Curtin Malaysia hosts IEEE Workshop on Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Miri – 29 November 2021 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently hosted the IEEE Workshop on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 2021 (IWGRS 2021), bringing together over 40 participants from Europe, North America, India and ASEAN to discuss and present the latest developments and challenges in remote sensing applications.

The workshop, which was conducted online, was organised in collaboration with the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Malaysia Chapter (IEEE GRS Malaysia), Malaysian Space Agency, Institute of Geospatial and Remote Sensing Malaysia, Multimedia University, Science & Technology Research Institute for Defence, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, University of Technology Malaysia and University of Technology Sydney.

IWGRS2021 was the eighth in IEEE GRS Malaysia’s series of annual workshops aimed at providing a forum for IEEE Geoscience & Remote Sensing (GRSS) members to share their knowledge and experiences in geosciences and remote sensing technologies. The theme for this year’s workshop was ‘Remote Sensing for the Recovering World’.

13 selected papers from the global remote sensing community were presented during the workshop. They covered topics such as geoscience and remote sensing technologies, radar systems and applications, global navigation satellite systems, microwave components and systems, communication systems, surveillance technologies, data analysis methods, environmental and disaster monitoring, land cover classification and mapping, smart and green cities, and geospatial technologies for monitoring the impact of COVID-19.

In his opening remarks, IEEE GRS Malaysia chair Professor Ir. Hong Tat Ewe said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has brought much uncertainty, it has also created much awareness of the importance of good global communication systems, effective data analysis methods, greener cities for sustainability, geospatial technology, surveillance of environmental and health risks, and more.

“That will help us make better decisions as we recover from the devastation caused by the pandemic and be better prepared should such pandemics occur again in the future,” said Hong.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Space Agency Director-General Haji Azlikamil Napiah, in his welcome message, remarked that space science and technology and their application will be significant in Malaysia achieving its 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

“As we face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, MYSA looks forward to working closely with partners around the globe to leverage the space sector for all aspects and fields,” he said.

The workshop’s keynote speakers comprised prominent academics, including Dr. Garik Gutman, manager of NASA’s land-cover/land-use change LCLUC programme, who gave a talk titled ‘NASA Remote Sensing Studies of Land-Cover/Land-Use Change in Southeast Asia’. Another prominent speaker was Dr. Prakash Chauhan, director of the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), who talked about space observation on reduction of air pollution during the COVID pandemic-induced lockdown in India.

The workshop closed with a best paper award ceremony. The best student paper award was presented to Ghada Sahbeni and Balázs Székely of Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary for their paper titled ‘Prediction of Soil Salinity Using Sentinel-1 SAR and Landsat-8 OLI Time-Series Data Combined with Machine Learning-based Models’.

The overall best paper award was presented to Nurul Aina Abdul Aziz, Mohd. Fairuz Fuazi, Azlin Azmi, Muhamad Zulfazli Zakaria, Norizan Abdul Patah and Siti Atikah Mohamed Hashim of the Malaysian Space Agency for their paper titled ‘Study on Urban Heat Island around Kuala Lumpur during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order using Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing Data’.

In his closing remarks, workshop local arrangement chair and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Curtin Malaysia, Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, summed up the day’s discussions, saying that the remote sensing community needs to keep pace with the dynamic changes, and the rich lessons learned, from the past two years of the pandemic in order to provide timely information to support decision makers and enable a better, more sustainable future.

The IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community to innovate for a better tomorrow through its more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries, and its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.

Curtin Malaysia is Curtin University’s earliest and largest global campus and hub in the ASEAN region. In addition to providing higher education from pre-university to postgraduate level, it has a thriving research community engaged in a wide range of research fields, including geoscience and digital technology.

Some of the participants and speakers who took part in the 1-day workshop.