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Curtin Malaysia engineering students impressed by Bakun Dam

Miri – 19 July 2018 – 35 undergraduate students of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) who recently went on an industrial visit to the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam were greatly impressed by the dam, which they described as massive and a marvel of engineering.

The visit to the dam, the world’s second-tallest concrete-faced rockfill dam owned and operated by Sarawak Energy, allowed the students to gain valuable insights into the generation of electricity from hydropower and the field of electrical power engineering.

The students were accompanied by Head of the ECE Department of the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor Lenin Gopal, and lecturers Associate Professor Zhuquan Zang, Dr. Garenth Lim King Hann and Dr. Raymond Chiong Choo Wee.

At the Bakun Hydropower Station, they were briefed by Sarawak Energy staff on the features of the dam and learned about its components such as the reservoir area, power intake structure, spillway, power tunnels and powerhouse. This was followed by a tour of the station.

“The tour was really interesting and we came away being very impressed with the overall development of the Bakun Dam,” said third-year student Liong Hui Jing.

Fellow student Melissa Syra A. Rashid said the visit was an unforgettable experience and she learned a lot about how the dam works and how electricity is generated from it. She added that the dam commands breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain, a memory she will treasure forever.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Lenin said Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science is committed to organising regular industrial visits for its students as Curtin’s education models embeds such activities into each course curriculum to give students a well-rounded, dynamic education experience.

“Student learning at Curtin is not confined to just lecture halls, classrooms or labs. Learning experiences off-campus, where students can relate theories learnt to real-world applications and experience first-hand different engineering practices, are just as rewarding,” he remarked.

He said previous visits have been organised for students to the dam, as well as to other industrial sites in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

Located on the Balui River about 60 kilometres from Belaga in central Sarawak, the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam is 205 metres tall and spans 750 metres across. It is capable of generating 2,400MW and supplies power to energy-intensive industries in the Samalaju Industrial Park 60 kilometres northeast of Bintulu.

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

The Curtin group with Sarawak Energy staff in front of the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam.