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Curtin Malaysia and Novakey Developers strengthen partnership

Miri – 2 December 2017 – Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) and Novakey Developers Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of the Episo Group of Companies and one of the fastest-growing property developers in Malaysia, recently signed three memoranda to strengthen their academia-industry partnership.

The documents included a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in education and training and two memorandums of agreement for collaborative research.

Signing on behalf of Curtin Malaysia was Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski while Managing Director Dato’ David Goh Kien Ping signed for Novakey Developers.

Signing as witnesses were Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho, Dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, and Miri City councillor Ariffin bin Mohamad on behalf of Curtin Malaysia and Novakey Developers, respectively.

Professor Mienczakowski, in his speech during the signing ceremony, commented that the signing was a milestone for both organisations in their pursuit of producing graduates in construction technology and civil engineering, and collaboration in cutting-edge research to meet market demands.

Their collaboration will include Novakey Developers sponsoring an annual award of RM10,000 for the best project by final-year civil and construction engineering students to be presented at Curtin Malaysia’s annual awards ceremony.

Novakey Developers will also appoint a representative to the Faculty of Engineering and Science Industrial Advisory Committee who will work with the university to develop competitive engineering curricula and learning resources relevant to industry requirements.

In addition, the two organisations will develop industrial placement and graduate training programmes at Novakey Developers to groom talent for the civil and construction engineering sector in Sarawak.

Dato’ Goh, in his speech, remarked that this was good move as there is a growing demand for engineers to support the state’s development agenda, especially mega infrastructure projects such as the Pan-Borneo Highway.  

Under the research memoranda, Novakey Developers will provide some RM230,000 as well as materials to conduct research on high-performance concrete.

Professor Mienczakowski said innovations in high-performance concrete held huge potential in industrial application and revolutionising the civil engineering industry, particularly in Sarawak where conventional materials can be very costly.

Dato’ Goh commented that he looks forward to significant breakthroughs in the research and new knowledge in construction technology being generated.

Meanwhile, Ir. Professor Lau said his faculty is working to enhance engagement with its industry partners and signing the MoU and research agreements with Novakey Developers was a significant step in that direction.

The initiatives include establishment of the Curtin Highway Infrastructure Research and Innovation (CHIRI) Hub earlier this year which will work with industry to carry out research and provide technical services and innovative solutions to support the ongoing development of the Pan Borneo Highway.    

He added that, as testimony of its excellent industry partnerships, the Faculty of Engineering and Science received over RM650,000 in research funding, and some RM1.08 million worth of donated equipment, from industry this year alone.

In addition, it established a Keysight Reference Lab with Keysight Technologies and a Digital Maker Hub with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) at the campus.

As Curtin University’s largest international campus and global hub in Asia, Curtin Malaysia’s research activity has experienced extremely strong growth over the years, both in volume and significance. A biotechnology research centre funded by the Sarawak Government that is nearing completion at the campus will significantly boost its already strong research capabilities and closely support the particular research needs of government and industry.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).


Professor Mienczakowski and  Dato’ Goh exchanging documents.


Group photo of Novakey and Curtin representatives following the signing ceremony.