen in the last two decades.
Rashid was also the past Head of UTP's Centre for Automotive Research & Electric Mobility (CAREM). He explains that depending on the capacity, the engine model can be used for any application requiring electricity, including future electric vehicles and stationary power genset. "The size of the engine will shrink to about one-fourth of the current size and its weight reduce as much, if not more."
The engine is also produced at lower cost due to fewer mechanical components. "To realise a software-controlled engine without any mechanical constraints – that's where the opportunity exists for combustion optimisation," adds Cockerill.
So far, such generators are not available in the market, but many companies around the world are working on similar concepts. Rashid and Cockerill agree that when the FPLG is successfully delivered, it could disrupt the energy industry. It is the future, they think, for generating clean and green energy.
Without conventional constraints on motion, the generator operates at a higher thermal efficiency than in conventional engines and can run on different fuel types. That includes natural gas as an option and a higher thermal efficiency than in conventional engines. "With less volume, weight and size, you're able to generate the same amount of power," says Rashid, "while reducing costs of production, operations and maintenance. You'll need to see it to believe it."
The UTP team have completed all the design and machining of their latest prototype. They are now looking forward to running major tests with their collaborating partner by the end of this year. Rashid aims to commercialise the FPLG by 2019, mainly for use on offshore oil and gas platforms.
If an institution is serious about commercialisation, it is best to collaborate with those who are at the forefront of technology right from the beginning, asserts Rashid.
While he feels a university's strength is on the fundamentals of engineering, it can still benefit greatly in product development with input from a design engineering company's perspective.
"I realised many people are replicating the same work. We should instead collaborate and work together." While it is a challenge to work with various stakeholders – from investors to research students, Rashid appreciates the content sharing and knowledge exchange.
In his lab, research officers, MSc and PhD students, and technologists continuously run tests on the prototype, which looks deceptively simple. They study, photograph and collate data on the flow of air and spray, using state-of-the-art laser measuring systems. "Research is always 50-50 with an equal chance of success or failure. You'll never know the result until the end."
Ezrann Zharif Zainal Abidin
Research Scientist and Manager, Smart Mobility Division
EZRANN Zharif Zainal Abidin was a Master's student when he first started work on the Free Piston Linear Generator project. "My baby," he proudly claims, having waited nine years for it to show its first result.
With a lot of discussion and exchange of ideas, Ezrann finds his work gratifying. "Prof Rashid allows a lot of freedom for us to think and to execute our ideas. I really like his style of leading this Centre in implementing new methods." What he finds most interesting and challenging is, when faced with new problems, they are allowed to argue and innovate, with positive feedback that allows them to overcome challenges.
Being a researcher requires a lot of patience and perseverance. "It's continuous. You don't give up on what you believe." Helping to generate energy responsibly is what drives him, "with lower emissions to help save the environment." That is why he persisted, even when the results took almost a decade to achieve.
UTP's hallmark of high standards and excellence is what drives all its research. Research is not about business or money. "It's in the value of trying to help mankind and the planet. The reward for me is if you can create something novel that helps nature and the environment…then that's the value I helped create for people."
[15 April 2018, The STAR]
An innovative intumescent fire retardant paint keeps flames and fumes at bay for up to two hours
THE phrase "spreading like wildfire" should not be taken lightly in case of a real fire. As soon as an ignition source is flared in the proximity of fuel and oxygen, not only does a fire begin, but it will spread very dramatically and rapidly too – moving from a mere flickering spark into a blazing disaster in a matter of minutes.
More than 80 Orang Asli residents of Kampung Sungai Karah near Lenggong, Perak will for the first time receive sustainable electricity from a 5 kW solar farm, courtesy of PETRONITA, the Wives and Women Staff Association of PETRONAS.
To mark the successful completion of the project and to hand over the solar farm comprising 20 photovoltaic panels to the village residents, PETRONITA held a launch ceremony officiated by PETRONITA Vice President 1, Datin Nazrin Aneeza Nazaruddin. Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Kenering, Yang Berbahagia Dato' Haji Mohd Tarmizi Idris, Pengarah JAKOA Negeri Perak dan Kedah, Harulnizam Abd Rahman, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Professor Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib and Head of PETRONITA's Welfare Committee, Azmah Azman also attended the launch ceremony that afternoon.
"After months of hard work under the leadership of PETRONITA, technical expertise from UTP and collaboration from JAKOA as well as the Orang Asli community, we can now celebrate the successful implementation of this sustainable solar project. It is our hope that starting today, the children will no longer need to study with flickering candle lights and the community can have a better chance to progress well in life," said Datin Nazrin during her speech.
President of PETRONITA and wife of the President of PETRONAS, Puan Sri Dr. Azura Ahmad Tajuddin, commenting on the project said, "I would like to commend the women empowerment efforts by the women leaders of PETRONITA's welfare unit as well as the student volunteers from UTP's Green Energy Cluster who have applied their skills and knowledge to empower the community here."
PETRONITA's Rural Solar Electrification Project, in collaboration with UTP and the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), aims to empower the Orang Asli community, in line with PETRONITA's welfare initiatives as well as PETRONAS' corporate social investment philosophy to contribute towards community well-being and development.
This is the second rural solar electrification project organised and funded solely by PETRONITA, following the success of their champion project in Kampung Batu 20, Tapah, back in 2016.
Set to provide the villagers with electricity 24 hours a day, this project is expected to improve their livelihood by giving them ownership over the system's usage and maintenance besides minimizing safety and health hazards from continuous usage of candles and kerosene lamps.
Kampung Sungai Karah, situated 12 km from the junction of Lenggong-Grik main road, comprises 17 houses made of bamboo and other wooden materials. The village has been without access to electricity and other basic infrastructure partly due to its remote location.
UTP's Dean of Centre for Foundation Studies, Associate Professor Dr Balbir Singh Mahinder Singh said, "Thank you PETRONITA for giving our students excellent opportunities to apply the skills they have learned in this rural solar electrification projects back in 2016 and again this year to make a positive impact besides gaining firsthand experience working with others in less fortunate circumstances."
During the launch event, volunteers under PETRONITA conducted a hygiene workshop for the women community and distributed beauty kits to them. The residents were also given a complimentary health screening, courtesy of PETRONITA's collaboration with Prince Court Medical Centre to help bridge the healthcare and health education divide with marginalised and vulnerable communities throughout the country.
Pengarah JAKOA Negeri Perak dan Kedah, Harulnizam Abdul Rahman, also commented, "I wish to sincerely thank PETRONITA and UTP for their efforts in bringing us one step closer to ending energy poverty and improving the livelihood of the residents of Kampung Sungai Karah."
A padi farmer's nightmare is made up of bad weather and nasty pests. Droughts aside, a sweet dream would be a genuinely green pesticide – safe for the farmer, the land and for the people who eat the rice grown in those fields. Yields and incomes diminished by pests are part of the padi farming narrative of Perak Tengah. Still, farmers hesitate at the thought of using conventional pesticides.
That's why in 2015, Professor Dr Suzana Yusup and her team of researchers at UTP embarked on a project to test the efficacy of an organic pesticide. It is a collaboration between the Agriculture Department and Bio-X Techno Sdn Bhd, a private company which had formulated a neem-based pesticide.
"On-going field trials are aimed at studying the effect of a bio-pesticide on crop yield," says Dr Suzana, a biomass study pioneer and lecturer at UTP's Chemical Engineering Department. "Bio-pesticides will also help farmers move away from toxic pesticides and towards more sustainable practices."