Empowering Sustainability: Professor Tim McCarthy’s Visit to UOW Malaysia, fuelled by the WREN Initiative
On the 16th of August 2023, the UOW Malaysia Campus had the distinct honour of hosting Professor Tim McCarthy, the Director of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. Professor Tim McCarthy’s visit was the culmination of Ts. Dr. Nishata Royan A/P Rajendran Royan‘s recent visit to UOW Australia and SBRC in May 2023. This visit was made possible through the initiative of the WREN Australia-ASEAN Council Grant. It highlights the collaborative platform opportunities provided by WREN, emphasizing its role in fostering partnerships and knowledge exchange between Australian and ASEAN institutions.
Prof. McCarthy’s visit was a significant whole-day event with a packed itinerary filled with insightful interactions and knowledge-sharing sessions. Prof. McCarthy’s visit had a clear and inspiring purpose. It aimed to bridge the gap between academic institutions and industry partners by focusing on sustainability in building practices. The visit included a seminar on sustainable building research and recent projects, as well as research collaboration meetings with faculty members, researchers, and industry partners. This two-fold approach ensured a comprehensive exploration of the subject. Moreover, it aimed to identify potential areas for joint research projects and collaborations, thereby fostering academic partnerships.
Prof. McCarthy’s day was meticulously planned to make the most of his visit. It included the arrival and welcome at the UOW Malaysia campus, where Dr Royan and key university representatives greeted him, Professor Dr Hon Wei Min, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Mr Gabriel Lau Chi Wen, Head and Functional Lead of Teaching & Learning Coordination, Dr Sivajothi a/l Paramasivam and Ms Goh Thing Thing, both Academic Department Heads of School of Engineering, along with Program Leaders. Later, Prof. McCarthy joined research collaboration meetings with School of Engineering researchers, and took a campus and lab tour to showcase UOW Malaysia’s facilities and capabilities.
In the afternoon, Prof. McCarthy delivered a seminar on “Sustainable Building Research and Recent Projects”. The event saw the participation from various industry and academic stakeholders. The industry partners included Madam Su Wong, Manager of Sustainability & Community Engagement at Paramount Corporation Berhad, Dr A. Baskaran, the Head of Research & Development at Cahya Mata Alam (formerly known as Thermasite). The academic partners included Prof. Abu Bakar Sulong, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research and Instrumentation Management from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, the Head of Department of Engineering and Built Environment at UOW Malaysia’s Penang and Batu Kawan campuses, as well as fellow academic researchers from the School of Engineering, UOW Malaysia.
One of the standout outcomes of Prof. McCarthy’s visit was the establishment of a joint venture between the School of Engineering at UOW Malaysia, led by Ts. Dr. Royan, and Paramount Corporation Berhad. The joint project, “Sustainable Waste Management,” will be conducted at one of Paramount’s construction sites in Berkeley, Klang. Prof. McCarthy and Dr Leela Kempton from UOW Australia will oversee this collaboration, which is expected to span approximately six months, commencing in mid-September.
Beyond the substantial outcomes, what truly resonated from Prof. McCarthy’s visit was his positive vibe and down-to-earth personality. He not only shared his expertise but also took the time to appreciate and acknowledge the preparations made for his one-day visit. This level of engagement and approachability left a lasting impression on everyone fortunate enough to interact with him.
In conclusion, Professor Tim McCarthy’s visit to the UOW Malaysia campus was an unforgettable day filled with knowledge exchange, collaboration opportunities, and inspiration. It exemplified the power of academic-industry partnerships in driving sustainable innovation and left an indelible mark on all who were present. It also showcased the significant role played by initiatives like WREN in fostering such valuable collaborations.