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Milestone MoU on TCM signed

Exchanging MoU documents (from left):  Gao, Tan, Dato' Dr Hou, Prof Chuah and Dr Ong

"The signing of this memorandum of understanding (MoU) is an important milestone for UTAR," said Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik, President of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), at a signing ceremony of an MoU between UTAR and Peking Tongrentang (M) Sdn Bhd on 22 March 2013.

The MoU was signed in Hai-O Group office in Kuala Lumpur.  Signing on behalf of the parties were Prof Chuah and Tongrentang Deputy Chairman Tan Kai Hee, while UTAR Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Deputy Dean Dr Alan Ong Han Kiat and Tongrentang Deputy General Manager Gao Jinqing signed as witnesses.  Also present at the ceremony to witness the signing was Deputy Higher Education Minister Dato' Dr Hou Kok Chung.

Under the MoU, UTAR and Tongrentang would collaborate on several initiatives to widen the influence of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) among Malaysians.  Tongrentang would facilitate UTAR TCM students for practical clinical session and internship by providing training locations. The two parties would carry out academic development including mutual visits by faculty members to pursue research, teaching, and to participate in seminars, conferences, workshops, and others.

UTAR professors 'turun padang'

The volunteer academics in MPN uniforms


Six professors and seven other academic staff from UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science went down the ground to do community service at Taman Melati, Setapak on 23 March 2013 in the Karnival Profesor Turun Padang organised by Majlis Profesor Negara.

The six professors participated in the 'gotong-royong' or community service were Director of Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research Prof Dr Faidz Abdul Rahman, Dean Prof Ir Dr Yow Ho Kwang, Deputy Dean Prof Dr Goi Bok Min, Head of PhD (Engineering) Programme Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong, Brunsfield Professor of Civil Engineering Prof Dr Yasuo Tanaka, and Prof Sr Omar Munir.

The other seven faculty members were Deputy Dean Dr Yong Thian Khok, Head of Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering Dr Liang Meng Suan, Head of PhD (Science) and MSc Programmes Dr Leong Loong Kong, Head of Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences Dr Goh Yong Kheng, Dr Stella Morris, Dr Lo Fook Loong and Zuriati Ashaari.

The volunteer academics, all in MPN uniforms, helped painted parking bay markings in the square of the flats in Area 4A of Taman Melati.  Later, they were guided by local municipal officers on a tour to understand the drainage problems and cleaning processes in the area.  They also took the opportunity to exhibit posters about the academic programmes offered by the faculty and their research works to the community.


UTAR is Chem-E-Car champ

Dr Yap (3rd from right)with the UTAR wining team

UTAR four-student team NGU emerged as the champion of the Chem-E-Car Competition which was organised by the Chemical Engineering Technical Division of the Institution of Engineers of Malaysia and held on 8 and 9 April 2013.

The annual competition challenges the creativity of students of local institutions of higher learning in harnessing chemical energy to move a vehicle carrying a specific load over a specified distance. 

"This time, we started to work on our power source and braking mechanism much earlier," said NGU team leader Chan Junda, because the team participated in the competition before but with little success.  He added, "Although we started work in January, we just managed to complete the car a day before the competition because of technical complications in the alignment and engine stability."

Other members of NGU (for 'never give up') were How Kha Tiam, Pang Wei Siong and Low Chee Leong.   

On behalf of the team, Chan thanked their supervisors Teoh Hui Chieh and Dr Yap Yeow Hong, head and assistant professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering of UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science respectively, for their guidance throughout the project.  He concluded, "Teamwork and team spirit had prevailed and it was our key success factor in the competition."

UTAR receives Kinect and others from Hilti

Prof Chuah (second from right) exchanging MoU documents with Dr Baeck while Ng (left) and Prof Ewe look on.

UTAR received two units of Microsoft Kinect and other hardware for research purposes from Hilti Asia IT Services Sdn Bhd at a ceremony for the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties at UTAR Petaling Jaya Campus on 12 April 2013.

The hardware sponsored by Hilti were Microsoft Surface Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia 920, and remote control vehicle and video transmitter.

Signing the MoU were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik and Hilti Managing Director and Head of IT Asia Dr Christoph Baeck, while UTAR Vice President (Internationalization and Academic Development) Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat and Hilti Application Platform Services Group Lead Ng Eng Siong signed as witnesses.

This MoU between UTAR and Hilti Asia IT Services will initiate joint projects involving collaborative research to share expertise, facilitate mutual visits by staff to participate in conferences, talks, workshops and attachments, facilitate exchange visits for publications, professional and curriculum development, student internships and academic innovation.

UTAR duo make it to P&G ASEAN Business Challenge

The national champions comprising (starting second left) Alphaeus Tan, Pua, (fifth from left) Tan Jin Yang, Angela Lim and Noraslinda Abd Rahman posing for a group photo with (from left) team mentor, P&G employee Tony Gan and P&G Malaysia Customer Business Development Head Jenny Chew

Everything is as easy as ABC, is the personal mantra of UTAR students Pua Jia Jiun and Loh Hong Khai, who tackled with gusto the Procter and Gamble (P&G) ASEAN Business Challenge (ABC) 2013 which was held at P&G Corporate Office in Surian Tower, Mutiara Damansara from 10 to 13 April 2013. The duo powered their way - albeit in contrasting fashion - into the ABC ASEAN level which will be held in Singapore from 12 to 16 June 2013.  

