Call For Engineering Faculty To Adapt To Changes

Call For Engineering Faculty To Adapt To ChangesBy Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Ikhwan Hashim and Izwan Azman

BANGI, 22 January 2015 – The Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment (FKAB) at The National University of Malaysia (UKM) must adapt to new technologies constantly being developed and the changing attitudes of the new generation of students.

Chairman of UKM’s Board of Directors Emeritus Prof Dato’ Dr Mohamad Zawawi Ismail said the faculty should move beyond the ideas emanated some 35 years ago from the group of pioneers including him fighting for the setting up of the faculty.

The world today is very different and the world tomorrow will be even more different. The engineering faculty must be very imaginative about how to prepare their students in the present circumstances, he said when launching the 30thanniversary celebrations of the setting up of FKAB here today.

“We cannot afford to be conservative. We have to harness the new tools (such as social media) to the system of the faculty,” Prof Zawawi, himself an engineer and a former dean of the faculty said.

He said that UKM should lead in bringing changes, especially in engineering.

“The new generation thinks privacy very differently from us. When I was an academic and was in The Joint Advanced Research Integrated Networking (Jaring), universities were reluctant to allow a certain level of privacy. Now the younger generation are quite willing to share their life. We have to think quite differently. The faculty should lead in bringing about change,” he said.

Prof Zawawi, who was the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UKM recalled that there was much opposition to the proposal by engineering academics including him to set up an engineering faculty in the early 1980s.

They prevailed and the first batch of engineering students were accepted in 1985 and the faculty had not looked back since.

Present at the launch of the celebrations was Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali and FKAB Dean Prof Datuk Ir Dr Abdul Wahab Mohammad among others.

UKM also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) at the function to carry out joint research, sharing of data as well as collaborations in organising seminars and workshops.

Prof Noor Azlan signed for UKM while IEM President Datuk Ir Lim Chong Hock represented the engineering body.

Former FKAB Dean Emeritus Prof Datuk Ir Dr Zainul Abidin Mohd Shariff also launched three books reflecting the development of engineering studies at UKM as well as in the country in conjunction with the ceremony.