Curtin Malaysia engineering students and lecturers attend online Engineering, Environment and Construction Seminar

Miri – 3 May 2021 –  Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently hosted its ‘1st Engineering, Environment and Construction Seminar’ for over 100 of its engineering students and lecturers.

The one-day seminar, which was conducted online, was organised by the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering of its Faculty of Engineering and Science in collaboration with the Curtin Environmental Engineering Club (CEEC). The participants were from the Faculty’s Civil and Construction Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Construction Management and Health, Safety and Environment programmes.

The seminar comprised three sessions: ‘Resilient Water Infrastructure for Sustainable Development’, ‘Digital Initiatives 2020: A BIM Project Presentations’, and ‘Virtual Site Visit to Miri Smart City Proof of Concept (PoC)’.

The guest speaker for the first session was Ir. Dr. Romziah Binti Azit, Superintendent Civil Engineer of the Project Management Section, Water Supply Division of the Ministry of Environment and Water in Putrajaya.

In her talk, Ir. Dr. Romziah briefed the participants on sustainability of the water supply systems in Malaysia, as well as water infrastructure planning and project implementation in the country. She highlighted two major water infrastructure projects – the expansion of Mengkuang Dam in Penang and the Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Tunnel Project – as examples of sustainable projects.

Ir. Dr. Romziah emphasised that sustainability of water supply is key to sustainable development, which entails the preservation and enhancement of the environment in all aspects of the country’s development. She said that fulfilling the needs of the present generation should not mean compromising the needs of future generations, and the impacts to the environment should always be considered when carrying out any form of development.

The second session on digital initiatives, which included a presentation of a Building Information Modelling (BIM) project by students, was facilitated by civil and construction engineering students Kou Tzer Shawn and Kho Yea Shiuan.

Kou, a third-year student, and Kho, a final-year student, gave a presentation of their learning experience in the first phase of an online ‘BIM Project’ training jointly organised by the Faculty of Engineering and Science and Sarawak-based project management consultancy PCSS Consultancy Sdn. Bhd. The project is designed to familiarise students with modern BIM digital tools and project management solutions. Also attending was Watson Brandah, Sales Consultant of PCSS Consultancy, who actively participated in the session.

The final session saw the Mayor of Miri Adam Yii Siew Sang and Miri City Council Assistant Secretary and Director of the Miri Smart City Command Centre Mohd. Zaidi Adrus Bin Razali giving the participants an overview the Miri Smart City Project, Sarawak’s smart city initiative pilot project in Miri.

Mayor Yii said that Miri is proud to be the first smart city in Sarawak with a range of digital applications to provide modern and efficient local government services to the public. These include Miri CARES, Digital Signage, Smart Bus, Smart Truck, Smart Drain, Safe City and Safe Park for the smart management of the city’s public utilities, public information, public transport, waste management, drainage and community safety services.

Following the project’s successful implementation in Miri, the concept will be rolled out to other major Sarawak cities and towns. The initiative is part of the state government’s efforts to improve municipal services through digital technology.

Also on hand were Allen Liew and Sia Chung Ming of Sarawak Information Systems Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS), who talked about the digital technology behind the Miri Smart City Project, and Dr. Chong Kim Mee of Riam Institute of Technology (Riamtec), who demonstrated the application to the participants.

Liew and Sia then took the participants on a virtual tour of the Miri Smart City Command Centre housed at the Miri City Council building in the city centre where the real-time operations of Miri CARES, Safe City, Smart Bus, Smart Truck and Smart Drain were demonstrated.

Chong Jia Hao, a third-year Bachelor of Environmental Engineering student, commented that the seminar was very informative and the virtual tour of the Miri Smart City Command Centre, which is normally not accessible to the public, was most fascinating. As a Mirian, he is proud that Miri City is taking the lead in Sarawak’s smart city initiatives.

In commending the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering and the CEEC for the successful webinar, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu said it is good to see students and academic staff embracing the new normal by conducting seminars, training and site visits like the one to the Miri Smart City Command Centre online.

“Like our online learning which has been going one for over a year, we have taken to doing things online with gusto, ensuring that the experience is always effective and meaningful. We have been very effective in staying engaged with our students and continuing or relationships with our industry and community partners despite the pandemic,” said Professor Vu.

Head of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Dr. Wong Kwong Soon, remarked that it was good for the students and lecturers to be able to engage with professionals from the Ministry of Environment and Water, PCSS Consultancy, Miri City Council, SAINS and Riamtec, and even the mayor himself.

 “They shared a lot of industry knowledge and insights into their organisations, which was very beneficial to both students and lecturers,” said Dr. Wong.

 Meanwhile, Dr. Tan Yee Yong, Programme Coordinator for Environmental Engineering and co-advisor to the CEEC along with Dr. Nur Hasyimah Binti Hashim, said the students were highly appreciative of the support given by the guest speakers. Participating in the seminar helped the students connect their academic learning to practical applications in the workplace, he added.

Ir. Dr. Romziah Binti Azit from Ministry of Water and Environment delivering her talk on resilient water infrastructure projects.

Student Kou Tzer Shawn giving presentation on Curtin Malaysia’s digitalisation initiatives.

Mayor Adam Yii and Assistant Secretary Mohd. Zaidi Adrus Bin Razali welcoming participants to the Miri Smart City Command Centre.

Group photo at the end of the virtual tour of the Miri Smart City Command Centre.

Allen Liew and Sia Chung Ming of SAINS explaining the the implementation and operation of Smart Drain.

Dr. Chong Kim Mee of Riamtec demonstrating use of the Miri CARES app.

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