Miri – 8 November 2023 – A group of 20 students and four lecturers from the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently went on an educational visit to the Meteorology Department Miri to enhance their understanding of the process of weather data collection, transmission, and its practical utilisation.
The visit spanned two locations, beginning with a tour of the Meteorology Department’s Doppler Radar Station situated at Canada Hill. This station boasts state-of-the-art technology designed to collect and analyse weather data, including the tracking of severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms and hurricanes.
On hand to welcome them were officer in charge of the station, Assistant Meteorological Officer Freddie Anak Anit and his staff. Following a briefing on the operations of the station, the students and lecturers witnessed firsthand how meteorologists employ Doppler radar to detect precipitation patterns and understand the dynamics of various weather phenomena.
Subsequently, the group made their way to the Meteorology Department offices located near Miri Airport, where they had the opportunity to observe the reception and analysis of data transmitted from the Doppler radar. They received informative presentations and engaged in interactive discussions with meteorologists who shared their knowledge and experiences on data interpretation, monitoring weather patterns, and forecasting.
The excursion proved to be highly educational and insightful for the students and lecturers alike. It allowed them to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom and practical applications in the field. By directly witnessing the process of weather data collection, transmission, and utilisation, they gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of accurate and timely information in the field of meteorology.
One of the participating lecturers, Carrie Ho, commented that the engagement between the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering and Meteorology Department Miri served as a platform to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between academia and industry professionals.
“The experiential learning opportunity was also vital for students pursuing careers in civil and construction engineering to grasp the impact of weather conditions on infrastructure planning and design,” she said.
Head of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Associate Professor Ir. Wong Kwong Soon, said the visit not only broadened the horizons of the students and lecturers, but also strengthened the bonds between Curtin Malaysia and the Meteorology Department Miri. Both institutions have had a longstanding relationship for a number of years, which was further solidified with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in research and development of technical expertise in July last year.
According to Associate Professor Ir. Wong, this includes the sharing of data from MET Malaysia’s automatic weather station (AWS) at the Curtin Malaysia campus for research purposes; the exchange of knowledge and sharing of technical expertise through jointly-organised training workshops and conferences; joint applications for research grants and joint publications; and other projects of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, third-year environmental engineering student Jonathan Tham Kar Yern said he really appreciated the opportunity to gain insights into the intricate workings of a sophisticated radar station. He said that having the chance to enter the Doppler radome was a truly unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Second-year civil engineering Phyllis Poh Yi Ning also found the site visits very insightful and engaging, with opportunities to ask questions, while fellow second-year student Ting Mei Na said the officers at both locations were very professional and gave very clear explanations of the processes and procedures.
As the largest international campus of Curtin University in Western Australia, Curtin Malaysia offers a wide range of courses at pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate level. Located strategically in Miri, Sarawak, the campus offers a multicultural environment that prepares students for an increasingly globalised and diverse workforce.
The Meteorology Department Miri is a government institution responsible for monitoring and forecasting weather conditions in the region. Equipped with advanced technology and a team of dedicated professionals, the department plays a crucial role in providing accurate and timely weather information to ensure the safety and well-being of the community.
Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at www.curtin.edu.my, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok.
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