With this positive mindset, coupled with stellar academic credentials, it is no wonder that Pua whose name is synonymous with UTAR's president and dean lists for academic excellence, was able to steer his team of five to a resounding victory which, in return, rewarded them each with an IPad Mini and an all-expense paid trip to Singapore to take part in the upcoming ABC ASEAN level. "I did not expect that our team will emerge as national champion, not when the two other teams were equally strong and non-concessive about winning," said Pua, who added modestly, "Regardless of the result, I think the experience and learning gained from participating in the challenge has, by far, impacted us more as an individual."

Pua's UTAR compatriot, third-year Electronic and Communications Engineering student Loh, created a stir when he was given a wildcard entry into the ABC ASEAN finals. "Since the winning team in Malaysia consists of five members while the team size in ASEAN finals needs to be in six, I am honoured to be chosen from a separate team to join Jia Jiun's team to compete in Singapore. I will do my best to help the team achieves its target," explained Loh, whose business nous and marketing savoir faire rested well with the judges. Pua, who congratulated Loh on his inclusion, said, "It was his excellent performance that made it possible. The selection has well recognised his competences, and I believe his inclusion has enhanced the depth of our team." 

Aside from Loh and Pua, the team comprised students from diverse academic backgrounds such as Economic, Finance, Law and Petrochemical.

UTAR wins Schneider's first prize again

Malaysia Schneider champion with supervisor Chua, their project and prizes

Eden Team from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and the University of Nottingham beat five other finalists and was announced on 3 May 2013 the champion of Schneider Electric University Challenge 2012 themed 'Go Green in the City' and received a RM8,000 bursary and a certificate of honour for each of its member.

Eden team, comprised two UTAR students Loh Hong Khai and Yong Yew Rong, and Yap Sin Yin from the University of Nottingham, was supervised by Assoc Prof Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng and lecturer Chua Kein Huat from UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science.
UTAR three-student team Synergy was the champion of Schneider Electric University Challenge 2011 and UTAR Eco-University trio was the first runner-up of the challenge in 2010.

The winning proposal of Eden Team titled 'Smart Building Solutions' showcased an integrated system that provides clean energy generation with intelligent monitoring and controlling of multiple innovative renewable energy sources in a building.

'Go Green in the City' is a platform for Schneider Electric to raise greater awareness of the importance of energy efficiency amongst youths and urge Malaysians to be creative and innovative in developing solutions to meet the challenges of rising energy consumption and demand.

UTAR wins five awards in ITEX

Dr Low (in the booth) enlightening the visitors

Four UTAR research teams won the Malaysian Innovative Product Award, KASS Best Invention Award, a gold award and two bronze awards in the 24th International Invention and Industry Design and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) held in Kuala Lumpur from 9 to 11 May 2013.

The research team from UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science comprises Dr Low Kaw Sai, Dr Tioh Ngee Heng and Dr Ng Soon Ching, won the Malaysian Innovative Product Award 2013 in the building and construction category with their innovation 'Lightweight Concrete Infill Buoyant System and Method Thereof'.

Dr Wong (left) and Dr Lim (centre) with a KASS representative

Their faculty mates Dr Karen Wong Mee Chu and Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng won the gold award in the environment and renewable energy category and KASS Best Invention Award with their innovation 'Inclusion of PT in Bi-Ficial Solar Cell for Solar Electricity Generation'.

Another trio from the faculty, Dr Chew Kuew Wai, Leong Chee Ken and Gan Yu Han won the bronze award in the automotive and transportation category with their innovation 'Contour Positioning System ? Novel Distance Estimation Method for an Electric Vehicle'.

Dr Lim Yang Mooi and her research assistant with their award

Dr Lim Yang Mooi from UTAR Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences won the bronze award in the category of biotechnology, health and science with her innovation 'Method of Extracting Borneol from the Exudates of Dryobalanops Aromatica'.

UTAR Perak campus wins PAM gold award

tAN's Ar Chow (left) receiving the award from PAM President Ar Chan

Functional campus in a scenic setting

UTAR Perak Campus is now an architectural masterpiece when its architect consulting firm, The Architectural Network (tAN), received the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) gold award in the education category at the PAM Awards 2013 ceremony held on 11 May 2013.

The award ceremony was held during PAM's annual dinner in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which was graced by DYMM Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah AlHaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah AlHaj. Receiving the award from PAM President Ar Chan Seong Aun, was tAN's founding principal architect Ar Chow Yeut Keong. 

The PAM awards, recognised as the most prestigious in the building industry in Malaysia, honour architects, builders/contractors and building owners for their pursuit of architectural design excellence and advancement of quality built environment. The awards are bestowed on the best works recognised by peers and the public alike in the architectural industry.

tAN describes the UTAR Perak Campus project as one of the biggest private community universities built in the country utilising public donations.  It exemplifies how education activities can help to revive and revitalise the social and economic health of an otherwise diminishing old tin mining town.

MAICSA graduate status for UTAR MBA students

Prof Chuah and Lim exchanging documents while Tun Dr Ling looks on

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA) signed an agreement and supplementary letter at UTAR Petaling Jaya Campus on 15 May 2013 to award UTAR MBA (Corporate Governance) students MAICSA graduate status.

