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Curtin Sarawak signs agreement with Sarawak Energy for RM2 million research collaboration

Kuching, 21 February 2014 - Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and Sarawak Energy Berhad signed an agreement yesterday to enter into a research collaboration in the aspect of environmental sustainability of hydropower development.

Power development, in the form of large dams, brings with it a number of physical and social changes to a river basin. These in turn affect land cover, land use, and consequently, the risk of soil erosion and mobilising heavy metals. Knowing the location and size of high, medium and low risk soil erosion loss areas in dam catchment areas would help Sarawak Energy identify possible erosion prevention strategies.

Curtin Sarawak researcher Dr. Dominique Dodge-Wan will manage a project to map the potential soil erosion risk in the catchment area of the proposed Baram hydropower plant project using satellite imagery to follow changes in land use over time.

Meanwhile, her colleague, Associate Professor Dr. Ramasamy Nagarajan’s project will aim to investigate the geochemistry and distribution of heavy metals in sediments in the regions of the proposed Baram, Baleh and Pelagus hydropower plant projects.

Professor Clem Kuek, Dean of R&D at Curtin Sarawak and Acting Director of the Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI), said that this initial research collaboration with Sarawak Energy, which costs RM2 million and is the largest funded research activity to-date at the university, resulted from many months of discussion to develop the projects for Sarawak Energy and other projects to follow are being considered. 

Curtin Sarawak’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Mienczakowski, on signing the collaboration agreement on behalf of the university, stated that Curtin University in Malaysia is rapidly ramping up its already strong research capacities, including a new BioValley Research and Development Park funded by the State Government and new engineering buildings for teaching and postgraduate work in order to closely support and meet the particular research needs of government and local industry.

Chief of Corporate Services of Sarawak Energy, Puan Aisah Eden said, “Through this partnership with Curtin, we are confident the extensive research work will be a critical input for us to better understand and assess the potential risks and extent of erosion in the planned hydropower plant development areas."

“In line with the State SCORE agenda, we also see this type of collaboration with local academic institutions, especially Curtin Sarawak, as joint efforts to uplift the competency and skill sets of Sarawakians, and create career opportunities for the locals.

The signing also forms part of Sarawak Energy’s overall Sustainability Agenda that defines our commitment to improving energy generation for the State, and more importantly, to comply with international standards for hydropower development,” added Puan Aisah.

The signing of the agreement at Menara Sarawak Energy by Puan Aisah and Professor Mienczakowksi was witnessed by Dr. Chen Shiun, Sarawak Energy’s General Manager R&D, and Professor Kuek.  

Other senior management employees from Sarawak Energy present were Polycarp Wong, Vice President Hydro; Shawn Liu, Capital Works Procurement & Contracts; Jiwari Abdullah, Senior Manager II Corporate Social Responsibility; and Haniza A. Hamid, Senior Manager II Corporate Communications. Associate Professor Ramasamy and Dr. Dominique Dodge-Wan were also present.

Puan Aisah (2nd left) and Prof Mienczakowski (2nd right) sign the agreement, witnessed by Dr Chen Shiun (far left) and Prof Clem Kuek (far right)


Haniza A Hamid, Polycarp Wong, Dr Chen Shiun, Aisah Eden, Assoc Prof Ramasamy, Dr Dodge-Wan, Prof Mienczakowski, Prof Kuek, Jiwari Abdullah, Shawn Liu

Engineering and Science


Projects have included:

Externally Funded Research Projects

Ontology based query language for biological data
Dr Amandeep Singh Sidhu, Dr Sarinder Kaur Kashmir Singh, and Dr Low Siow Yong
(Funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme)

Experimental investigation of micro emulsions formation and evolution in pipeline flow
Dr Sharul Sham b. Dol, Dr Law Ming Chiat, and Dr Mior b. Meor Said
(Funded by the Exploratory Research Grant Scheme)

Fundamental Model Development for Water Gas Shift Membrane Reactor for Greenhouse Gas Capture from Pre-combustion Processes
Dr Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, Jobrun Nandong, and Shufeng Shen
(Funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme)

