Open day strengthens the link with industry

University-Industry Partnership Open Day links academic researchers with industry

The University-Industry Partnership Open Day 2019 was held at Sungai Long Campus on 15 November 2019. It was jointly organised by Centre for Extension Education (CEE), Department of Consultancy & Commercialisation (DCC), Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR), and Division of Community and International Networking (DCInternet).

The objectives of the event were to promote a strong and effective link and collaboration between the University and the industry, and to share with the industry on how UTAR can support the industry in terms of manpower, expertise, facilities and many more. It also served as a platform for the University to enhance human network with the industry and move forward towards industry 4.0 together with the industry players.

Prof Ewe highlighting the importance of having a strong connection with the industry

Invited to deliver the opening remarks was UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat. In his speech, he mentioned that the collaboration between UTAR and industry was strong.  “In order to make sure that our students are able to meet the demand of the market, UTAR always makes sure that the programme is up-to-date and fulfils the need of the industry. It is important to make sure that the University is always relevant to industry community. The link with industry partners opens the doors to further experiential education for our staff and students while exposing them to real-life situations. It is a win-win situation for all parties with exchanges as the key objective of this open day.”

He added, “UTAR received scholarships from Huawei last week at a ceremony. They have hired our students and sent them to Shen Zhen for training. They think Malaysians possess advantages such as multilingualism, cultural intelligence, ability to deal with different culture and adaptability.” According to him, starting next year, UTAR would work with Qinzhou Industrial Park (QIP) by sending its students to China for industrial training. In coming January, UTAR would also receive two students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

He also acknowledged that UTAR has more than 100 students going overseas for study tour and student exchange this year, while the University has also received 100 partner students from other countries. “I hope that today’s event will provide valuable insights, thoughts, discussions involving various topics and showcase UTAR R&D projects, which could promote knowledge exchange and networking,” he said.

Prof Faidz explaining the University’s priority areas in R&D

The event was then followed by Prof Faidz’s presentation. His talk, titled “UTAR: Human Capital, R&D Resources and Support for Industry”, gave an overview of the current development and R&D priority areas of the University. He explained that UTAR has partnered with industry in terms of technology transfer, training, consultancy, R&D and lab facilities. He also explained the scope of projects and showed some of the on-going collaboration projects to provide ideas on some possible areas of collaboration. 

Dr Hen illustrating the challenges and opportunities given by BRI

The event also included a presentation from Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Deputy Dean Dr Hen Kai Wah, where he focused on the challenges and impacts of Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI). In his talk, he gave a brief introduction of BRI and outlined the major BRI projects in Malaysia which included Melaka Gateway, Bandar Malaysia, Forest City, Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, and East Coast Railway Line.

“BRI is not an infrastructure development. It consists of five pillars, namely policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people exchanges,” he said. He also showed the record of Malaysia-China bilateral trade from 2017 to 2018 and presented the perception study of BRI in Malaysia. “We should transform the BRI challenges into opportunities,” he said. He explained that the challenges could turn into opportunities through e-commerce and innovative models such as the power of social influencer and big data, as well as collaboration like today’s event.

Danny Ng (left) and Dr Chua during their presentation

Moreover, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science lecturer Ir Danny Ng Wee Kiat and Dr Chua Kein Huat introduced their research and findings to the participants during the event. In his presentation, Danny Ng talked about Industrial 4.0 and its evolution. He said that Industrial 4.0 was inevitable. He then explained the transformational drivers of Industrial 4.0. He also explained the readiness of Malaysia for Industrial 4.0 and presented the possible collaboration between university and industry. On the other hand, Dr Chua presented a topic focusing on energy efficiency. According to him, Energy Management System (EnMS) is essential to make sure that the systematic implementation of energy-saving measures leads to energy efficiency. Moreover, he said that the commitment from the top management was important because implementing the system requires resource allocation.

Clockwise, from top left: Prof Lim, Dr Bernard Saw and Dr Tan during their presentation

Participants listening attentively to the talks

Furthermore, there was a sharing session called UTAR Selected Patents. It was presented by Centre for Power Systems and Electricity Chairperson Ir Prof Dr Lim Yun Seng, Centre for Vehicular Technology Chairperson Dr Bernard Saw Lip Huat, Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology Dr Tan Ming Hui. In his presentation, Prof Lim introduced IoT Energy Sdn Bhd and discussed energy storage system solutions. He explained that IoT Energy Sdn Bhd is a spin-off company of UTAR, with aims to provide affordable and locally designed energy storage system to Malaysian to improve the values of renewable energy and create additional wealth for customers and network operators. Dr Bernard Saw, on the other hand, presented the zonal cooling technology with revolutionising lancet fin while Dr Tan talked about the low cost non-tracking solar concentrator water heater.

Prof Ewe (fifth from right) and Hee (sixth from right) with UTAR researchers and staff

The event was graced by Selangor Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Hee Loy Sian. A total of 20 booths was set up to provide platform for UTAR researchers to showcase their research work and enhance industry partners’ understanding about UTAR’s research areas. It was also an important platform for networking as it offered a space for partnerships and knowledge sharing. The research works that were showcased in the event covered a range of areas such as intelligent system, energy efficiency and green technology.

Researchers were able to communicate directly with the industrial players and understand the type of support these ventures need; while industrial players were able to find out the outcome of R&D that is interesting and relevant to their areas

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