Curtin Malaysia students gain real-world insights at SoHo construction site at Miri Times Square

Miri, Sarawak – 18 June 2024 – The Department of Built Environment at Curtin University Malaysia’s Faculty of Humanities and Health Sciences recently organised an enriching study tour to the Small office, Home office (SoHo) construction project at Miri Times Square here for students pursuing degrees in construction management; health, safety and environment; civil and construction engineering; and mechanical engineering. The site visit aimed to provide the students with practical exposure to the management of large-scale construction projects.

The hands-on experience allowed the students to observe and understand the complexities involved in the planning, execution, and management of construction projects, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application.

According to Head of the Department of Built Environment, Sr. Dr. Low Wai Wah, the site visit was not restricted to just construction management and health, safety and environment students in her Faculty but also civil and construction engineering and mechanical engineering students from the Faculty of Engineering and Science so that all could learn more about the importance and intricacies of construction management.

The visit involved the students engaging with professionals on-site, including project managers, engineers, and site supervisors, who shared their insights and experiences. They also observed various phases of the construction process, including site preparation, structural work, and safety protocols. This exposure is crucial in helping them understand the practical challenges and solutions in the construction industry.

The group was met on arrival by project representative Johnny Tiong Huo Lung, then proceeded to an all-important safety briefing by a project safety officer before embarking on a tour of the site, which was conducted by project manager Edmund Kho Ee Woon. During the tour, Tiong briefed the students on the latest Malaysian Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) rules on the use of new types of scaffolding. At the site, the students were able to observe the difference between the new and older types of scaffolding.

In addition, the students had the opportunity to examine the structure of a lift core wall, witness the process of making reinforcement bars and the use of Bakau piles, and observe an on-site slump test being conducted on ready-mix concrete. This gave the students an idea of requirements for an acceptable slump test, and Tiong and Kho also showed them the project’s piling drawings to give them a better understanding of piling works carried out.

Sr. Dr. Low said site visits are a vital component of the curricula at Curtin Malaysia, particularly within the engineering disciplines and related sciences. “The visit to the SoHo construction site at Miri Times Square was an invaluable learning opportunity for our students. It allowed them to witness firsthand the application of concepts they have learned in the classroom and to interact with industry professionals. This experience will undoubtedly enhance their understanding and appreciation of construction project management,” she said.

The students who participated in the site visit expressed their enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity. Many highlighted the practical insights gained from the visit, noting that it had significantly enhanced their understanding of the construction process and management practices.

Meanwhile, Professor Roy Rillera Marzo, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Health Sciences, emphasised the importance of such practical experiences in the educational journey of students. “At Curtin Malaysia, we are committed to providing our students with a holistic education that combines rigorous academic training with real-world experiences. Site visits like this are integral to our curriculum, helping students gain a deeper understanding of their field and better preparing them for their future careers,” he said.

Curtin Malaysia remains dedicated to offering such experiential learning opportunities as part of its commitment to producing industry-ready graduates, fostering strong partnerships with industry players to facilitate these enriching experiences for its students.

Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management, a four-year honours course that is also taught at its main campus in Perth. Now offering a new specialisation in Quantity Surveying, the degree focuses on two disciplines, namely construction management and quantity surveying.

The course entails the study of construction technology, quantity measurement and cost estimating, project planning and management, strategy and financial management, contract administration, building law, cost planning and management, implementation of information technology in construction, and professional communication and interpersonal skills.

Graduates of the degree can look forward to lucrative careers as quantity surveyors, building technicians, building surveyors, building contractors, project managers, construction managers, contracts administrators, estimators, facilities managers, property developers, and more.

Curtin University Malaysia is the largest international campus of Curtin University, a global university known for its strong industry connections, high-impact research, and commitment to preparing students for the future. Curtin Malaysia offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in engineering, science, business, humanities, and health sciences, as well as pre-university programmes leading to its undergraduate offerings.

Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Sr Dr Low 4th right), Head of Department, Health Sciences Rona Bang Tan (5th right), and the students pose for group photo with the SoHo project team.