“In today’s global world, it is essential for academics and industrial scholars to work together in research and development to generate new knowledge and turn them into new products and services. Academia’s engagement with the industries is crucial to maintain and enhance competitiveness as well as to maximise the social and economic benefits of new ideas,” said UTAR Vice-President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei in his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony of UTAR’s R&D Colloquium (1.0) 2016 held in Kampar Campus on 28 May 2016.
Organised by the Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR) for the fifth time, the biannual R&D Colloquium continued to strengthen and nurture regular communication between researchers from the 28 research centres in UTAR through establishing research collaborations and reinforcing cross disciplinary research. It also served as a platform for continuous updating on research outcomes to research centres, faculties, IPSR, and the Vice-President’s office for R&D and Commercialisation.
Prof Lee explained the role of R&D and its impact towards the university’s growth. He further added, “The colloquium is also aimed to engage researchers and postgraduate students toward multi-disciplinary academic research in order to form a knowledge-based community with an advanced, high quality research culture.”
Themed ‘Social and Economic Wellbeing for Nation Building’, the R&D Colloquium served to allow the research participants to network, present, and share their research efforts. It saw more than 150 participants comprising local and foreign researchers from UTAR research centres, lecturers, staff, and postgraduate students.
There were three sessions held concurrently with three different subthemes, namely ‘Innovation and Sustainable Development in Health’, ‘Diversity, Sustainability and Nation Building’, and ‘Education for Tomorrow’, chaired by Chairperson of Centre for Research on Non-Communicable Disease Prof Dr Shelly Soo; Chairperson of Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies Dr Chin Yee Mun represented by Faculty of Arts and Social Science Tutor Noew Hooi San for morning session, and Faculty of Business and Finance Lecturer Dr Abdelhak Senadjki for afternoon session; and Chairperson of Centre for Learning and Teaching Er Pek Hoon respectively. There were a total of 31 presentations at the R&D Colloquium (1.0) 2016. The topics included developments in the health system, stress management, tourism, communication and social behavior, leadership management, and the role of multimedia elements in teaching as well as nation-building.
Among the highlights were Dr Yan Naing Soe’s presentation on ‘Stress Hormone Level and Insight Meditation’, Dr Alan Ong’s presentation on ‘Interaction of MSC on Cancer Cell Properties and miRNA Profiles of CSC Enriched Breast Cancer Cells’, Noew Hooi San’s presentation on ‘Interethnic Leader-Member Exchange in Malaysia Organisations: Similarities and Dissimilarities in Their Needs’, Dr Abdelhak Senadjki’s presentation on ‘Is Elderly Spending More Than Non-Elderly? An Assessment of Household Income Expenditure Data’, Mok Tuck Hau’s presentation on ‘Teaching of Chinese Classical Language in Higher Education’, Dr Hung Chen Wei’s presentation on ‘Authoring Robot-Assisted Instructional Materials for Improving Learning Performance and Motivation in EFL Classroom’, and Foong Soon Seng’s presentation on ‘Exploring the Theme of Nationhood in Malaysian Upper Secondary English Literature Components’.
Head of the Department of Languages and Linguistics-cum-participant Christina Ong Sook Beng enthused, “The R&D Colloquium has not only opened my eyes to research from other field of studies, but also to different perspectives in the field of education such as adopting robots to teach English as a foreign language, using multimedia to teach finance, and the importance of language in solving mathematical problems.”
She added, “However, careful selection of studies should be done in order to fit into the proposed themes. Having smaller and more rooms for breakout meetings could perhaps enhance the Q&A session as thorough discussions among participants can be carried out.”
In line with the Strengthening of Cross Disciplinary Research Centres under the UTAR 10-year Strategic Plan, IPSR organised UTAR’s maiden R&D Colloquium in 2014 at its Kampar Campus. The colloquium is supported by the UTAR Strategic Research Funding Scheme to promote continuous excellence in research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, especially in cross-disciplinary research.
As a progressive university, UTAR constantly holds conferences and colloquia as platforms for researchers to share their research findings and network with others for more collaborative opportunities.
拉曼大学 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman