Asian Correspondent » Taylors University http://asiancorrespondent.com Asian Correspondent Thu, 21 May 2015 02:07:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Innovation Can Change the World http://asiancorrespondent.com/80854/innovation-can-change-the-world/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/80854/innovation-can-change-the-world/#comments Fri, 20 Apr 2012 02:39:25 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=80854 Over the past few decades, great ingenuity and invention has marked the history. Telephones, electricity, automobiles, radio, television and computers are few of the innovations that were introduced to the world by great engineers. Indeed, they have played a major part in changing the ways we see the world and our ways of living. Innovational speakers can also influence our understanding of the world, as they present new or improved ideas in an easy to understand manner. These keynote speakers give speeches that explain the newest innovations that a particular industry has to offer, making it easier for employees in that industry to use these innovations productively. For example, popular innovational speakers for Asia might give a speech on the newest advances in the telecommunications or computing industry. Engineers and designers can then use this information to improve the products or services that their company provides for consumers.

Some of the notable engineers with their great inventions include Bill Gates, the inventor of Microsoft for our personal computer; Robert Kahn, one of the originators of the Internet; Wright brothers, who invented, designed, created and flew the first working airplane; and Wilson Greatbatch, an American engineer and inventor of the pacemaker. All these clearly demonstrate how engineering has changed the world through inventions and discoveries that made a huge impact to our life.

Edwin Chung Chin Yau

Deputy Dean of Taylor’s University School of Engineering & Head for Taylor’s Technology Innovation Centre

Dr. Edwin Chung is the Deputy Dean (Innovation and Enterprise) for the School of Engineering at Taylor’s University and the Head for Taylor’s Technology Innovation Centre.  Dr. Chung graduated from Monash University (Clayton) with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Engineering with first class honours majoring in Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering and a PhD researching into asynchronous circuit design methodology.  He started his career in the semiconductor industry and has been attached to both the design and the manufacturing functions of the industry.  He has worked on various products design such as a 3G baseband processor while with NEC Australia and a 32 bit microRISC controller core while he was with Motorola in Adelaide.

Prior to joining Taylor’s University Dr. Chung was an Innovation Consultant with Kwerkus Six – a startup he founded together with five other ex-Intel staff from Intel’s IT Innovation Centre.  During his time with Intel’s IT Innovation Centre & Kwerkus Six, he has helped organisations learned the art of innovation as well as adopt innovation as a corporate culture.  Amongst these organisation is a subsidiary of a multinational oil and gas company who filed their first patent with the assistance of Dr. Chung.  Since joining Taylor’s University, Dr. Chung has introduced design modules into the engineering programmes’ syllabus which introduce students to the art and science of innovation.  Dr. Chung like to consider himself a computer scientist and an electrical & computer systems engineer by training, an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) design engineer by career planning, and now, an innovation practitioner and an educator by accident.

During an interview with Dr. Chung, he shares some of his outlook on innovation in the field of engineering:

Q: How does Taylor’s University School of Engineering adopt the concept of innovation in its teaching and learning approach?

A: This is a very good question. Firstly, we use the word innovation all the time and from my experience, we may not have a common understanding of this word.  Try this experiment, ask the next ten people you meet what is “Innovation” and you may end up with just as many different definitions.  Some will relate it to something new, something creative, a new application of something existing, an improvement of something existing, an invention or a combination of these.  Now, the dictionary defines the word innovation as something new or a new process.  Yet, not everything new can be considered an innovation nor are all innovations something new.  Most innovation practitioners will define the word innovation along the line of “the creation of value through the implementation of idea.”  Here at Taylor’s University School of Engineering, we too define innovation in the same way.  Innovation is about the creation of value.  Accordingly, we believe we create value in our students through project-based learning.  Here, through their projects, students are placed in situations where they will experience similar challenges most of us faced at work.  So in addition to domain specific knowledge, emphasise are also placed on soft and cognitive skills.  Skills that will prepare our students for the unknown.

 

Also, engineers are generally viewed as analytical minded people who are left brain heavy.  Every single engineering schools in the country, and possibly majority of schools around the world, produce engineering graduates that fits this description.  I like our students to be design engineers who not only have well developed left brain, but are able to flex their right brain just as well.  This is probably the only engineering school in the country where everyone is exposed to the art of innovation based on design thinking and TRIZ the science of innovation.

 

Q: Share one of your research studies with us and its outcome.

A: I didn’t do any serious research after my PhD and the closest I got to any form of research like activities were all those IC (integrated circuit) design projects I was involved in.  One of this was the design of a HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access) module used in 3G mobile handsets when I was with NEC Australia.  The decoding of HSDPA signals involves mathematics that were not too complex but a simple hardware solution for such decoder had earlier eluded many of us.  The outcome of this work, if it can be classified as research, is a worldwide patent filling by NEC Japan and this patent has been active since its initial filling in Australia in 2003.

 

Q: In your opinion, how do you see the future for innovation in engineering in Malaysia?

A: The cup is only a third full.  We have lots of room for improvement and things can only get better.

 

Q: As the Deputy Dean of SOE, how is the Engineering programme offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE) exclusive?

A: Taylor’s University School of Engineering is a project-based learning school.  What this means is that every student will need to work on a project every semester starting from Semester 1. This is rather unusual as most engineering schools will only introduce their students to projects at Year 3 and sometime year 4.  These projects are important not only for students to sharpen their soft and cognitive skill as mentioned earlier, they also help students learn about their strengths and weaknesses where they can get assistance from their mentor to improve themselves.

