It was organised to provide a platform for information and experience exchange on materials engineering research and education and the role of this field in other engineering disciplines.
RCM organising chairman and USM AUN/Seed-Net programme steering committee chairman Prof Radzali Othman said the two-day conference at Hotel Equatorial Penang covered research and industrial studies on all advanced materials like advanced polymers, advanced biomaterials, composites, nanomaterials and others.
“We had workshops and round table forums that will help determine the direction of research and education in this field,” he said.
Themed‘Materials Engineering: Leading the Path Towards Sustainable Future’, the conference featured 170 participants from Asean countries.
Almost all Malaysian universities took part in the conference as well.
Prof Radzali said USM was the selected institution for material engineering in the Asean region under the AUN/Seed-Net programme.
“We hope USM, as an Apex university, can extend its expertise in the field to other institutions, especially the newer local universities,” he said.
USM currently has 18 postgraduate students from Asean countries pursuing their Masters and PhDs at USM’s School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering in Nibong Tebal.
Prof Radzali said the students were recipients of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) scholarships.
“Due to the JICA-AUN/SEED-Net programme, the school has become popular with material engineering postgraduate students.
“Last year, 20 applied but we only had five JICA scholarships to give out.
“So the selection process was very strict to help us ensure we get a group of hardworking scholars,” he said.
AUN/SEED-Net is short for Asean University Network/Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Net-work project.
It promotes human resource development in engineering within the region.
AUN/SEED-Net is mainly supported by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and partially by the Asean Foundation.
(The Star, 20 Februari 2009, Metro North)