Curtin Malaysia construction management students learn from on-campus projects

Miri – 6 November 2019 – First-year Construction Management students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) took the opportunity to learn more about construction technology and construction management by visiting two ongoing construction projects at the university recently.

The visits were organised by the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science in collaboration with the project contractors. The projects, which are slated for completion early next year, are a single-storey cafeteria and double-storey engineering research laboratory.

Prior to visiting the construction sites, the students were given a safety briefing by the construction site safety officer, which was followed by a briefing on the construction of the two buildings by Curtin Malaysia’s Clerk of Works Tang Chong Hock.

While at the sites, the students were shown the architectural and structural drawings of the buildings. They engaged in extensive discussions with Tang and the other project engineers for a better understanding of the drawings and the construction works.

The students also spent about two hours viewing the formwork, reinforcement bars and steel structural work on the sites.

Head of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Associate Professor Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman, said Curtin Malaysia values authentic learning and is committed to helping students develop industry-ready skills and enhance student employability through embedding work-integrated learning (WIL) in the programme.

WIL involves providing structured and purposefully designed learning experiences that blend theoretical concepts with practice-based learning, as well as engagement in workplace and community settings where students interact and network with industry and community partners.

“Due to the applied nature of Curtin’s engineering courses, it is important to extend teaching beyond classrooms so that students get exposure and first-hand insights into industry practices. They can connect theories they learn from books and their lecturers to real-life applications, as well as interact with industry professionals and get a feel of what their future careers as construction professionals will be like,” commented Associate Professor Muhammad.

Associate Professor Muhammad said his department organises regular site visits, both within and outside Miri, for its construction management and civil and construction engineering students to help them broaden their perspectives and enrich their student experiences.

The four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons.) in Construction Management is a new course at Curtin Malaysia, introduced in the middle of last year. It is a management-oriented degree that prepares students for professional roles in the building and infrastructure construction industries.

The course’s learning areas include quantity surveying, project planning and construction technologies, and graduates can look forward to career opportunities as construction managers, contract administrators, project managers, quantity surveyors, building contractors, property developers and more.

Two other groups of students, comprising 52 final-year students in the Bachelor of Engineering in Civil and Construction Engineering programme studying a unit in Integrated Design and Construction, and 86 third-year students studying a unit in Reinforced Concrete Design, also visited the two sites recently.

The engineering research laboratory will complement the new Faculty of Engineering and Science building completed in 2016. Designed to encourage and facilitate collaborative and inter-disciplinary research, it is part of the university’s strategic plan to enhance learning and teaching by offering comprehensive engineering facilities and the innovative and efficient use of practical teaching space.

The new cafeteria, meanwhile, is being built to cater to a growing campus community and will have a seating capacity of 400. Strategically located along one of the campus’ major pedestrian thoroughfares and between the library, bus terminal and major lecture halls, it is designed as a single storey building with open plan concept to maximise views and natural light as well as increase social interaction.

Further campus expansion projects include a 3-storey Digital Centre of Excellence, two blocks of 4-storey student accommodations, and a new rugby pitch.

Students pose with Tang at the engineering research laboratory site.

Staff and students with Tang at the site for the new campus cafeteria.

Students and Tang studying and discussing the structural drawings.


Students in discussion with Tang at the cafeteria construction site.

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