Time and again, we have noticed that these projects deepen students’ understanding of what they learn in class.  It also put them in an environment that is similar with what they will experience when they get to the industry. This is so effective that a number of schools from China, Vietnam and Thailand have sent delegates to learn from us.


For more information on the programmes offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), you may visit us at:

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SOE Won 5 Medals at the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2012 http://asiancorrespondent.com/79444/soe-won-5-medals-at-the-malaysia-technology-expo-mte-2012/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/79444/soe-won-5-medals-at-the-malaysia-technology-expo-mte-2012/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 04:10:09 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=79444 The Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) is the biggest technological exhibition in the region, which showcases the latest and greatest in technology-based products and services, which revolutionise the aspects of commerce, trade, information and communication.  It provides a platform in driving new innovations to break through the international market among Malaysians, as well as promoting science and technology to the younger generation through exciting and innovative inventions that are able to change people’s way of living.

Held from 16th to 18th February 2012, Taylor’s University won 11 medals including the ‘Most Creative Booth’ award, out of the 14 projects exhibited by the University at the Expo.

Taylor’s University’s lecturer, Dr. Hosseini, and student, Lee Jing Yi, presenting their projects to the judges at MTE.

Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE) took home five bronze medals for the innovative projects conceived by its lecturers and students alike.

Below is the list of categories and projects won by the engineering faculty:

School of Engineering

1. Category C – Mind-Controlled Wheelchair

Group members: Prof. Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi, Mr. Tham Chan Seng, Sam Khang Hau, Gan Chee Heing, Lee Jing Yi and Liew Kit Shen.

“Mind-Controlled Wheelchair” is a thought-operated machine which is designed to aid the disabled communiry or elderlies for easier mobilisation. The wheelchair is operated using the EEG (Electroencephalography) concept which is decoding of brain waves.  The brain waves are then received by the controller where they are interpreted as a computer commands and transmitted to transceiver in the wheelchair.  In this design, additional features such as canopy, LED, siren and camera are included.

2. Category D – Eco-Cell Brick

Group members: Assoc. Prof. Marwan M. Shamel, Dr. Usama Helmy Mohamed, Kyle Tham Choon Yvin and Andrew Yee Chin Wei

Global warming becomes one of the most challenging issues for engineers.  Calling it an evolution of the traditional, the invention of “Eco-Cell brick” provides an eco-friendly and alternative solution for agricultural waste. The Eco-Cell brick’s external frame is made from recycled and waste materials such as paper paste, and its centre is filled with rice hull fibres.  Hence, the brick is very light, effective as heat insulator and recyclable.  

3. Category D – Application of Natural Fibers in Acoustic Absorption Panel

Group members: Dr. Mohammad Hosseini Fouladi, Assoc. Prof. Marwan M. Shamel, Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohd Jailani Mohd Nor, Pang Zong Xin, Sim Yeng Peng, Sin Yi Wen and Sharmini Jegachandra

Natural products such as coir, corn, oil palm fibers, and their wastes are found to be good sound absorbers at certain frequency bands. This study aims at exploring the opportunities to commercialise these products for general uses.  The main target for this study is to replace the current synthetic sound absorbers for two important reasons: health wise due to ongoing health hazards claims against the synthetic fiber and to minimize the cost for such products.


School of Engineering + School of Architecture, Building and Design

1. Category C – Size Reader &

2. Category D – The Invisible Screen

Group members: Dr. Usama Helmy Mohamed, Prof. Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi and Dr. Obai Younis Taha Elamin

The idea of “The Size Reader” is to integrate a tiny device with the pin drive and the memory card. This device is able to immediately read and show the empty space on the particular drive or card on an integrated LCD, without the need of connecting it to a computer to do so. This tiny device uses a very small amount of power, which could be generated by using tiny solar cell integrated with the pin drive and the memory card as well.

 “The Invisible Screen” was built on utilising light reflections and refractions through the openings towards the outside in high intensities, while keeping zero light reflections and refractions towards the inside. These outside high intensity light reflections and refractions prevent and obstruct the outsiders from seeing the inside through such openings. On the other hand, the view from inside to outside remains clear and un-obstructed.

When interviewed, Prof. Dr. Mushtak, Dean of SOE, expressed his pride on the achievements, as some of the winning projects involved the participation of first year students as well.  “Seeing the students play an active role in their project-based learning process, which challenges individuals to be more productive, is indeed a rewarding experience to us as lecturers. Once again, this proves that the great human potential among our students can be unleashed via the right teaching method – where the community can also benefit from these innovative projects,” said Prof. Dr. Mushtak.

For more information on the programmes offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), you may visit us at:

 

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Good Internship Goes A Long Way for Engineering Students http://asiancorrespondent.com/78726/good-internship-goes-a-long-way-for-engineering-students/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/78726/good-internship-goes-a-long-way-for-engineering-students/#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:05:55 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=78726 Many students are aware that internship is a fantastic opportunity for them to get first-hand experience and knowledge of a company before they graduate. A successful internship may also lead to a permanent job offer for the students as well. It is also a platform for students to understand their potential career better so as to make sure they choose the right job in future.

In the recent semester break for third-year Engineering students of Taylor’s University, they were busy with their 3-month internship, which turned out to be a great experience for them. Three of the eighty third-year students went as far to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Indonesia respectively for their internship, while the rest completed their internship in international companies based in Malaysia.