Signing the documents were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik and his counterpart MAICSA President Peter Lim Thiam Kee.  Signing  as witnesses were UTAR Faculty of Accountancy and Management Dean Dr Ong Seng Fook and MAICSA Education Committee Chairman Dato' Muhammad Hafidz Nuruddin.  UTAR Council Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik was present to witness the signing.

Through the current agreement, graduates of the MAICSA-UTAR MBA programme will be awarded the graduate status of MAICSA.  The collaborative programme is optional and open to all UTAR MBA (Corporate Governance) students.  The MBA students not holding a relevant bachelor's degree of Accounting, Business Administration, Law or Finance, may enrol into the collaborative programme after fulfilling the minimum requirements of MAICSA Professional Programme Part One.


UTAR academic receives best research award

Garry with his winning award and certificate

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Faculty of Business and Finance senior lecturer Garry Tan Wei Han's research paper earned him the best research award during the Technology Innovation and Industrial Management (TIIM) Conference held at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa, Phuket, Thailand from 29 to 31 May 2013.

Themed 'Moving Forward with Integration, Harmony, Diversity and Sustainability', the three-day conference organised by Kasetsart University, Thailand saw Garry's paper co-authored with Prof Dr Ooi Keng Boon (not from UTAR), titled 'Mobile Tourism the Hidden Jewel of the Tourism Industry' selected by the editors panel from 145 papers submitted by academicians from Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan, Poland, Finland, China, USA, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania Philippines, South Africa, Japan and India.

"I was honoured and humbled to receive the award from such a prominent chief editor such as Dr Binshan Lin," Tan said, referring to the conference director who is also the BellSouth Corporation Professor at Louisiana State University, USA and chief editor of the Scientific Citation Index (SCI) Industrial Management and Data Systems, and editor of SCI Expert Systems with Applications.

"This research project was supported by the UTAR Research Fund. I was one of the recipients of this research grant in October 2012," the Chairperson of UTAR Centre for Business and Management added. He also explained that mobile tourism was a relatively new research area that had significant contribution towards the Malaysia's tourism industry and that he also thanked co-author Prof Dr Ooi for his guidance and help in developing the research paper.

UTAR duo chalk up ASEAN success

Malaysia's team posing for a group picture along with their mentors and certificates after the 2013 ASEAN-level ABC

After what appeared to be knockout performances at the Procter and Gamble (P&G) ASEAN Business Challenge (ABC) Malaysia level, UTAR students Pua Jia Jiun and Loh Hong Khai continued their gallant form to help catapult their team, and Malaysia, into a historic win at the ABC ASEAN level held at the P&G headquarter in Singapore from 12 to 14 June 2013.

The ASEAN triumph, a sensational breakthrough for Malaysia in the challenge's four-year legacy, was preceded by a nip-and-tuck race in the ABC Malaysia level held at the P&G Corporate Office in Surian Tower, Mutiara Damansara from 10 to 13 April 2013. A resourceful Pua eventually skippered his five-member team to national victory which rewarded them with an all-expense paid trip to Singapore to take part in the ABC ASEAN level. Meanwhile, Loh was chosen to join the winning team on a wildcard entry, and on merit of his remarkable performance, to comply with the organiser's pre-requisite that each participating team in the ASEAN level consisted of six members. 

The fully-sponsored trip to the city of Merlion proved to be an eye-opening experience for the teams. They embarked on a tour around P&G headquarter in Singapore to gain insights into P&G operations and work culture which promotes unity in diversity. Participants and staff from different nationalities, race and culture were brought together in an amicable reception. The teams were exposed to career opportunities in P&G and got acquainted with several regional-level senior management staff in P&G. On the final day, the participating teams were disbanded and their members, reshuffled to form new teams for the Amazing Race Singapore organised by P&G. They trekked around Singapore, executing tasks given to them, and in the process, visited top tourist destinations such as Marina Bay, Universal Studio and the 24-hour shopping mall, Mustafa Centre.

At the end of the day, the four teams received 15 minutes each to present on their cumulative effort. The participants were rated by a panel of judges who included P&G Asia Region Talent Management Manager. When the results were announced, one could only imagine the joy felt by Malaysia's team. After three botched attempts to bring home glory, they have lastly pioneered a ground-breaking feat for Malaysia in the prestigious challenge, and set great precedent for their successor to emulate. The MacBook that each member received paled in comparison to the magnitude of their trailblazing win. The pursuit to be crowned as regional champion for the 2013 P&G ASEAN Business Challenge was no longer elusive but a tangible dream-come-true. 

The P&G ASEAN Business Challenge is an annual competition organised by Procter and Gamble, a global fast moving consumer goods company famous for its household products such as Dynamo, Oral-B and luxury skincare product, SK-II. The Challenge, currently in its fourth consecutive year, aims to unearth talents for future employment in the ASEAN region comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  

Yon wins international best paper award

Yon (left) receiving the award from Prof Wu, Prof Wang's husband


UTAR Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) postgraduate student Yon Weng Woe's paper on 'The Development of Pre-War Chinese Rice Mill Industry in Kedah, Malaysia' was selected among 25 papers and won the outstanding award of Joan Wang Best Academic Paper Awards at the Mobile People: Kinmen Migrants and Overseas Chinese Research Symposium held in Kinmen, Taiwan on 28 to 29 June 2013.