The Impact of Displacement on Traditional Ethnobotanical Knowledge of the Kelabit Community of the Bario Highlands of Sarawak
Dr Merlin Franco Francis and Assoc. Prof. Beena Giridharan
(Funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme)

Studies on the Effect of Viscoelasticity on the Heat Tranfer Performance of AI203-Water Nanofluid in Circular and Noncircular Ducts
Assoc. Prof. Perumal Kumar, Assoc. Prof. Chua Han Bing, and Dr Rajamohan Ganesan
(Funded by the Exploratory Research Grant Scheme)

Innovative Vibration Isolation Systems for Equipments & Structures
Dr Leblouba Moussa, Dr Muhammad Ekhlasur, Assoc. Prof. Lau Hieng Ho, and Hidayati Asrah
(Funded by the Exploratory Research Grant Scheme)

Process Modeling and Optimization of Composting of empty Fruit Bunches from Oil-palm for Development of High Quality Organic Compost
Assoc. Prof. Chua Han Bing, Florence Wong, Dr Agus Saptoro, Freddie Panau, and Prof. Aaron Goh.
(Funded by Celltex Resources Sdn. Bhd.)

A Study on the Performance of Cold Formed Steel Built-Up I Sections
Assoc. Prof. Lau Hieng Ho, Dr Muhammad Ekhlasur, and Dr Leblouba Moussa
(Funded by Ecosteel Sdn. Bhd.)

Development of a Compartmented Fluidized-Bed Gasifier for Syngas Production and Power Generation from Biomass (Palm Wastes)
Dr Chua Han Bing, Chok Vui Soon, Wee Siaw Khur, Dr Hongming Yan and Dr Chandrasekar Srinivasakanaan
(Funded by the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation and Malaysian Palm Oil Board)

Design and Optimization of a Hydrophilic, Cross Flow Ultra-Filtration Membrane Unit for the Treatment of Oil-field Produced Water in Sarawak.
Dr Yudi Samyudia, Dr Tan Yin Ling
(Funded by Shell Malaysia Limited)

Development of Syngas Cleanup Technologies Suitable for Power Generation from Biomasss
Dr Alexander Gorin, Dr Chua Han Bing and Dr Md Raisul Islam
(Funded by Shell Malaysia Limited)

Fine Particle Formation by Rapid Expansion of the Supercritical Solution (RESS) of Bioactive Compounds of Piper nigrum L. – Design, Optimization & Experimental Studies.
Dr Yudi Samyudia, Freddie Panau, Dr Tan Yin Ling and Cheng Chin Fook
(Funded by Malaysian Pepper Board)

Study of Electrical Properties of Palm Oil using Kerr-effect Technique.   

Dr Wong Kiing Ing, Kenneth Silek, Dr Nader Nassif Barsoum
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) 

Development of Smart Drive Build in AC Motors for Optimal Operations.

Dr Nader Barsoum & Dr Wong Kiing Ing
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Development of Food Microstructures to Reduce Sodium in Foods.
Dr Aaron Goh Suk Meng, Chye Fook Yee, Lau Shiew Wei, Farouq Twaiq.
 (Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Micromachining of Advanced Ceramics by Conventional and Non-Conventional Methods.
Moola Mohan Reddy, Dr Khaled Abou El Hossein
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Hardware and Software Design of Body Sensor Network Device.
Dr Wong Kiing Ing, Dr Nader Nassif Barsoum
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Electro-osmosis and Electro-stabilization Experiments on Soft Soils of North Sarawak.
Dr Kaniraj Shenbaga, Dr Lau Hieng Ho
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Metabolic Control Analysis and Process Engineering of Ethanol Production from Agricultural Products using Extractive Fermentation Technology.
Dr Jobrun Nandong
(Funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation)

Remote Access Power Systems (RAPS)
Dr. Bijan Rohani, Nabil Afifi, Hor Hen Son, Balakrishna Singam

Isolated Communities' Telecommunication Network (ICTN) - Phase I: Feasibility Study of Technologies
Nabil Afifi, Dr Bijan Rohani & Balakrishna Singam

Research Projects Funded under the Curtin Sarawak Collaborative Research Scheme (CSCR)

Development of efficient palm oil biodiesel purification process by cavitation-induced two-stage microwave heating.
Dr Ulugbek Azimov, Dr Taufiq Yap, Dr Agus Saptoro, Dr Wee Siaw Khur, and Jason Chia Keh Leong.