 

A great experience for Wai Kit to understand and practice in real-life engineering industry.

“In my entire internship period, I was involved in different projects, ranging from improving the process of the production line, placement of new table in Hemming Robot line and also increasing uptime on Power Press (PP) Line. Fortunately, my colleagues are very friendly and helpful thus enabling me to adapt to the culture of the company and learn things faster,” said Yap Wai Kit, a Year 3 Mechanical Engineering students from Taylor’s University.

He is currently an intern in New Hoong Fatt (NHF) Holdings Berhad under Stamping Department of Metal Division for 10 weeks. NHF is a major distributor of genuine and alternative replacement body parts, with an extensive distribution channel of more than 1,500 wholesalers and retailers, as well as automotive repair shops throughout Malaysia. It is a one-stop station for all the automotive replacement parts needs. Its products are being exported to more than 40 countries including ASEAN countries, Middle East, Central and South America, Europe, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Africa and Russia.

 

Group photo of Wai Kit (third from left) and other interns together with Mr. Chin Jit Sin, Managing Director of NHF Holdings Berhad (middle).

Christopher Chew Mun Kit, a Chemical Engineering student, recently completed his 12-week internship (December 2011 to February 2012) at Henkel Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Christopher Chew Mun Kit.

“My internship was truly enlightening as throughout my 12 weeks in Henkel, I encountered many different projects ranging from production processes, technical lab testing to supply chain. Each week I would work on a different project with different people. With this, I managed to have an overview of the entire operations of the plant, even the non-engineering parts. I find this particularly useful as I get to experience and learn things that are beyond my field of study and yet significant enough for me to understand how businesses operate,” he explained.

Along with the knowledge and skills gained from SOE’s project-based learning (PBL), the students found that they are well-prepared to take on their internship position in the industry.

“Without PBL, I would need additional time and effort to perform well in my company. PBL gave me the opportunity to expose myself to various hands-on work, therefore the transition to working in the industry is an easy one.  For example, I have been exposed to the components and parts that are available in Henkel’s plant during my project assignments in Taylor’s University,” said Chris.

 

As the current Advisor (Chris) and Corporate Director (Wai Kit) of the Society of Engineering & Technology (SET), both of them constantly involved in engineering’s events and fairs.

 “PBL helps me break the communication barrier once I stepped into NHF. I managed to catch up on things quickly in the company and the presentation skills acquired through PBL allowed me to present my ideas and proposals well during my internship period,” Wai Kit enthused.

Both of them will be graduating on next year July.

Presently, both Wai Kit and Chris had completed their internship stint and soon will be back to the campus for their third-year studies.

For more information on the programmes offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), you may visit us at:

 

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Mechanical Engineering and Its Relevance to Acoustic Absorption Studies http://asiancorrespondent.com/78070/mechanical-engineering-and-its-relevance-to-acoustic-absorption-studies/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/78070/mechanical-engineering-and-its-relevance-to-acoustic-absorption-studies/#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2012 03:37:20 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=78070 According to Wikipedia’s definition, acoustic absorption is the property of any material that changes the acoustic energy of sound waves into another form, often heat, which to some extent will be retained, as opposed to sound energy which material reflects or conducts. In real life, most of the sound absorbing products consisting of simulated materials dominates the commercial market, and therefore ultimately limits the study for alternative materials in substituting it. However, there are several research findings that identify new materials for sound absorption applications in the industry.

In fact, natural substances are progressively becoming the center of interest as they are recyclable and easily available in certain countries. In Malaysia, plenty of agricultural wastes such as oil palm frond fibre, rice fibre and coconut fibre, are usually burned or used as agricultural products. These natural fibres are suitable as substitutes for synthetic fibres in acoustic absorption resolutions.

Dr. Mohammad Hosseini
Programme Director of Mechanical Engineering, Taylor’s University School of Engineering

Dr. Hosseini started his career as a technical engineer ten years ago in one of the subsidiary companies for South Pars Gas Field, Iran. It is the world’s largest gas field and he was in charge of fabrication of boilers, knock out drums and reservoirs. His area of expertise includes sound and vibration source recognition and suppression where he started his researches seven years ago. Dr. Hosseini’s researches were also published in various high impact journals.

Programme Director for the Mechanical Engineering programme from Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), Dr. Mohammad Hosseini, shares his insights on using natural fibres as acoustic absorption panel from a Mechanical Engineering perspective.

 

Q: How do natural fibres relate to Mechanical Engineering studies at Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE)?

A: Mechanical Engineering is the ability to understand and implement the rules of physics and mathematics in a wide variety of real world applications such as design, fabrication and assembly of buildings, automobiles, heating and cooling machineries etc. Different physical factors will create different results in acoustic absorption of materials.

In Taylor’s University, dedicated lecturers guide the students in carrying out analytical modeling techniques through projects or assignments in order to characterise the acoustic behavior of several natural fibre. In addition to learning how certain factors affect the acoustic absorption, students are also exposed to experimental observations to enhance their understanding in this field.

 

Q: Can you share one of your most impactful research studies and its outcome?

A: My recent research at Taylor’s University was to implement local natural fibres in acoustic absorption panels. Environmental acoustics is an area of engineering dealing with the study of acoustic characteristics of indoor and outdoor areas. An acoustic panel absorbs the unwanted sound or noise inside the room and provides a more comfortable environment for the human. Hence, the study of the acoustical performance of natural substance material is important to use it efficiently in applications such as wall lining, room interior surface, transportation and constructions sectors, vehicle interior noise and muffling system.