The symposium was organised under the guidance of Fujian government in China.  Kinmen county government was the main organiser with National Quemoy University, National Taiwan Normal University and Taipei Municipal University of Education as co-organisers.  Scholars from China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and USA participated in the symposium.

The Joan Wang Best Academic Awards was given out as a tribute to a pioneer in overseas Chinese studies, Prof Joan Wang from National Taiwan Normal University who passed away at a symposium in Manila, the Philippines last year.  Her husband Prof Jeffrey Wu sponsors the awards to perpetuate her spirit. 

UTAR and UST host science and technology workshops

Prof Chang Shu-Min presenting on Environment and Energy Technology


UTAR and the University System of Taiwan (UST) jointly held a series of science and technology workshops at UTAR Perak Campus from 1 to 4 July 2013.  The collaborative project between UTAR and UST was coordinated by UTAR Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation.

UST is a consortium of four top research universities in Taiwan which are National Central University, National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, and National Yang-Ming University.  It has a combined student population of over 40,000.

A delegation of 14 professors from UST, led by Prof Hang Hsueh-Ming, arrived at Kuala Lumpur on 30 June for the workshops.  The UST-UTAR Science and Technology Workshops saw speakers from both UTAR and UST presented on various fields such as Biotechnology, Environment and Energy Technology, Optical Science and Photonics, Communications, and Software and Multimedia.  The participants of the workshops were enlightened on the latest developments in the respective fields.

Trio wins third prize in Innovate Malaysia

Chua (second from right) with the winning trio

UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science (FES) students, Alvey Hau Lee Cheun, Nicoline Saw Ying Jie, and Chok Eu-Tjin won the third prize of the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition at its finals held in Penang on 4 July 2013.  

Innovate Malaysia Design Competition is a yearly multi-discipline engineering design competition open to all final-year undergraduate Engineering or Computer Science students in Malaysia.  The goal of the contest is to promote innovation culture and mindsets among university graduates.  Agilent, Altera, Intel, National Instruments, and Silterra, which are the leaders in electronic instrument, programmable logic, microprocessor, and IC fabrication respectively, provided the platforms in the competition for competing students to apply their innovative design skills.

Nine teams from UTAR participated in four tracks (or platforms) of the competition.  The winning UTAR trio won the third prize in the National Instrument track and brought home RM1,000 cash and gifts.

"We are thankful to have Mr Chua as our supervisor in this competition," said Hau, the leader of the winning team, which was supervised by FES lecturer Chua Kein Huat.  Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng and Dr Stella Morris from the same faculty were also their advisors.   Hau added, "His [Chua's] guidance, support and valuable insights throughout the competition have greatly motivated us."

UTAR Science Fair - a breakthrough success

School students trying out the spectrometry experiment

UTAR has chartered yet another milestone when its inaugural UTAR Science Fair (Science Fair @ UTAR) drew hundreds of inquisitive young minds from secondary schools from all over Perak in a bustling affair held at Heritage Building at UTAR Perak Campus from 11 to 12 July 2013.

A joint effort between UTAR Faculties, Research Centres, Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation and UTAR Microalgae Sdn Bhd, the two-day fair comprised not only an R&D Exhibition featuring researches conducted by UTAR lecturers, but also scientific demonstrations, arts exploration, exhibition of posters and award-winning projects, talks, games, video presentations and hands-on programming activities.

Streams of visitors thronged the fair as early as 8.30 in the morning. They comprised not only UTAR students and members of the public but also groups from schools such as Pei Yuan High School, Hua Lian High School, Shen Jai High School, SM Wesley Methodist Ipoh, SM Yuk Choy, SMK Changkat Lada, SMK Sultan Yussuf, SM Sains Tapah, SMK Dato' Sagor, SMK Methodist Kampar and SMK Sentosa Kampar.

UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation and also Organising Chairman Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei, said, "This science fair aims to create a science-based culture that inspires innovations for students, especially school students, and to assist them to strengthen their inclination towards science." 

He added, "The fair is also in line with government policy to encourage more students to take up science subjects and to increase the percentage of science stream students from 20 to 60 percent." 

The science fair will be an annual event to encourage more students to take up science subjects and to increase their competence in science. 


UTAR ICS hosts the 8th ISSCO international conference


Group photo after the opening ceremony

UTAR Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) hosted the eighth International Society for the Studies of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) International Conference at the Palace of Golden Horses hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 17 and 18 August 2013.  Themed 'Local, Regional, and Transnational Chinese Overseas Reconsidered', the conference attracted participation of hundreds of academicians and scholars.  Over 150 papers were submitted to the conference in English, Mandarin and Malay/Indonesian. 

"Malaysian Chinese is an integral part of the nation's diverse communities," said Institute of Teacher Education Deputy Director Dr Lee Boon Hua, who officially opened the conference on behalf of Education Deputy Minister Datuk Mary Yap.   He added, "They originally came to work the tin mines; among the pioneers were Yap Ah Loy, Yap Kwan Seng, and Wong Nai Siong. Today, the Malaysian Chinese contribute to a significant portion of Malaysia's economy and development."  He also congratulated UTAR and ISSCO for organising the event.  

