KUCHING – Swinburne has appointed Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Sarawak campus.
Professor Lau succeeded Associate Professor Enn Ong who retired after over 18 years at the helm.
With extensive experience in teaching, research and leadership, Professor Lau has contributed significantly in academia particularly in the areas of academic and professional development, transnational educational understanding and university-industry linkage.
He spent over 15 years at Curtin Malaysia where he held various academic and leadership roles during a period of significant growth and change. Prior to joining Swinburne, Professor Lau was Curtin Malaysia’s Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science.
At Curtin Malaysia, Professor Lau was involved in developing new research areas and state-of-the-art teaching spaces, introducing new courses, modernising curriculum to improve students’ experience, and establishing mentoring schemes to support staff development.
Professor Lau is an internationally respected researcher with particular expertise in cold formed steel construction and wider research interests in construction waste management and sustainable development.
Commenting on his future plans for Swinburne’s Sarawak campus, Professor Lau said his goal is to build a culture of academic excellence in teaching, research and service, both internally and externally. These, he said, are crucial in meeting current challenges where students expect flexibility, personalisation and engaging learning experiences that meet their individual learning goals and needs.
“Academic excellence involves creating a deep and rich ecosystem of active learning at the Sarawak campus by providing authentic learning experiences and student-centred course design. It also engages the academic staff to deliver learning experience focussing on what is ahead of us, taking into account its future professional purposes,” remarked Professor Lau.
On the research front, Professor Lau’s roles also include collaborating closely with the PVC (Research) and academics from the faculties to further enhance the university’s research objectives and outcomes.
Meanwhile, on collaboration between the Melbourne and Sarawak campuses, he said the continuous changing nature and competitive environment of the higher education sector will require both campuses to work together more than ever to achieve the Swinburne’s 2025 Vision and Strategy.
“It is vital for both campuses to manage their resources responsibly and collaborate strategically so as to create opportunities to grow our international brand and reputation. We are committed to look at initiatives, projects and activities together that will create social and economic impact for our communities and industries,” he mentioned.
Where positioning Swinburne’s Sarawak campus as the preferred study destination in Malaysia is concerned, Professor Lau aspires to enhance the student experience by refreshing the existing curriculum, fostering active learning, supporting employability outcomes, strengthening industry partnership, and creating advanced flexible learning spaces.
He opined that Swinburne needs to ensure students gain meaningful learning and social experience on campus throughout their university journey that would leave lasting impact on their lives.
Professor Lau has an engineering degree and a PhD from the Oxford Brookes University, UK, and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching from Curtin University. He is a Professional Engineer with practicing certificate registered with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM) and a Chartered Professional Engineer with Engineers Australia (EA).
Besides holding successful research grant track record, Professor Lau has published over 50 journal and conference papers as well as conference proceedings. He had worked as a consultant for a number of companies and chaired national and international conferences throughout his career.
For more information about Swinburne, visit its website www.swinburne.edu.my, Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).
Swinburne University Of Technology Sarawak Campus 砂拉越斯威本科技大学