Curtin Malaysia: Nurturing tomorrow’s engineering and scientific talent

Engineering and the sciences are engines for growth and progression in today’s world. They are critical to the development of our global economy as they play a role in just about every aspect of life, and in new innovations and making tangible contributions to various industries.

Be it in finding new and better ways to extract oil and natural gas from reservoirs, building and maintaining a sustainable environment to address our ecological concerns, or the development of driverless cars and new appliances and infrastructures that are useful to society, there is a wealth of opportunities for prospective engineering students and aspiring scientists, regardless of their field of interest.

These roles will continue to grow in importance as the world embraces artificial intelligence, machine learning and other forms of new technology, and high-calibre graduates can go on to enjoy lucrative jobs anywhere in the world.

As future developments can’t be built on outdated knowledge, aspiring engineers or scientists looking to enhance their careers should pick a university that nurtures and develops their talent. This includes furnishing students with knowledge of fundamental concepts, practical problem-solving skills and industry experience, wherever relevant.

For students looking to leap into the exciting world of engineering and science, Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) is certainly worth considering. As Curtin University’s largest international campus situated in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia, it offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate engineering and science subjects from the eight departments at its Faculty of Engineering and Science.

This includes Bachelors of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, Civil and Construction Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering; Bachelors of Applied Science in Construction Management; Bachelors of Science in Applied Geology, Computing and Health, Safety & Environment; and a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems & Networking.

Aspiring engineers can pursue the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) programme, which begins with the Engineering Foundation Year (EFY). The programme aims to produce graduates with strong technical knowledge and the basic skills and attributes required to practise as professional engineers. Developed in partnership with industry, this award-winning programme and its purpose-built First Year Studio promotes the concept of learning by doing.

For students interested in the Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering (Honours) or the related Bachelor of Science in Applied Geology, there are opportunities to work in the industry and have access to Malaysia’s key oil and gas players due to Curtin Malaysia’s excellent industry connections. Curtin Malaysia accounts for quite a high percentage of the nation’s oil and gas professionals who graduated in petroleum, chemical, mechanical and civil & structural engineering, and applied geology.

With sustainability being a pressing issue, the Environmental Engineering (Honours) course combines the broad knowledge of engineering and environmental processes in identifying environmental problems and developing solutions to these issues. In recent years, it has grown from a niche course to one of the most popular offerings at Curtin Malaysia.

Other popular choices are the Bachelor of Science in Computing with streams in Software Engineering and Cyber Security, and Bachelor of Science in Health, Safety and Environment.

All undergraduate courses at Curtin Malaysia are double-accredited by Engineers Australia and the Board of Engineers Malaysia and internationally recognised under the Washington Accord. Graduates can start their professional engineering career after just four years, or progress to pursue a postgraduate engineering degree with the Master of Professional Engineering (available early 2021), which features four majors across chemical, emerging power systems, petroleum and mechanical engineering.

In addition, strong industry partnerships – from small start-ups to large corporations – means students will benefit from learning industry practices, which can contribute to their career-readiness upon graduation. Prominent industry partners include Baker Hughes, BP Chemicals, Gamuda Engineering, GE, Halliburton Energy Services, Honeywell, Intel, Keysight Technologies, PETRONAS, Schlumberger, Shell and Sime Darby, providing both students and researchers with local and international opportunities.

Curtin Malaysia’s engineering students have achieved many accolades, including winning global awards such as the 2006 IChemE Macnab Medal for Excellence in Design, and gold at the 2015 Honeywell UniSim Design Student Challenge and 2017 World Invention and Innovation Contest. It has also been recognised for producing career-ready graduates who are already heavily aligned with industry and professional engineering bodies.

As a testimony of the quality of its engineering courses, Curtin University is currently the world’s second-ranked university and number one in Australia for Mineral and Mining Engineering in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject. It is also ranked 40th in the world and fifth in Australia for Earth and Marine Sciences.

Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simon Leunig said these rankings are very profound for Curtin Malaysia and relevant courses it offers such as the Bachelor of Science in Applied Geology, and Bachelors of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering and Environmental Engineering.

Also significant for Curtin Malaysia is Curtin’s placing in the top 100 in the world for Civil and Structural Engineering, top 150 for Chemical Engineering; top 200 for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental Sciences; top 300 for Mechanical Engineering; and top 350 for Computer Science and Information Systems.

These rankings highlight the strengths of other courses such as the Bachelor of Engineering in Civil and Construction Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering; Bachelor of Science in Computing; and Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems & Networking.

At postgraduate level, the Master of Petroleum Engineering and Master of Engineering Management will soon be phased out in favour of a new Master of Professional Engineering with four specialisations (Chemical Engineering, Emerging Power Systems, Petroleum Engineering and Mechanical Engineering), whilst postgraduate research programmes will continue to include Masters of Philosophy and doctoral degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, among others.

There are also research opportunities for students based on their level of study, with some funded by scholarships or industry. They allow students to gain valuable research experience, work with leading researchers at the campus, enhance their career opportunities and progress to postgraduate study if they choose to do so.

Curtin Malaysia nurtures aspiring engineers and scientists, getting them ready for work anywhere in the world.