Prof Wang Gungwu addressing the audience

"In an era where borders kept on changing, it was an extremely confusing period for this country. Having the British colonial period, then the Japanese occupation, followed by the establishment of Malayan Union, then Malaya and finally Malaysia after Singapore left her," said Chairman of UTAR International Advisory Council and Chairman of East Asia Institute Prof Wang Gungwu, who chaired the first two keynote lectures.  He added that Malaysia had since then been an ideal place to understand how the Chinese had adapted to such variant and confusing situations.

"Many writers use the term 'roots' to describe the Chinese migrants, but the term is very complex today," said ISSCO President Prof Leo Suryadinata, who presented the first keynote lecture titled 'Rooted, De-rooted and Rootless: Reflections on Chinese Migrants and Their Descendants in the Modern and Contemporary Eras'. "They have rooted outside of China, and some say that they have lost their roots," Prof Suryadinata continued, adding that the Chinese immigrants who failed to integrate with the locals have become 'rootless' which might cause friction. 

The second keynote lecture presenter Prof Wang Ling-Chi, presenting 'Science and Race: Chinese Americans in Science and Technology since World War II', highlighted that scholars and historians often neglected the contributions of Chinese overseas in science and technology.  He said that the Chinese who had scientific and technological achievements were not limited to those in the USA, as there were many from other countries who had made phenomenal contributions. 


"Five years ago, the Chinese community in South Africa celebrated when the supreme court ruled that the Chinese were 'black' and are entitled to equality in the country," said Prof Karen Harris from the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies of University of Pretoria, South Africa, when presenting her paper titled 'Changing Face, Losing Face: The South African Chinese".  She has been keeping abreast of the impact of the changing global status of China on the relatively small Chinese community in South Africa.

Prof Karen Harris

Prof Harris said that in the 1994 Democratic Dispensation led by Nelson Mandela, equality was given to the black, Indian, and non-coloured communities.  The Chinese, although one of the most qualified minorities, fell into neither one of those categories.  After the move to undo the effects of the apartheid, they can now benefit from the affirmative action policies. Dignity Day is celebrated on 18 June every year to commemorate this victory after over a century of discrimination.  

In the closing remarks of the conference Prof Ho said, "The papers presented in the 8th ISSCO are of high qualities.  Following good traditions of ISSCO conferences, the organiser is happy to announce that some of these papers will be invited to be published."   He was proud to see many new presenters this year.

Josai strengthens ties with UTAR

Prof Sugibayashi (second from left) with (from left) Lim, Prof Lee, Ong and Dr Tan

Prof Dr Kenji Sugibayashi, the Vice-President of Josai University and Josai International University, Japan,  visited UTAR Petaling Jaya Campus on 6 September 2013 to explore the possibilities of future collaboration with UTAR.  

Prof Sugibayashi met with UTAR senior staff, Community and International Networking Director Dr Tan Sin Leng, Centre for Extension Education Director Lim Guat Yen, Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director Ong Soo Weon, to discuss the possibility of offering a joint PhD programme, as well as further efforts in student exchange.  He also met with UTAR Vice President (R&D and Commercialisation) Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei.

On 16 August, a delegation from Josai University led by its Dean of Academic Affairs, and Graduate School of Business Administration Prof Dr Kazunobu Fukushima visited the Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) in UTAR Perak Campus. They met with UTAR Vice President (Internationalisation and Academic Development) Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, FBF Dean Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, FBF Deputy Dean (Student Development and Industrial Training) Yew King Tak, Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research Deputy Director Dr Sim Kooi Mow, Head of Postgraduate Programmes Dr Chong Yee Lee and other UTAR staff members and discussed the potential collaborations of offering MBA dual degree programme and other activities that would benefit the staff and students of both universities.


Consolation Prize for UTAR team at EINIX 2013

Dr Lim (left) and Wong smiling for the camera with their prize

A project by UTAR academic staff and postgraduate students exhibited in the Engineering Invention & Innovation Exhibition (EINIX), held by the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) at a shopping complex in Petaling Jaya on 14 and 15 September 2013, won a consolation prize. 

EINIX 2013, held in conjunction with the IEM Engineering Week 2013, was officially launched by the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Abu Bakar bin Mohamad Diah and closed by the Selangor Chief Minister Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdul Khalid bin Ibrahim.

EINIX is an annual competition.  This year's competition challenges participants from ASEAN countries to propose inventions or innovations which creatively involve inter-disciplines of engineering to enhance their potential for commercialisation in not only the ASEAN region but also globally.

The UTAR team at EINIX 2013 was from the Faculty of Engineering and Science.  It was led by Assoc Prof Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng and lecturer Chua Kein Huat.  The two postgraduates involved were Wong Jianhui and Yong Wui Kian.  Their prized entry titled 'A Novel Fuzzy Controlled Energy Storage for Low-Voltage Distribution Network with Renewable Energy Sources' aims to maintain the network voltage within the required levels despite the additional amount of energy from renewable sources exceeds the limit imposed for the network. 

