The application, known as ‘Slopen’, can help developers and contractors in their work, especially before putting up a new construction in a particular area.
A lecturer at the School of Civil Engineering, Prof. Fauziah Ahmad, said that ‘Slopen’ is now in the final stages of development and that it can be used easily as long as there is access to the internet.
"With this application, developers and contractors will be able to test soil strength before they commence construction work and in this way prevent unexpected loss of property and lives."
"Most importantly, this innovation is not based on profit. Developers and contractors can use this application at no cost whatsoever to evaluate soil strength, especially in hilly areas," she said.
She said this in her speech in conjunction with the Public Lecture Series for Professorial Appointments titled ‘Inovasi Kestabilan, Kekuatan dan Kelestarian Cerun’ (‘Innovation for Stability, Strength and Sustainability of Slopes’), at the Engineering Campus, USM, Nibong Tebal recently. She added that many studies have been carried out in Penang with regard to soil engineering because of the frequent occurrence of landslides here.
"Areas that are most frequently affected are Paya Terubong, Batu Ferringhi and the Tanjung Bungah stretch right up to Balik Pulau. These areas are geographically hilly and many housing development projects are being undertaken here," she added.
She hopes that the housing developers and contractors such as in Penang will not only think of the profits without taking into consideration the issue of safety.
"The socioeconomic effects in this hilly terrain can only stabilized if restoration works take into account the natural soil characteristics and if they are turned into better and more sustainable ones," she explained.
Prof. Fauziah Ahmad, who received her PhD from University of Stratchlcyde, Glasgow, Scotland has won multiple awards for research at both local and international levels. They include the Grand Grand Prix Award for Women Inventor, CIDB Excellent Award and the Holcim Best Invention. She has also won 8 gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal for her research.
At the same event, Prof. Meor Othman Hamzah, another lecturer from the School of Civil Engineering, USM also delivered a lecture in conjunction with the Public Lecture Series for Professorial Appointments titled ‘Pembangunan Lestari Teknologi Asfalt untuk Menjamin Kelangsungan Industri Asfalt Negara’( Sustainable Development of Asphalt Technology for the National Asphalt Industry).