Curtin Malaysia opens Green Electric Energy Centre to enhance teaching and research in renewable energy

Miri – 5 July 2019 – The Faculty of Engineering and Science at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently opened its Green Electric Energy Centre (GEEC), enhancing its teaching and research in renewable energy and adding to its range of already impressive laboratory facilities.

The GEEC is equipped with state-of-the-art data loggers to obtain and store energy data harvested from fixed-axis and dual-axis tracking solar panels outdoors, and a control system connected to an indoor benchtop wind turbine simulator and an outdoor wind turbine.

The wind turbine simulator can be used for laboratory-scale simulations to study the feasibility of full-scale projects, simulating different wind speeds and environmental conditions. Students and researchers can then evaluate data and graphs generated from the simulations at a number of workstations in the laboratory.

It is also equipped with a wind power generator, which in addition to demonstrating how wind power is harvested and distributed, also powers all the lights in the laboratory.

Present at the opening were Curtin Malaysia’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski; Chief Operating Officer Ir. Pieter Willem Pottas, and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science Associate Professor Vincent Lee.

Also present were Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Lenin Gopal and his staff, as well the heads of the Faculty of Engineering and Science’s other departments.

Professor Mienczakowski said the GEEC is an excellent facility and timely in light of global trends towards the development of green energy and the focus on sustainable development in engineering and science.

He said that since the establishment of Curtin Malaysia 20 years ago, the Faculty of Engineering and Science has grown significantly and built a strong reputation for its strong suite of course offerings and an emerging and distinctive research profile.

“We have made remarkable progress in a number of key areas, particularly in our leadership in innovative learning and research and development in emerging technologies. This centre will certainly help us build on those strengths,” he remarked.

He added that in order to deliver Curtin’s world-ranked courses to an equivalent standard as Curtin’s main campus in Perth, Curtin Malaysia must have facilities that are comparable.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Lenin said the GEEC will be rapidly expanded to its full potential in the coming months to include a micro-hydro power station and the installation of additional equipment such as solar photovoltaic emulators funded by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and more solar panels.

“This centre complements our range of teaching and research facilities, including our new Engineering Research Laboratory currently being constructed, very well. It offers our electrical engineering students, in particular, a greater, more technology-rich environment and learning experience,” he said.

Other innovative teaching and research facilities at the Faculty of Engineering and Science include its Keysight Reference Laboratory developed in collaboration with Keysight Technologies, Schlumberger Petrel GIS Laboratory in partnership with Schlumberger, and Digital Maker Hub with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC).

These are in addition to its wide range of over 20 laboratories related to the various engineering and science disciplines at the faculty, including applied geology, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil and construction engineering, electrical and computer engineering, software engineering and cyber security.

All these facilities are enabling Curtin Malaysia to continue forging a reputation for producing work-ready graduates; allowing its campus community to embrace new technologies and new ways of learning, and shaping its focus on high-impact research.

Curtin Malaysia is also geared to assume a key role in helping develop Sarawak’s bioeconomy through operation of the newly-completed RM60 million Pilot Plant Facility funded by the Sarawak government at the campus, as well as enhance research through the Curtin Malaysia Graduate School, Curtin Malaysia Research Institute (CMRI), Curtin Highway Research Institute (CHIRI) and other research centres.

Prof Jim Mienczakowski and Ir Pieter Pottas being briefed on the laboratory’s equipment

Prof Mienczakowski, Ir Pottas, AProf Lenin Gopal, AProf Vincent Lee (2nd-5th left) with lab technician Siaw Teck Ung after touring the laboratory.

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