UTAR Young Champion Strikes Again

Loh's father (first from right) at the award presentation ceremony

Not long after the recent win at the P & G ASEAN Business Challenge (ABC) ASEAN level 2013 in Singapore, UTAR Electronic and Communications Engineering student Loh Hong Khai made it to the top in yet another prestigious competition. This time, Loh's HopON Project was selected as one of the two national winners in the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Programme on 23 September 2013.

His project on carpooling initiative edged over 10 other contestants and their projects in the programme organised by Bayer Co. (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. Loh received an all-expense-paid study trip to Cologne, Germany which will be in November this year. He will be representing Malaysia for the one-week observation tour of the best environmental practices by people, government and industry in Germany.  

Loh was represented by his parents during the award presentation ceremony on 23 September at the Hilton Hotel PJ, where Bayer Co. (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Managing Director Thomas Steffen presented the award. "Hopefully this success from UTAR can inspire more students to venture out of their comfort zone." exclaimed Loh.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Cooperating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Programme is one of its projects which aim to improve knowledge about the environment among youngsters and support them in their environmental commitment.

BAFE international conference a first for UTAR

Rogel presenting his award winning paper

It was a first for the Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) to join hands with the Centre for Accounting, Banking and Finance, Centre for Business Management and Centre for Economic Studies to organise the International Conference on Business, Accounting, Finance and Economic (BAFE) 2013 at UTAR Perak Campus on 4 October 2013.

Themed "Paving the way for value creation towards sustainability", the one-day conference saw more than 100 papers submitted from an impressive group comprising approximately 22 international participants from as far as Indonesia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Nigeria and Iran, 70 local participants from both public and private institutions of higher learning and also 50 participants from UTAR.  

"This BAFE conference aims to attract young and experienced researchers and scholars who are here to present and share their research ideas and findings in the area of business, accounting, finance and economics. I believe each and every research presenter in today's proceeding would contribute to new theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge of all participants," FBF Dean Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong said during his welcome speech. 

Winners of the BAFE 2013 Best Paper Award were also announced and awarded during the conference opening. They were:

Rogel L Limpiada - Title: Adherence to Quality Management Principles of Public and     Private Higher Education Institutions in the CALABARZON Region

Mui-Yin Chin, Chen-Chen Yong, Siew-Yong Yew - Title: An Analysis on Vertical Intra-industry Trade between ASEAN-5 and China Using Spatial Panel Model

Phuah Kit Teng, Wan Jamaliah Wan Jusoh - Title: Determinants of non-Muslim Consumers Buying Intention with Regard to Halal Labeled Food Products:  A Hierarchical Regression Analysis Model

Zarina Begum Ebrahim, Azwan Shah Aminuddin, Muna Kameelah Sauid, Nurul Ain Mustakim - Title: Measuring Customer Satisfaction Towards Service Quality of Counter Service at Malacca Municipal Council  



Dr Energy makes UTAR a TISE winner

Team leader Chua (second from left) and his team-mates with 'Dr Energy'

The innovative product called 'Dr Energy' of a team comprising a UTAR postgraduate and three undergraduate students, made the team a winner in the Young Intellectual category of the Outstanding Technopreneur Competition 2013 as announced in the Fifth Technopreneurship and Innovation Symposium and Exhibition (TISE) held at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College Kuala Lumpur campus from 6 to 7 October 2013.

The competition, organised by Malaysian Scientific Association and Wencom Career Consultancy, aimed to explore, identify and develop young Malaysian technopreneurs to set impetus to new economic development using science and technology; to retain and attract talents for the industrial and technological development of Malaysia; and to channel Malaysian young intellectuals and professionals into the main stream of national and international development.

The winning team comprised postgraduate student and lecturer Chua Kein Huat and undergraduate students, Nicoline Saw Ying Jie, Chok Eu-Tjin and Alvey Hau Lee Chuen, from UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science.  They were supervised by Assoc Prof Dr Lim Yun Seng and Asst Prof Dr Stella Morris from the faculty. 

Their winning entry, 'Dr Energy' is a plug-and-play, multifunctional electrical power diagnostic equipment that monitors, analyses, controls and optimises energy usage of a building. Dr Energy can be used to save energy consumption of both single- and three-phase electrical systems of buildings. 

The winners in the competition would receive a three-month career guidance and job matchmaking service with assistance for internship in European companies in Malaysia, ASEAN and the European Union.

UTAR wins MSC APICTA merit award

On stage (starting second left): Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, Chua, Dato' Azem, Dr Morris and others

A team comprising seven UTAR academics and students received the merit award in the category of Sustainability and Green IT of the MSC Malaysia Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) at an award presentation ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur on 7 October 2013.

The annual MSC Malaysia APICTA programme aims to provide recognition to outstanding achievements of individuals, students, entrepreneurs, SMEs and organisations in Malaysia who have contributed to the development of the MSC Malaysia initiatives or in building applications and services for the benefit of Malaysia. It is part of the international APICTA programme that recognises creativity, innovation and excellence in ICT.

The winning team from UTAR comprised three academics, Assoc Prof Dr Lim Yun Seng, Asst Prof Dr Stella Morris and lecturer Chua Kein Huat, and four students, Alvey Hau, Nicoline Saw, Chok Eu-Tjin and Ng Soon Hee, from the Faculty of Engineering and Science at UTAR Kuala Lumpur Campus. 