Several groups of Taylor’s University degree students worked on this project as part of their Engineering Design modules and achieved impressive an result that won them a Bronze Medal in the recent Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2012 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

 

Q: In your opinion, what do you see the potential of mechanical engineering for graduates in Malaysia industry?

A: Oil and gas, transportation and their related industries are growing very fast in Malaysia thus creating a large market for Mechanical Engineering graduates to get into their desired jobs based on their level of education, including sound technical knowledge and essential soft skills.  Hence, I believe that more mechanical engineers will be in-demand in these industries, thus contributing towards the advancement of the country.

 

Q: In your opinion, what makes the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering programme offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE) exclusive?

A: Our Mechanical Engineering programme provides a platform in teaching students, not only in the area of gaining knowledge, but also train them to be a professional engineer that obligate strong teamwork, possess good communication skills and effectively apply their knowledge towards the benefit of themselves and the community. Furthermore, Taylor’s University School of Engineering is the only school in the country that has implemented the CDIO initiative and its structure is very well aligned with UNESCO’s four pillars of learning. By exposing students to such a teaching and learning framework, their employability rate is much higher than the rest. The project-based learning approach exposes our students to actual industry’s demands, thus better prepare them to step into the working world upon graduation.

For more information on the programmes offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), you may visit us at:

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A STEP Ahead http://asiancorrespondent.com/77883/a-step-ahead/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/77883/a-step-ahead/#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2012 04:24:13 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=77883 Through the Student Employment Programme (STEP), Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (TCHT) partners with industry leaders to offer bachelor’s degree students a unique opportunity to enjoy actual working experience, even before they graduate.

This one-of-a-kind partnership enables students to undergo training with industry partners, typically hotel industries, as well as provides an avenue for the leading hotel groups to map out its long-term recruitment plans and secure potential talents.

 

Selected STEP students currently pursuing their Bachelor of International Hospitality Management (Hons), Bachelor of Tourism Management (Hons) and Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management (Hons, will participate in specially designed training sessions, workshops and seminars, organised by the industry partner. They will also have a chance to complete a four- to six-month industrial training with the employers – with the potential of securing a job offer.

 

“The selected students will not only gain the best in hospitality management education from us, but also be trained by some of the biggest and most well-recognised names in the industry. These exciting partnerships resonate closely with the university’s new mission, which is to be the “Top Employers’ Top Choice University”,” said Deputy Vice Chancellor, Taylor’s University, Mr. Pradeep Nair.

 

Apart from the STEP programme, Taylor’s University and these industry partners have been in a close relationship in areas of student ambassador programmes, internship programmes and research projects. The strong industries linkages also allow Taylor’s University to establish an Industry Advisory Panel where the partners become important stakeholders in the programmes offered by the University. The panel will review the programmes’ curriculum and ensure our students’ learning outcomes are aligned with the industry’s needs and expectations.

Thus far, TCHT has signed STEP agreements with Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The selected students are currently undergoing their internship at these world-class hotels and convention centres in Malaysia.

For more information on Taylor’s University, please log on to:

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Award-Winning Invention for the Disabled Community http://asiancorrespondent.com/77106/award-winning-invention-for-the-disabled-community/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/77106/award-winning-invention-for-the-disabled-community/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 09:55:01 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=77106  “The needs of disabled persons in Malaysia are still seen largely as a welfare function,” said Maniam Sinnasamy, Project Manager of United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.).

In the fast developing world, the needs and plights of the disabled community are still being neglected by the general public.  They face challenges when performing simple chores due to the lack of facilities available for their convenience.

In the engineering fair held on 17th to 18th December 2011 by Taylor’s University, five undergraduate engineering students from the University showcased an innovative project called Neuro Wheel Chair.

 

The chair is designed to enable physically-challenged people to control the movement of the wheelchair using signals generated from human brain.

The rose among the thorns, Lee Jing Yi, Year 1 Chemical Engineering student of Taylor’s University, shared her opinions on how such engineering fairs have encouraged students to work as a team and cultivated interest among them in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The Engineering Fair that was held last year was an interesting event as it gave me an opportunity to showcase the project that we had done throughout the whole semester. I also acquired important skills when working on this project such as critical thinking, soft skills and team work. These factors are crucial in preparing me for a career in engineering in future, ” said Jing Yi.

She commended on the project-based learning approach adopted by Taylor’s University School of Engineering as it gave the students a platform to put what they learn into practice – making it easier for them to understand the modules taught.

The Neuro Wheel Chair prohect was awarded with the Best CAD/CAM Design Project Award of the year at the last engineering fair.

The Engineering Fair at Taylor’s University is not only a place where these young people are given an opportunity to showcase their talents in creating a new project but also cultivate soft skills such as critical thinking, leadership, and creative problem solving among the students, enabling them to make people’s lives better through their innovations. It also encourages cross disciplinary learning when they work with engineering students from different fields for their projects.

For more information on Taylor’s University School of Engineering, please log on to:

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Unconventional but Fascinating Field of Chemical Engineering http://asiancorrespondent.com/75981/unconventional-but-fascinating-field-of-chemical-engineering/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/75981/unconventional-but-fascinating-field-of-chemical-engineering/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 07:22:27 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=75981 Malaysians today are becoming health-conscious, with some turning into lifelong vegans and fruitarians. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, but have a short shelf life due to natural biochemical changes. To prolong fruits and vegetables’ shelf life, postharvest processing such as drying, is widely used.

