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Curtin Malaysia civil and construction engineering students learn about centralised sewerage systems

Miri – 15 March 2019 – Civil and construction engineering students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) had the opportunity to learn more about centralised sewerage systems through a guest lecture on the Miri Centralised Sewerage System under development and site visits to a number of the project’s construction sites recently.

The lecture and site visits were organised by the Curtin Highway Infrastructure Research and Innovation Hub (CHIRI) at Curtin Malaysia and Curtin Civil Society, the university’s society for civil and construction engineering students.

CHIRI is a research hub established in 2017 that collaborates with related industries in research and provision of technical services and innovative solutions to support the ongoing development of the Pan Borneo Highway and other civil infrastructure projects.

Giving the lecture was design engineer Edmund Kiu of Jurutera Minsar Consult Sdn. Bhd., consultants for the ongoing Miri Centralised Sewerage System project, which is part of a state government initiative to provide a holistic and efficient wastewater management system for the major urban centres in the state.

Kiu highlighted the importance for urban centres like Miri to have centralised sewerage systems that allow the proper treatment of wastewater from residential and commercial buildings. He said untreated or partially treated wastewater will result in pollution when discharged into drains, streams and rivers. Implementation of the Miri Centralised Sewerage System will manage pollution and improve water quality in streams and rivers and thus create a more sustainable environment.

According to Kiu, works on Phase 1 of the sewer pipes network and centralised wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 100,000 PE are in progress. Property connections to the sewer network will also be done. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in a few years and work is progressing on schedule.

Kiu also briefed the students on the various processes that will be used in the treatment of wastewater at the wastewater treatment plant, as well as the possible combinations of processes for a comprehensive wastewater treatment plan.

In thanking Kiu for his contribution to student learning at Curtin Malaysia, Associate Professor Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman, Head of the Department of Civil and Construction engineering at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, said engagement with industry is invaluable to both the university and students.

He said his department regularly invites guest lecturers from the construction industry to speak to its students, especially those in their final year.

“Guest lectures provide first-hand insights and allow interaction between students and staff with industry experts. They help our students develop the necessary knowledge and skills to be job-ready, and thus increase their marketability, upon graduation,” Associate Professor Muhammad remarked. 

In addition to the lecture, Kiu hosted the students on visits to three Miri Centralised Sewerage System construction sites.

At one of the construction sites along Jalan Bulan Sabit, the students observed the installation of sewer pipes. They saw how the opening for the sewer pipes was created below ground using a tunnel boring machine and the pipes being slowly pushed through the tunnel via a hydraulic jack.

They also visited the Intermediate Pumping Station (IPS) site where they observed the construction of a diaphragm wall for the pumping station.

The final visit was to the main wastewater treatment plant site where they witnessed piling works in progress.

Final-year students Brandon Lo and Nahum Sim remarked that they were glad to go on the site visits as they were able to see actual construction works in progress and relate what they have learned in class to actual industry applications.

Commenting on site visits for students, Associate Professor Muhammad said it is important to extend teaching and learning beyond the classroom.

“They help to broaden their perspectives and make their learning more interactive,” he said.

Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin University’s world-ranked, four-year Bachelor of Engineering honours course in Civil and Construction Engineering, which is highly prized by graduates and respected by professional engineers worldwide. The course is an excellent blend of civil and construction engineering fundamentals and the practical skills essential to begin effective professional practice immediately upon graduation.

Curtin is ranked in the top 100 universities globally for civil and structural engineering in the newly-released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.

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

Kiu speaking to the students.

Dr Wong Kwong Soon, coordinator of CHIRI (left), presenting Kiu a token of appreciation.

Students observing sewer pipe jacking at Jalan Bulan Sabit construction site.

Staff and students in a photo call with site staff.