The team's winning entry, UTAR-BESS (for battery energy storage system), is a user-friendly multifunctional energy usage management system designed for the future electric power grid that is connected renewable energy sources and smart communication systems.  It provides consumers with solutions such as peak demand shaving to reduce the amount billed, voltage regulation to improve power reliability and serving as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) during power outage. 

The UTAR team will be among the teams that represent Malaysia to compete in the International APICTA in Hong Kong from 24 to 27 November 2013.

UTAR forges close ties with Taiwan universities

The UTAR delegates taking a group photo with Tamkang University President Dr Flora Chang Chia-I (front row center) and representatives from the university.

Two months after the visit by the Taiwan delegation of 12 universities led by its Minister of Education, Dr Chiang Wei-ling to UTAR on 27 July 2013, the University reciprocated with a similar visit to Taiwan beginning 13 October to 17 October 2013.

The UTAR delegation to Taiwan was led by Council Chairman, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato Dr Chuah Hean Teik. The delegation also included UTAR Vice President (R&D and Commercialisation) Ir Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei, Dean of Faculty of Science Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tuck Meng and Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology Dr Yap Vooi Voon.

Included in the itinerary were visits to several universities, namely, Tamkang University, National Yang-Ming University, National Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University and National Taipei University of Technology.  

Prof Chuah presenting tokens of appreciation to National Yang-Ming University President Dr Liang Kung-Yee.

During the five-day visit, UTAR signed a joint MoU with National Yang-Ming University and University System of Taiwan.  UTAR and National Yang-Ming University will join hands in collaborative academic activities on medical and health sciences and on collaborations that included welcoming adjunct professors to UTAR.

University System of Taiwan Chancellor Prof Ovid Tseng J. L. receiving souvenirs from Tun Dr Ling and Prof Chuah.

As a comprehensive university, UTAR will also team up with University System of Taiwan to look into areas like engineering, health sciences, arts and social science, creative industries, management and so on. 

Prof Chuah exchanging an MoA with National Chiao Tung University Senior Vice President Dr Shieh Han-Ping, witnessed by Tun Dr Ling.

The MoA exchange between UTAR and National Chiao Tung University included collaborations on student exchanges for postgraduate studies. Postgraduate students of both universities are allowed to utilise the research facilities at either universities for R&D purposes. 

Tun Dr Ling presenting a pewter plaque as a token of appreciation to National Taiwan University Vice President for Administrative Affairs Dr Chang Ching-Ray.

The University also signed an MoU with National Taipei University of Technology incorporating staff and student exchanges as well as R&D collaborations.  

Prof Chuah and National Taipei University of Technology President Dr Yao Leehter shaking their hands after signing the MoU while Tun Dr Ling looks on.




UTAR Co-organises ISMOT 2013

A participant posing a question to Dr Lim Eng Hock of UTAR during his talk 'Solar-cell-integrated Antennas

UTAR Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR) co-organised the 14th International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Technology (ISMOT 2013) with Monash University Australia/Malaysia at a hotel in Petaling Jaya on 29 October 2013. The event was supported by University of Nevada, Reno, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia, The Institution of Engineers Malaysia, The Institution of Engineering and Technology & University of Electronic Science and Technology of China with Kumpulan Abex Sdn Bhd as the sponsor.

The opening ceremony commenced with the welcome speeches from both the Symposium General Co-Chairs; Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik, who is UTAR President, and Prof Dr Joshua Le-Wei Li of Monash University, Australia/Malaysia. 

The research topics covered by ISMOT are microwave components and circuits, optical components, microwave and optical communication systems, electromagnetic theory, antennas, microwave photonics, and other current topics on microwave and optical technology. 

UTAR staff involved in the symposium were Prof Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman as the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat as one of the Co-Chairs in the Technical Programme Committee and Dr Lim Eng Hock, Faculty of Engineering and Science who presented on "Solar-cell-integrated Antennas". 

The two-day symposium  attracted participants including reputable academics, researchers and professionals from around the globe namely India, Japan, Spain, Italy, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, UK and USA to discuss and report on the progress and recent advances in microwave and optical technology.


R&D Completion Seminar

The panelists and UTAR staff (from left): Prof Lee, Prof Emeritus Yong, Sara Chen, Prof Ho,Prof Faidz and Ching Yen Choon    

To enhance R&D and commercialisation awareness, UTAR's Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR) together with UTAR Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation (DCC) organised a R&D Completion Seminar which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Campus on 1st November 2013.

Fifteen shortlisted research projects were presented at the seminar to a panelist comprising external assessors from High Impact Research, University of Malaya; Prof Emeritus Yong Hoi Sen and Prof Ho Chee Seong and internal assessors; Prof Ir Dr  Lee Sze Wei, UTAR Vice- President (R&D and Commercialisation), Prof Faidz bin Abd. Rahman, UTAR Director of IPSR and Ching Yen Choon, the representative staff from DCC. 

The panelists helped to assess the project achievements with respect to the project plan and the commercial potentials of the project outcome as well as to recommend on suitable actions to be taken, further research and funding sources.

Prof Ir Dr Lee said, "The seminar is an excellent platform for the presenters to gain immediate feedback and advice from the experts regarding their research projects. Such guidance helps them to see whether further research work is required, the possibilities for external collaborations and the re-assessments of its commercial viability." There was a lively engagement of questions, answers and comments between the presenters and the panelists at the seminar. Prof Ho encouraged the presenters to be aware of the needs of the industry players and whenever possible to seek their expertise and inputs on the research work.