Drying technology can extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables but it degrades its physical properties and biochemical compounds. Therefore, ways to minimise the degradation of fruits and vegetables is the major concern in the area of drying technology today.  It must be able to retain the natural biochemical compounds and minimise the changes in the physical property of fruits and vegetables to increase the product marketability.

Dr. Chong Chien Hwa
PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Nottingham


Armed with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, Dr. Chong Chien Hwa has published extensively in international journals and has written a book chapter on the drying of exotic fruits. At present, he is also a reviewer for several research journals on food science and engineering, agriculture and general research, and is an Associate Editor for the International Engineering & Technology Education Conference (IETEC) 2011 proceedings. Dr. Chong is currently the Programme Director of Chemical Engineering with Taylor’s University School of Engineering

We speak to Dr. Chong Chien Hwa and he shares with us some seeds of wisdom on this unconventional yet fascinating field of chemical engineering.

 

Q: How does drying technology involving fruits and vegetables relate to Chemical Engineering studies at Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE)?

A: Chemical processing plants such as petrochemical plants, waste water treatment plants, energy plants, fruit processing plants, vegetable processing plants and etc. are industrial process plants that manufactures chemicals, usually on a large scale. Such plants aim to create new materials through chemical transformation or separation of materials, using special equipments and technology during the process. However, designing a chemical processing plant has been a common challenge for many chemical engineers in Malaysia.

With drying technology being covered in one of the modules; Process Integration and Unit Operation 1 under any Chemical Engineering programme, students will learn and grasp the skills to determine the drying kinetics, equilibrium moisture content and drying characteristics of dehydrated products that can help them face such challenges as a chemical engineer. Hence, drying technology is strongly related to Chemical Engineering studies.

 

Q: Your research studies in the area of drying technology were mostly done on fruits and vegetables. Can you share one of your research studies and its outcome?

A: Fruit is a heat sensitive biomaterial. The common problem faced by the industry in drying of fruits and vegetables is how to retain the nutritional value such as total polyphenol content and vitamins. Referring to one of my research findings, it was found that drying strategy for dehydration of fruits was based on the group of polyphenol compounds. If the fruit contains the first group of polyphenol compounds such as procyanidins, caffeoylquinic acid and epicatechin, low temperature drying followed by rapid drying can be used; heat pump vacuum microwave drying.

Q: In your opinion, how do you see the future for drying technology in Malaysia?

A: Drying technology is a concentrated entity of maneuver used in chemical or biochemical processing plants in Malaysia. Looking at the existing technology available in Malaysia, further innovations are required and essential because some of the chemical processing plants have performed at yield of 50%. Hence, I believe that the future for drying technology is bright and more chemical engineers will be needed to work towards its advancement for the country.

Q: Taylor’s has been a household name for over 40 years in the country for quality world class education. As the programme director, how is the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Chemical Engineering programme offered by Taylor’s School of Engineering (SOE) exclusive?

A: The teaching and learning framework adopted by Taylor’s SOE produce graduates with strong fundamentals of being a chemical engineer. By exposing students to such a teaching and learning framework, their future employers will not need to spend thousands of money to conduct trainings and workshops for them to think creatively and perform innovatively in the working world. Above all, the project based-learning approach that provides a platform for students to come up with their own engineering projects every semester for four years will increase their employment opportunities and their market value as quality chemical engineers upon graduating.

For more information on the programmes offered by Taylor’s University School of Engineering (SOE), you may visit us at:

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International Students Inspired To Lead Positive Changes http://asiancorrespondent.com/76064/international-students-inspired-to-lead-positive-changes/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/76064/international-students-inspired-to-lead-positive-changes/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 01:58:15 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=76064 Taylor’s University hosted the International Students Leadership Conference 2011

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” said former US President John F. Kennedy.

Each year, International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC) will be held at a different university around the world. The annual conference helps international students to broaden their knowledge and insights into leadership development as well as their understanding on cross cultural competencies for leadership excellence.

In October 2011, Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus played host to this important conference. Over 150 students from 40 countries convened at this two-day event, themed ‘Breakthrough: Cross Cultural Understanding and Competency Building for Global Leadership’. This conference was a collaboration between the Student Affairs and Development Division of the Ministry of Higher Education and Taylor’s University.

The participants are currently studying at 34 public and private universities and university colleges in Malaysia and hail from countries including Afghanistan, Djibouti, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Korea, China, Egypt, India, Fiji, Australia and the United Kingdom.

World-class speakers, who participated at the conference, inspired the students by sharing their success stories and expertise in their industries. Among some of the prominent speakers at the event include Jason Lo, Chief Executive Officer of Tune Talk Sdn Bhd, Mr Andreas Vogiatzakis, Managing Director of Omnicom Media Group, Ms Ana Cheong, Principal Consultant of Ana Consultancy, Action Coach Mr Jeevan Sahadevan, and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Taylor’s University, Mr Pradeep Nair.

“International students make up a critical component of our student population in Malaysia. Therefore, the Ministry of Higher Education, through our Student Affairs and Development Division, considers the well-being and interests of these students a top priority. By encouraging students to participate in this conference, we also hope to enrich their experiences gained here in Malaysia, and ultimately play a part in grooming them to become global leaders,” said Prof. Dr. Morshidi bin Sirat.