Numerical and Experimental Studies of Micro Emulsions Pipeline Flow Behavior .
Dr Sharul Sham b. Dol, Dr Ulugbek Azimov, Prof. Yudi Samyudia, Assoc Prof. Ir. Dr Shaharin Anwar Sulaiman, and Dr Mior Azaman Meor Said

Speech Intelligibility Enhancement Using Psychoacoustics Approaches
Low Siow Yong, Dr Zang Zhuquan, Sven Nordholm, Lenin Gopal

Improved Method for Greenhouse Gas Capture using Solvent Systems
Dr Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, Dr Perumal Kumar, Agus Saptoro

Recovery of Edible Functional Fibers from Fruit Peel Waste
Dr Aaron Goh Suk Meng, Jobrun  Nandong, Tay Chen Lim, Chaiwut Gamonpilas

Pelleting Oil Palm Waste for Efficient Syngas Production
Lai Zhenyue, Dr Aaron Goh Suk Meng, Dr Chua Han Bing, Dr Teng Wan Dung

Innovation Design and Fabrication of Car Gear Rotor by using A12TiO5 – Based Functional Graded Materials
Zeya Oo, Dr Sujan Debneth, Dr Tan Chong Keng, Moola Mohan Reddy

Dr Thien Thien Kyaw

An Investigation on the Sustainability and Adaptability of Light Steel House to Address the Local Environment Design &Construction Phase
Dr Lau Hieng Ho, Andrew White, Dr Jayakumar Muthuramaligam, Law Puong Ling (UNIMAS)

Design and Implementation of Power Efficient Algorithm for Information Signal Processing

Dr Ashutosh Kumar Singh, Dr Zang Zhuquan, Dr Wong Kiing Ing, Mohd Amaluddin Yusoff

Extraction of Algae Oil for the Production of Transport Liquid Biofuel
Dr Ngu Ling Ngee, Farouq Twaiq, Lau Shiew Wei, Subhash (USM), Sharif (UM)

Implementation of an Optimal Energy Saving System for Phase 2 at Curtin Sarawak Campus

Nader Barsoum, Kenneth Adan Silek, Dr Wong Kiing Ing, Rabi W. Yousif Habash

Research Projects Funded under the Curtin Sarawak Research Fund Scheme

MMSE Based Transceiver Design for Non-Regenerative MIMO Relay Systems
Lenin Gopal

Sustainable Management of Surface Water Resources (lakes and rivers) in and around Miri City, Sarawak, Malaysia
Dr Prasanna Mohan Viswanathan

Rheological and Forced Convective Heat Transfer Characteristics of Some Metal Oxide Nanofluids
Dr Perumal Kumar

Application of Membrane Pervaporation for Separation of Organics from Industrial Waste Streams
Dr Ujjal Kumar Ghosh

Alternative Material for Car Gear Rotor using Aluminium based Metal Matrix Composites
Dr Sujan Debneth

Waveform set design and implementation to UWB communication system.
Mohd Amaluddin,Dr Zang Zhuquan

A pilot study of pollutant dispersion around a coastal headland using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH).
Dr Law Ming Chiat, Dr Tang Fu Ee

Modelling stormwater runoff quantity and quality using USEPA SWMM  for an urban residential catchment.
Carrie Ho, Dr Tang Fu Ee

Mechanical Properties of Layered Food Composites
Dr Aaron Goh Suk Meng

Dynamic Neural Network and Gaussian Process based Model predictive Control of a Palm Waste Boiler
Agus Saptoro

Development of Ink-Jet Printed Starch-Based Polymer Electrolyte
Tay Chen Lim

Investigation of the application of mesoporous silica fiber as alternative for bleaching earth in palm oil processing.
Dr Ngu Ling Ngee

Forced Convection Heat Transfer from Wall Surface in Packed Beds at High Reynolds Numbers.
Alexander Gorin

