Professional workshop exposes participants to application of MATLAB

Workshop participants pose for a group photo.

Workshop participants pose for a group photo.

Miri – 23 April 2015 – Over 40 participants of the ‘Practical System Identification using MATLAB’ professional workshop held recently at Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) had the opportunity to learn more about the practical applications of MATLAB, a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualisation, and programming.

The workshop was organised by the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch of the university. Conducting it were professors of biomedical engineering Edmond Zahedi and Aws Zuhair from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Dr. Alpha Agape Gopalai from the Department of Mechatronics, Monash University Malaysia.

MATLAB can be applied in projects such as modelling energy consumption and developing control algorithms. During the workshop, system identification using a real system like MATLAB, which adopts a problem-based learning approach, was highlighted.

The participants comprised staff from various departments of Curtin Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering and Science and fourth-year electrical and computer engineering students, as well as representatives from Sarawak Energy Sdn Bhd.

During the workshop, they used parametric modelling as a platform to demonstrate the establishment of the input-output relationship without specific knowledge about the physical equations governing the system (black box modelling).

The workshop sessions covered the basic parts of the systems, practical System Identification (SI) using linear parametric modelling, and introduction to non-linear System Identification.

During his session, Dr. Alpha talked about the extraction of electrical signals from the human body and the importance of understanding the signals harvested to analyse the human walking pattern. According to him, wearable devices designed to measure health status and physical condition are becoming very popular in the biomedical field.

Dr. Garenth Lim King Hann, senior lecturer from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, commented that he looks forward to further study and development of biomechanics at Curtin Sarawak. He said the university recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the National Sports Institute of Malaysia (NSI) to conduct joint research into improving athletes’ performances via engineering technology.

“We hope that through this workshop, the participants will be able to use the MATLAB System Identification Toolbox to identify unknown linear dynamic systems,” said Dr. Lim.

Meanwhile, lecturer of mechanical engineering Dr. Hendra Gunawan said the workshop was useful for researchers to learn more about black box modelling using MATLAB toolboxes, adding that research work at the university could be carried out more efficiently with the right analysis tools.

The workshop was supported by the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) and IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Malaysia Chapter.

The IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak, established in 2008, aims to inspire engineering students of Curtin Sarawak to reach their full potential in line with IEEE’s motto ‘To Foster Technological Innovation and Excellence for the Benefit of Humanity’.

For more information on the IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak, e-mail [email protected] or visit One can also visit its Facebook page at

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