According to Professor Dato’ Dr Hassan, this year’s conference served as a source of inspiration for the participants to broaden their spectrum of leadership, by promoting diversity and inter-cultural understanding. It was also intended to cultivate the interest for community-centric efforts, and spark new ideas on global communities.

“Participants will have the privilege of listening to some success stories and broaden their understanding on cross-cultural competencies towards achieving leadership excellence. Through this conference, they will be able to establish a platform for intellectual exchange and communication across all nations and disciplines,” explained Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said.

The conference concluded with a forum entitled “Leading Positive Change in the Campus and University” where the students were enlightened by the academic speakers from various institutions of higher learning on the evolvement of campus life in Malaysia.

For more information on Taylor’s University, please log on to:

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Taylor’s Racing Team To Make Their Mark in Formula SAE Race http://asiancorrespondent.com/75771/taylor%e2%80%99s-racing-team-to-make-their-mark-in-formula-sae-race/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/75771/taylor%e2%80%99s-racing-team-to-make-their-mark-in-formula-sae-race/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 09:42:53 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=75771 Taylor’s University continuously collaborates with different organisations to ensure that both its students and academic staff are able to gain exposures and knowledge on current industry demands. In these mutually-beneficial partnerships, the industry partners also enjoy the benefits of having some of the best students to work on specific projects for them in the form of collaborative researches or students’ activities.

Established in 2010, the Red Bull Taylor’s Racing Team (RBTRT), comprising a group of dedicated engineering students, went against all odds to build their functioning lightweight race car. Despite the challenges in securing sponsorship to obtain the required steel and suspension system to build the car, the team successfully completed the vehicle in a very cost-effective manner.

The team made good use of the funds received by doing researches in design, manufacturing, and testing, which were carried out simultaneously with minimal supervision by their lecturers.

Teh Renyu, a third-year mechanical engineering student who was also one of the RBTRT members, highlighted that the key to success of this project was the full co-operation given by the team members. “Even if we have all the sponsors and resources required, without a united team, the project would have collapsed.”

The team’s hard work was paid off when they beat 19 other teams from public universities nationwide and won the champion title at the Formula Varsity Race, an international student racing competition. Taylor’s University is the first and only private university to win both the Formula Varsity 2010 Overall Tournament Winner award, and the Most Outstanding Team award.

Their success fuelled the team’s aspiration to be the first Malaysian race car to enter Formula SAE, a student design competition organised by SAE International (formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers). The team members flew to Melbourne last year to experience the Formula SAE race, which they intend to participate in future.

“It was a good experience for the team to get a feel of the racing atmosphere and to assess the teams that might compete with us on the racing track.” said Loong Yun Kit, the TRT team leader and driver.

He mentioned that his team has identified some areas of improvement after watching the race, and they are confident in making their mark when representing Malaysia in the upcoming international race.

The only female member of the team, Andrea Kraal, agreed that the trip was very educational and they are in the midst of gearing up for the battle in Melbourne this year.

To know more about our Engineering courses, do check out our Taylor’s University School of Engineering’s website at


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Taylor’s SET Ambassadors Inspire Chinese Students http://asiancorrespondent.com/75555/set-ambassadors-inspire-chinese-students/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/75555/set-ambassadors-inspire-chinese-students/#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2012 09:31:17 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=75555 Sharing the thoughts and experiences of the Elite Student Leaders of Taylor’s University

One of the highlights of our first blog mentioned a two-week visit and collaborative mission by Taylor’s University engineering students with the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology (BIPT) in 2011. Our students – Christopher Chew, Yap Wai Kit and Mike Ooi Ferng Lin – of Taylor’s University Society of Engineering & Technology (SET) went to Beijing, aimed with the noble intention of sharing their experiences in setting up a student society with the Chinese students.

These ‘ambassadors’ from Taylor’s University School of Engineering also helped the BIPT students to organize their inaugural Innovators Carnival that took place in October 2011.

Their itinerary to Beijing included a brief visit to Tsinghua University as well as a pre-arranged meeting with Associate Professor Dr. Benjamin Koo from the Industrial Engineering Department of the University Dr. Koo also serves as a Special Advisor to UNESCO’s Chaired Professor on Industry-Academic Collaboration.

No visit to China would be complete without a visit to historical and modern sites in Beijing. Weaving work and play together, Christopher, Wai Kit and Mike had the pleasure of visiting several renowned tourist spots such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, Summer Palace and Beijing Olympics Sports Centre. Despite the packed schedule, they managed to slip in a visit to Beijing’s Hacker Space, a convention of innovators and enthusiasts who display and share their projects.

Before the boys left Beijing for home, they met with BIPT Foreign Affairs Director, Ms Li Yue for a discussion on future partnership opportunities, such as joint projects as well as student exchange programmes between BIPT and Taylor’s University. This trip, not only served as a fantastic exposure for our students, but also proved that Taylor’s University is a sought-after academic partner by other international institutions of higher learning for our strength in the teaching and learning methods.

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Young Engineers Sparks Awe with Inventions http://asiancorrespondent.com/74612/young-engineers-sparks-awe-with-inventions/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/74612/young-engineers-sparks-awe-with-inventions/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 05:55:29 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=74612

The young are known to be receptive in technology, but the engineering students of Taylor’s University proved that they can be creative too – their functional, even futuristic inventions won over the public during the Taylor’s University Engineering Fair 2011.

