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Curtin students learn about bridge construction for Pan-Borneo Highway

Miri – 28 May 2019 – The Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Curtin Highway Infrastructure Research and Innovation hub (CHIRI) and Curtin Civil Society (CCS) of Curtin University Malaysia jointly organised a site visit for 21 students of the university to the construction site of the bridge crossing Sungai Miri, part of the Pan-Borneo Highway project.

The students comprised civil and construction engineering students in their second, third and fourth years and two foundation in engineering students. They were accompanied by senior lecturer Dr. Wong Kwong Soon and programme coordinator Ir. Meheron Selowara Joo.

Upon their arrival at the site, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn. Bhd. (LBU) Construction Manager Michael Ting Ing Ung briefed them on the ongoing construction of Pan-Borneo Highway while engineer Deanly Chuo Kuong Chung from Taiko Odyssey Sdn. Bhd. explained the process of beam launching for the construction of the 150 metre long concrete bridge with pre-stressed I-beam girders.

After the briefing, the students viewed the bridge construction drawings and engaged in discussions with project engineers Macdirglieh Garai and Ting Nik Kiat to better understand the processes involved in the construction of the bridge. This was followed by a visit to the bridge site.

At the site, Chuo explained to the students the operation of the mechanical beam launcher used in the launching of beams and the building of the bridge foundation, as well as the construction of the reinforced earth wall adjacent to the bridge abutment. The students also got to observe pre-stressed beam laying at the casting yard.

Head of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering Associate Professor Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman said it was important for universities to extend their teaching beyond the classroom and site visits are part and parcel of Curtin’s engineering curricula.

He said the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering regularly organises site visits for its students to enrich their student experience, broaden their horizons and enhance their understanding of concepts taught by lecturers. Such visits have taken students and their lecturers to sites in Miri, Kuching and Bintulu, as well as in Sabah and West Malaysia.

Associate Professor Muhammad added that Curtin Malaysia was fortunate to be located in Miri which is currently experiencing a construction boom, offering ample opportunities for such site visits, including on its campus where two campus expansion projects are underway. The ongoing Miri Central Sewerage System and Pan-Borneo Highway projects also offer opportunities for the students and staff to visit and learn out of the classroom.

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Students and site engineers discuss bridge construction following briefing by Macdirglieh.

Students and lecturers with project engineers at the bridge construction site.

Students and lecturers being briefed by project engineer on pre-stressed beams at casting yard.