First Malaysia-Ireland Symposium on Engineering, Science and Business Held at Athlone Institute of Technology

A two-day international symposium on science, engineering and business opens at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)

The event brings together Irish and Malaysian postgraduate researchers and is organised by AIT and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).

An international panel of speakers include experts on biomedical science, computer networking, materials engineering, microbiology, social science, as well as on commercialising research and technology transfer in higher education institutions.

The keynote speakers are: Prof Khalil Arshak (AIT/UL) on ‘Advances in Real Time Detection of Pathogens for Food and Water Quality Monitoring’; Prof Ali Yeon Md. Shakaff (UniMAP) on ‘Nurturing Multidisciplinary Research – Outcome of a 5-year Initiative at UniMAP’; Dr James Cunningham (NUIGalway) on ‘Commercialisation and Technology Transfer in Higher Educational Institutions: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities’; and Brian Toolan (AIT) on ‘Introducing Entrepreneurship into Research’.

AIT President, Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin, said: “One of the most significant aspects of postgraduate formation and research is the sharing of ideas and working in groups. It is an ideal which has repeatedly been stated in policy and strategy documents. In particular, the cultivating of networks across international boundaries represents added-value activity, and I am very pleased that the growing relationship between AIT and UniMAP is evidence of such a principal in action.”

The Vice-Chancellor of UniMAP, Prof Dr Dato’ Kamarudin Hussin, stated: “We acknowledge the competitiveness and challenges among institutions of higher education globally, especially in producing high impact research and products. With that in view, we do not want to be left out and in organising this symposium we wish to increase the competitiveness positively.”

The first International Malaysia-Ireland Joint Symposium on Engineering, Science and Business is being attended by more than 50 researchers from Ireland, Malaysia, China and the UK. Delegates also include the President of UniMAP, Prof Dr Dato’ Kamarudin Hussin; as well as Dr Rosman Abdullah, the Malaysian Student Director for UK/Ireland; Zurina Ahmad Tejuddin, Charge d’Affaires, the Embassy of Malaysia, Dublin; and Terry McPartland, Enterprise Ireland.

Relations between the Athlone and Perlis educational institutions have developed strongly in recent years with the signing of a number of cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding.

UniMAP is a technical university located at the northernmost part of the Malaysian peninsula, less than 35 km from the borders of Thailand. Established in 2001, it has 4,000 students, primarily studying engineering degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Athlone Institute of Technology, which was established in 1970, has 6,000 students studying programmes in business, humanities, engineering and science. The institute has one of the highest proportions of international students of any Irish third level institution at 11 per cent of full-time learners. Some €100 million has been invested in its campus since 2000.

Further information about the symposium can be found online at ait.ie/IMiEJS2011. The 2012 symposium will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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