The Engineering Fair fell on 17th and 18th December 2011 at the picturesque Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus.

It is a platform to showcase the engineering students’ effort and ingenuity. In line with the institute’s project-based learning approach, these engineers-in-training were required to work together to produce an innovative project based on engineering principles within one semester (14 weeks).

Impressing the public were inventive designs that could potentially redefine specific industries, such as the vehicle for deepwater operations, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for eco-friendly driving and mobile trash can dumper for construction sites. Visitors were also impressed with some much-needed solutions in daily life, including a mind-controlled wheelchair for the disabled, intelligent traffic light system, and the ergonomic computer desk.

What shocked the public was that a lot of these upcoming inventors are first-year students in the engineering course.

“Dreaming small is a crime at Taylor’s University. We are encouraged to believe that anything is possible, and to view every problem as an opportunity to improve,” said chemical engineering student Christopher Chew during his talk at the fair. Chew, currently in Year Three, is the managing director of the Society of Engineering and Technology (SET), which organized the fair.

Chew added that engineering students in Taylor’s University are also being well-rounded individuals. The engineering fair is the perfect avenue to hone skills that every industry-ready graduate should possess.

Indeed, other than technological creativity, the student teams had to put their communication skills by pitching their inventions to judges in an award for projects presented at the engineering fair.

While being scrutinized by judges may be nerve-wrecking. To secure the funding for their inventions, the aspiring engineers had to approach the decision-makers of various companies, some of which are international.

Funding, however, was not the team’s biggest challenge. Teamwork proved to be a tougher balancing act as the multidisciplinary team consists of members from mechanical and chemical engineering, as well as senior and junior students.

“We have to learn to cooperate. After all, you can have the all the sponsors and resources you need, but without a united team, your project will collapse,” said team member Teh Renyu, 21, a third-year mechanical engineering student.

Judges of the awards expressed surprise at the creativity and functionality exhibited at the fair.

“Taylor University’s engineering students have displayed rare abilities for their age. I am impressed,” said Christine Ng, judge for Most Innovative Design Project Award.

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2011: A Review http://asiancorrespondent.com/74009/soe2011-a-review/ http://asiancorrespondent.com/74009/soe2011-a-review/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2012 09:20:01 +0000 http://asiancorrespondent.com/?p=74009 The year 2011 has been an exciting and fast paced one for Taylor’s University School of Engineering. Let us review some of the key highlights throughout the year.

We organised our first international conference!

Organised by an enthusiastic consortium of both national and international universities comprising of Taylor’s University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, CQ University Australia and supported by Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, National Instruments and Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific, the inaugural International Engineering and Technology Education Conference (IETEC) 2011 took place at our Lakeside Campus.  The conference promoted active participation of all attendees and presenters via plenary presentation sessions, key note addresses, interactive workshops and panel discussions.

The conference was officiated by Yang Berbahagia Professor Dr. Zakaria Abas, Special Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education on behalf of the minister himself. Our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said, together with Dr. Arun Patil, General Chair of IETEC from CQ University Australia, welcomed the delegation of national and international participants.

The University of Melbourne recognises Taylor’s SOE students

We signed a memorandum of agreement with renowned The University of Melbourne, providing our engineering students an option to do a 2+1+2 programme. Our students can now choose to pursue their first two years with us, and complete three more years at The University of Melbourne and graduate with a Masters in Engineering with the option to major in Chemical, Mechanical or Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Taylorians’ research discoveries recognised at the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2011

It was a thrilling moment when our academicians and students’ research discoveries were recognised and affirmed with the award of a gold and bronze at the Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2011.

The MTE is an annual exhibition showcasing the latest research and development and technology, as well as creating exposure and market opportunities for the latest technology based product designs and solution services. The exhibition features the latest inventions and innovations by universities, research institutions, individual inventors and corporate sectors Asian and European countries. Awards were given to honour and recognise unconventional inventions and innovations which go above and beyond marginal improvements.

  • Gold Medal for “Inexpensive 3.5-litre Bioreactor”
    Associate Professor Dr. Marwan M. Shamel & Associate Professor Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi

Research Objective:

This invention explores the effectiveness of a designed, built and commissioned bioreactor using a lower cost concept for a chemical engineering laboratory. The project also explores the cost effectiveness of basic manually controlled bioreactor for the undergraduate laboratory experiments and researches in a microbiology field. The bioreactor was fabricated with only RM5, 200 (approximately USD18, 200) and tested to be contamination free and ready for culturing microorganism.

  • Bronze Medal for “Indigenous Tobacco Mosaic Various Flow Visualisation”
    Associate Professor Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi, Dr. Obai Younis, Po Wei Yoong, Christopher Chew Mun Kit, Chiew Hui Leng, Arwin Goo Zen, Winnie Gan Wan Nie & Lim Xi Kai

Research Objective:

To determine a new method of flow visualisation and study how far nature phenomenon of living creatures can be applied in the field of engineering. A diluted solution of indigenous tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) was used as a medium for fish swimming to perform flow visualisation studies and which was proven harmless to the fish.

6th Hong Kong Underwater Robot Challenge 2011

Our students, Jefferson Chuah Chong Yit and Terrence Foo, attended the competition which was held at City University, Hong Kong. The field trip intended to inspire development of new design concepts for the next generation of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

Both Jefferson and Terrence also took the opportunity to better understand the competition procedures in both regional and international levels, approached case by case studies observing the various types of ROVs and considered the pros and cons of diverse design plans. With that, they will be able to share their knowledge with their engineering peers to further incorporate the best aspects of ROVs into the new generation designs.