Developing Thermophilic Baterial Consortium for Biodegradation of Empty Fruit Bunches from Oil Palm.
Dr Chua Han Bing

Floating Structure in Sensitive Watercourse Tourist Destinations: Life-Cycle Analysis of a Waterborne WWF Visitor-Centre for the Kinabatangan River.
Dr Tang Fu Ee

Study on High Strength High Performance Concrete in Marine Environment.
Dr Jayakumar Muthuramaligam

Interaction of surface Radiation and Mixed Convection in Horizontal Rectangular Ducts.
Dr Rajamohan Ganesan

An Efficient Logic Synthesis Approach with Testability using MODD.
Dr Ashutosh Kumar Singh

Investigation of the Mechanical Properties of Anodized Aluminium through the Optimization of Anoding Process.
Lau Shiew Wei

A Numerical Study on Heat Generation and Temperature Distribution
Cheng Chin Fook

Direct Numerical Simulation of Acoustic Waves in a 2D Cavity.
Cheng Chin Fook

An Investigation of Engineered Wetlands as Waste and Stormwater Treatment in Sarawak.
Dr Tang Fu Ee

Property integration with regeneration placement for continuous and batch processes.
Dr Tan Yin Ling

Development of Comprehensive, Multi-dimensional Computational Combustion Models\ for Pulverised Coal-Fired or Biomass-Fired Utility Boilers
Dr Hongming Yan

Wireless Communication Network for Rural Areas - Case Study.
Nabil Afifi

Kinetics of Catalytic Degradation of Plastic Wastes using Thermal Gravimetric Analysis
Dr. Ibrahim J. M. Dubdub and Dr. Farouq Twaiq

The Use of Evolutionary Algorithms for Computer Controlled Characters in Massively Multiple Online Games
Johannes Herrmann

A new Dynamic Priority Allocation Scheme for the Code Division Multiples Access (CDMA) ALOHA packet radio system
Sashigaran Sivathasan

End-to-End Perceptual Speech Quality Measurement
Dr. Bijan Rohani

Computational Modeling and Control of RESS Particle Formation Systems for Thermally Sensitive Materials and Organic Solutes.
Dr Yudi Samyudia

Electro-osmotic stabilization of soft soils of Sarawak
Dr Kaniraj Shenbaga

Separation of oil and suspended solids in Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)
Florence Wong Pin Sing and Dr. Ibrahim Dubdub (Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn. Bhd. funded in kind)

Small-scale production of bio-ethanol as a sustainable source of fuel for remote
rural communities in developing countries
Freddie Panau, Jobrun Nandong, Dr Chua Han Bing, and Dr Barbara Stauble.

Predictive modeling of surface roughness when end-milling of mould steels using carbide cutting inserts.
Dr Khaled Abou El Hossein

Monitoring and evaluation of Renewable Energy Systems for Rural Sarawak.
Than Soe

Optimization of Hybrid Renewable Energy System in Sarawak.
Nader Barsoum

Strength of Reinforced Concrete Columns using High Strength Reinforcing Steel.
Djwantoro Hardjito

Characterization of Functionally-graded Aluminium Titanate Ceramics.
Zeya Oo

Construction Waste Minimisation: A Sarawak Experience.
Dr Lau Hieng Ho & Carrie Ho

Design and Implementation of an Adaptive Fuzzy Servo Controller on an FPGA IC Board.
Dr Wong Kiing Ing

Preliminary study on the engineering properties database of low calcium fly ash-based geopolymer concrete.
Djwantoro Hardjito

A Numerical Study on Heat Generation and Temperature Distribution during Drilling of Bone.
Dr Raisul Islam, Dr Chua Han Bing, Dr Khaled Abou, Dr Sarder Sadique

Synthesis and Characterization of Composite Microporous-Mesoporous Zeolitic Material as Cracking Catalyst.
Dr Farouq Twaiq

Upgrading Characteristics of Palm Oil Waste by Using a Pretreatment Technique to Obtain Higher Energy Efficiency During Gasification.
Veena Doshi

Partitioning methodology to promote re-use of components in embedded system design.
Mohd Amaluddin Yusoff