Engineering students gain valuable insights into industry through talks and site visits
MIRI: The Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (CCE) of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) has been actively organising events on and off campus to allow its students to better understand the practical and real-life applications of theories and principles learned in their programme.
Recently, the department and the Curtin Civil Society, a student academic club affiliated with Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science, jointly organised a two-day camp themed ‘Build Me Up’ for civil and construction engineering students of the university.
Some 60 students participated in the camp aimed at strengthening the bonds and expanding networking opportunities between first-year and fourth-year civil and construction engineering students.
The highlights of the camp included industry talks, a site visit to Shin Yang Shipyard, a cooking competition and treasure hunt, as well as a ‘Build and Break’ competition where students were required to construct bridges from satay sticks and tested them for their structural integrity.
The industry talks were delivered by Ir. Zulkipli Henry, a structural engineer from Sarawak Shell Berhad, and Hung Wen Lih, a project engineer from Green Summit Development Sdn. Bhd.
Ir Zulkipli shared his experiences in the oil and gas industry while Hung, a Curtin Sarawak alumnus, spoke about being a graduate engineer in the construction sector.
The Department of Civil and Construction Engineering also recently organised visits to sites of engineering significance in Kota Kinabalu in which 37 students took part. They were accompanied by two senior lecturers, Dr. Charles Kwet Shin Loo Chin Moy and Dr. Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman, lecturer Carrie Ho and associate lecturer Donovan Mujah.
On the first day, the students visited the proposed Keningau Water Treatment Plant to learn about its foundation design and construction, as well as structural features such as columns, beams and slab joints.
They visited the water intake source at a nearby river and were briefed on how feedback from the local residents was taken into consideration in the final engineering design. The project is an excellent example of incorporating various socio-economic and environmental aspects in engineering projects.
The students also visited the Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront development project in the city centre where they visited the Oceanus Mall site and were briefed on the challenges faced by engineers in constructing multi-storey buildings on the seafront. While there, they observed the use of pre-cast concrete slabs in the construction and learned about the fabricating of the slabs and how they are designed by qualified professional engineers.
The following day, the group travelled to Penampang where they visited the Moyog Water Treatment Plant and Babagon Dam. Besides attending a briefing on the design, operation and maintenance of the plant and dam, they viewed the rock-fill dam embankment and learned about maintaining the surrounding environment at Babagon Dam, as well as the importance of maintenance work to ensure the structural integrity and smooth operation of the dam.
The group also visited the site of the RM300 million Pusat Pentadbiran Negeri Sabah at Teluk Likas where they were exposed to not only high-end development and construction but also sophisticated equipment and techniques used in large scale projects. In addition, they viewed the specially-designed link bridge connecting the centre’s two towers and witnessed a static load test done on site to verify the strength of the piled foundations.
Third-year student Kenny Chan Guan Chii said the visits were very educational as the students could observe first-hand how engineering theories they had learned were being applied at the various sites. He added that the Moyog Water Treatment Plant was particularly interesting as its operations are very relevant to what the students are studying about water engineering and environmental engineering.
Meanwhile, fourth-year Maldivan student Abdul Samad Ibrahim Fazeel remarked that coming from an island nation with land scarcity issues, it was quite an eye-opener to see how buildings being built on reclaimed land in Malaysia.
Curtin Sarawak’s Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Construction Engineering) programme is a four-year honours programme fully accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and Engineers Australia (EAust), the governing professional engineering bodies of Malaysia and Australia.
Recently, Curtin Sarawak introduced a new Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) course which will commence in the first week of August 2014. The four-year, full-time course is ideal for those who are interested to pursue a career in areas such as water treatment, solid waste management (including industrial and hazardous waste management), and domestic and industrial waste water treatment.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.