Presenting the Quadrocopter at the 2011 Beijing CDIOTM Regional Conference

The chance to participate at the highly anticipated CDIOTM regional conference was made sweeter when our first year engineering students also got to present their Quadrocopter project. The Quadrocopter is an unmanned aerial vehicle powered using four propellers, and can be used to perform a variety of assignments including security, rescue and observation. It was definitely a proud moment for the students when professors worldwide who attended the conference were impressed with the Quadrocopter’s quality and its potential the project promises.

Associate Dean Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Biotechnology Engineering 2011 (ICBioE’11)

Assosicate Professor Dr. Marwan M. Shamel presented his paper on ‘Adsorption of Congo Red Onto Acide Activated Water Hyacinth’.

Serious environmental problems damaging the ecosystem are caused by inappropriate disposal of waste effluent containing dyes from textile industry. The ultimate removal of these organic pollutants from waste water is frequently done using activated carbon as adsorbent. However, activated carbon is an expensive material. Therefore, it is necessary to look for inexpensive alternative adsorbents. The present investigation deals with the utilisation of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) as a potential adsorbent for the removal of an anionic dye from its aqueous solutions. Batch studies were carried out under varying experimental conditions of adsorbent dosage and initial pH value. Better adsorption was found to occur at pH = 6. Adsorption results were analysed using Freundlich, Langmuir and Redlich–Peterson isotherms. It was found that Redlich–Peterson and Freundlich model better fit the experimental data.

Securing RM104, 000 on the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme

Our School of Engineering (SOE) Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi, secured RM104,000 (approximately USD364, 000) of the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) for his research project on ‘New Concept for Energy Saving in Waste Water Treatment Plants by Using Non-Moving Parts Solar Powered Mixer to Enhance Biological Treatment Processes’. The project’s co-researchers include Dr. Marwan Shamel and Mr. Tham Chan Seng, both from Taylor’s University School of Engineering; and Dr. Gary Leeke and Dr. Mark J. Simmons, from University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Participating in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2011

The Taylor’s Eco Team, which comprises of first year chemical, mechanical, electrical and electronics students, participated in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia 2011 competition at the Sepang International Circuit Malaysia.

The competition’s challenge was to build a vehicle which can travel the furthest distance using the least amount of energy. The students designed and built a car which was operated using solar energy. Although the team faced technical difficulties which prevented them from finishing the race, they, however, cherished the opportunity to be able to participate and get real life exposure and challenge at an early stage of their engineering studies.

Lecturer Presented at the 18th International Congress on Sound & Vibration (ICSV18)

Dr. Mohammad Hosseini, lecturer from the School of Engineering, presented a paper at the 18th International Congress on Sound & Vibration (ICSV18). The congress was organised by the International Institute of Acoustics & Vibration (IIAV) and was held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

‘Utilisation of air-gap to improve the acoustic absorption of coir fibre’ – by Dr. Mohammad Hosseini

The aim of the paper was to improve the coir fibre acoustical properties with air gap layers. Evaluations were based on Allard elastic model with transfer matrix analysis. Results were close to experimental values and predicted the path and resonances very well.

Students Harnessed Innovation Skills at CDIOTM Academy 2011

Eight of our engineering students represented Taylor’s School of Engineering at the 2011 CDIOTM Academy in Denmark Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark. The CDIO Academy was held exclusively for engineering students around the world, which saw more than 20 teams of students coming together to participate. Held concurrently with the CDIO Conference, the purpose of this initiative was to engage students as well as to train and enhance their innovation skills.

SET Ambassadors Inspire Chinese Students

Taylor’s University Society of Engineering & Technology (SET) students did a two-week visit and collaborative mission to the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology (BIPT) in August 2011. Acting as ambassadors on behalf of Taylor’s University, they showed presentations and videos to BIPT students and faculty members to give them a better understanding of Taylor’s.

The students also assisted in the coaching and training of BIPT’s new student society named ‘Toyhouse’, and shared and exchanged knowledge on how they themselves operated and managed SET. The boys also helped the BIPT students in organising for their very first Innovators Carnival. This mutually beneficial partnership across global boundaries no doubt paved the way to an international relationship between both universities.

Playing host to the ‘Father of Innovation’

We played host to Mr. Darrell Mann, the founder for Systematic Innovation, a thinking technique which sits comfortably alongside long time innovation techniques such as Six Sigma, TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Principal) and many others. Mr. Mann was at Taylor’s Lakeside Campus to conduct a talk to engineering students. With the company’s head office located in Clevedon, UK, Systematic Innovation is a cluster of like-minded companies which offers a range of TRIZ or innovation capabilities to clients around the world.

Strengthening Ties with the University of Sydney

A memorandum of agreement was signed with the University of Sydney, exploring articulation opportunities of engineering courses, research collaborations as well as staff and students exchange and development. Dr. Anders Hallgren, Director of Sydnovate (the commercialisation arm of the University of Sydney) will also be joining our engineering school as an adjunct professor to assist with our efforts to diversify sources of income.

The achievements of Taylor’s University School of Engineering in 2011 only serve to spur both our academic and students to excel further in 2012. To find out more on the above activities, you can download our archived monthly newsletters here!

Stay tune for more interesting happenings of the School of Engineering!

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