Curtin Malaysia academics win multiple awards for research and teaching excellence

Miri – 24 November 2022 – Researchers from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) did their university proud by bagging two golds, one silver and one bronze medal at the Innovation Technology Exposition and International Conference and Exposition on Inventions by Institutions of Higher Learning (PECIPTA) 2022 held recently at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK).

PECIPTA is a biannual programme recognising research excellence organised by the Ministry of Higher Education together with its partner institutions of higher learning (IHL).

Winning gold in the Smart Technology and Systems category was Deputy Dean of Research and Development and Curtin Malaysia Graduate School Director Professor Agus Saptoro and his team comprising Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student Terence Chia Yi Kai, Associate Professor Garenth Lim King Hann, and Associate Professor Chua Han Bing.

They won for their innovation of AgriSmartEye, a reliable, low-cost system combining hyperspectral imaging technologies with deep learning artificial neural networks to analyse the authenticity and geographical origins of ground black pepper. The innovation also won them Curtin University’s prestigious Curtinnovation Award last year, as well as a gold medal at the Innovation Technology Exposition 2022 (InTEX22) in June this year.

Also winning a gold medal, in the Environment and Biodiversity category, was associate professor in chemical and energy engineering Dr. John Lau Sie Yon and his research collaborators PhD student Shamini Anboo and Associate Professor Tony Hadibarata for their research project titled ‘Development of Novel Magnetic Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Nanoflower-Structured Biocatalyst’. This project also won them a silver medal at InTEX22.

Winning a silver medal in the Environment and Biodiversity category were senior lecturer in chemical and energy engineering Dr. Tan Yie Hua and PhD student Fahad Saleem Ahmed Khan for their research project titled Developing Magnetic Functionalised Carbon Nanotube based Buckypaper for Micropollutant’. This innovation was also a gold medal winner at InTEX22.

Rounding up the Curtin medial winners at PECIPTA 2022 was Dr. Henry Foo Chee Yew, a senior lecturer in chemical and energy engineering, and his research collaborator Dr. Tan Inn Shi, who won a bronze medal in the Medical and Healthcare category. Their innovation was titled ‘Electrospun Eggshell Membrane Protein into Structural Membrane as Biotemplate to Control Nanoparticles Growth’.

Winning medals at this prestigious event contributes to Malaysia Research Assessment (MyRA) points for the participating institutions, and the wins by the Curtin Malaysia researchers have not only helped elevate Curtin Malaysia’s research standing but are also regarded as strong testimonies of its research prowess.

Meanwhile, at the SRDC Symposium 2022, Dr. Lau Shiew Wei, a senior lecturer in chemical and energy engineering, was awarded the Best Presenter Award for her presentation on her research titled ‘Box-Behnken Design Study of Milling Effect on the Alkaline Extraction of Lignin from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch’.

The inaugural 2-day symposium was organised by the Sarawak Research Development Council to encourage collaborative research across different academic institutions, research agencies, government departments and agencies, and industrial partners in Sarawak. The symposium featured plenary and sessions reflecting the diverse research projects funded by SRDC, from basic to translational level

Teaching excellence at Curtin Malaysia also received international recognition when Dr. Tan Inn Shi, a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Energy Engineering, won Curtin University’s coveted Teaching Excellence Award for University Associates 2022 award.

The annual award recognises and rewards academic staff across Curtin University’s campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius for demonstrating excellent approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.

Dr. Tan teaches Chemical and Petroleum Engineering units at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels with a specific focus on Fluid Mechanics, Advanced Thermodynamics, Reactor Engineering and Natural Gas Processing. Her teaching philosophy is based on building a learning environment that reflects real-life engineering contexts, and she applies active learning and play-based pedagogy in her classes.

Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Simon Leunig remarked that these recent wins speak volumes of the quality research and teaching conducted at Curtin Malaysia. As Curtin University’s earliest and largest global campus and hub in ASEAN, Curtin Malaysia is committed to being a leader in education and research in the region.

Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or TikTok.

The Curtin Malaysia medal and award winners