Bayer Young Environmental Envoy visits Germany

Loh was given the opportunity to assist a professor in an experiment


UTAR Electronic and Communications Engineering student Loh Hong Khai represented Malaysia for a one-week observation tour of the best environmental practices by people, government, and industry in Germany from 10 to 15 November 2013. This came after Loh's project titled 'HopON' was selected as one of the two national winners of the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Programme in September this year.

Loh was selected to be a Bayer Young Environmental Envoy representing Malaysia alongside Chia Wen Shin from Universiti Putra Malaysia. The duo joined 44 other envoys from 19 different countries in the city of Cologne, near the Bayer AG headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. The first day started off with a short briefing and a welcome dinner, and the second day saw the envoys visiting the Bayer communications centre 'BayKomm'. There, the envoys met Roland Kelper, the Head of International Communications Corporate Policy and Media Relation Communications, and Dr Michael Preuss, the Head of Corporate Policy and Media Relations Communications.

Apart from a tour of the BayKomm exhibition rooms, the envoys also got the opportunity to meet  Walganjo Njoroge, a Public Information Officer from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Over the week, they  visited the BayArena, a lab ship on the river Rhine, a waste-management site with an incinerator, waste water treatment plant and many other sites and programmes conducted by Bayer AG, the global chemical and pharmaceutical giant which was founded in 1863 in Germany.


Recipient of JCI TOYM Award 2013

Prof Chong (fourth from left) with Tan Sri Dato' A.K. Nathan (fifth from left) and JCI TOYM officials at the Award Presentation night


UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Dr Chong Kok Keong was the proud recipient of the 2013 Junior Chamber International Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian (JCI TOYM) Awards under the Scientific and Technological Development category at the award presentation ceremony held in Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya on 23 November 2013.

The prestigious event was hosted by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Kuala Lumpur Mandarin with the theme 'Grow with Excellence: The Hands of the Youth The Hope of the Nation". This event accorded recognition to ten young Malaysians between the ages of 18 to 40 who exemplify exceptional achievement with significant contributions to the advancement of their respective fields of endeavour and to the progress of the community at large. The award categories were cultural achievement, scientific & technological development, academic leadership & accomplishments, humanitarian & voluntary service, personal improvement & accomplishments, and business, economic or entrepreneur accomplishments.  

Prof Chong was shortlisted among the 30 finalists following his nomination and was awarded top recognition for his research work on harnessing the sun's energy with environmental sustainability. This was after stringent evaluation by a panel of distinguished judges led its chief judge YBhg Tan Sri Dato' A.K. Nathan, the Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director of Eversendai Corporation Berhad. Prof Chong and the other honourees of JCI TOYM 2013 would represent Malaysia to vie for The JCI TOYP Program together with other honourees from up to 100 countries around the world.

Prof Chong, who also heads UTAR Engineering Science postgraduate programmes, holds significant positions such as the Young Affiliate Fellow for The World Academy of Science, Associate Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering & Technology (AAET) and the project leader of six external research grants totalling RM 3.059 million.     

MTSF awards another grant to UTAR researchers

Tie receiving his prize from The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, YB. Datuk Dr. Ewon Ebin. Looking on are His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, the Ambassador of Japan (third from left) and the distinguished members of Toray Science Foundation

UTAR received another research grant from Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) in a prize presentation ceremony held in InterContinental Kuala Lumpur on 28 November 2013.
Tie Shin Wei and Dr. Chew Choy Hoong from the Department of Biomedical Science in UTAR Faculty of Science, received the research grant worth RM25,000 for their research entitled "The regulation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) expression by pro-inflammatory cytokines in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, HUVEC". Their research proposal was one of the 12 projects (out of 275 applications) which were awarded the MTSF Science & Technology Research Grant after a stringent selection process by the MTSF Scientific Committee.  

UTAR signs MoU with The Development Zone

(From left) Dr Lew, Dr Yong, Dr Choo, Gao, Prof Lee, Dr Wang, Dr Yang, Dr Lai, Qin during the souvenir presentation to UTAR

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Shandong's Weihai Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone (The Development Zone), China on 2 December 2013 at UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science (FES), Setapak Campus, Kuala Lumpur.

The signatories for the MoU were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato' Dr Chuah Hean Teik and The Development Zone Science and Technology Bureau Director Dr Zhiwei Yang. UTAR Vice President (R&D and Commercialization) Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei and The Development Zone Science and Technology Bureau Section Head Liying Qin were the witnesses for the respective parties.

The MoU established a basis for a win-win co-operation in the areas that include promoting reciprocal visits, talent exchange, training and the sharing of resources and information. It also paved the way for building a long lasting industry-university-research co-operation through commercialising suitable UTAR scientific research output and mature technologies through the incubation platform provided by The Development Zone.

Weihai Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, founded in 1991, is one of the three national level Hi-Tech development zones in the Torch program which is to develop hi-tech industries in China. It has been awarded "National Level Advanced Hi-Tech Development Zone", "National Exportation Base of Hi-Tech Products", and "National Level Intellectual Property Right Demonstrating Zone".