Saturday, December 8, 2012

Swinburne University Sarawak menjangkau kemajuan lebuh tinggi

Swinburne vice-chancellor: RM40m for research centre to reach new heights

Posted on December 7, 2012, Friday
SEALING PARTNERSHIP: Taib (third right, standing) and Kristjanson (second right, standing) witness the signing of memorandum of understanding between Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, Biotech Alliance International Sdn Bhd, Algaetech International Sdn Bhd and Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia Sarawak branch.
KUCHING: The Swinburne Sarawak Research Centre for Sustainable Technologies will see an investment of RM40 million over the next couple of years to bring its research achievements to new heights.
Vice-chancellor and president of Swinburne University of Technology Prof Linda Kristjanson said the centre provided a venue for individuals with the relevant expertise and passion to interact so as to generate new ideas.
In addition, it focused on research efforts from across the campus with common emphasis on sustainability, she said before Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud opened the new centre at the university campus here yesterday.
Kristjanson pointed out that the centre would host over 20 postgraduates, five postdocs and visits from world renowned expertise, particularly those from the Melbourne campus.
“Laboratories across the campus are associated with the work at the centre. This includes our biotechnology, chemistry, electronics, civil and robotics laboratories.
“The centre is also linked to our supercomputer at Melbourne campus, which is among the most powerful in Australia for research simulation work.”
She announced that Swinburne Melbourne prided itself in having appeared in the top 500 of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for the last few years in a row.
“Swinburne University of Technology aims to be recognised not only for high quality research but also for research that is relevant and engages with the community, industries and government.”
Hence, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with three institutions to explore the possibilities of joint research projects. The partners are Biotech Alliance International Sdn Bhd, Algaetech International Sdn Bhd and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia Sarawak branch.
According to Kristjanson, Biotech Alliance International Sdn Bhd is a hugely successful locally grown biotech company with international presence in Australia, China, Myanmar and Indonesia. It is a bio-nexus status company that specialises in environmentally sustainable oil palm waste management systems. True to their strong roots in biotechnology for oil palm, the company has also successfully developed and marketed its very own bio-fertiliser and bio-fungicide.
Algaetech International Sdn Bhd is a company based in Kuala Lumpur that spearheads the technology used in algae cultivation. It has businesses in Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa. Last year, the company was officially recognised as one of the top 100 SMEs of Malaysia.
Starting off as a technology provider for algae cultivation, the company is now venturing into large scale biodiesel production using algae, which is biodegradable, renewable and sustainable.
Kristjanson said the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia Sarawak branch had given the university campus good and wise inputs into the development of its engineering programmes’ curriculum.
“The association has a very good understanding of the engineering needs in the real world. We now look forward to their inputs to our research direction, and for them to be the springboard for us to engage with engineering firms nationwide.”
She also disclosed that the research centre would soon receive several support schemes including an internal funding of up to RM300,000.
“I hope our current and future research partners will take this opportunity to work with us. With now the research centre and support we are getting as well as our past achievements, I truly believe the best is yet to come.”

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