Tech- driven change
RECENT advances in technology in the industry have created a greater need for more hands- on people who can apply their knowledge in the engineering technology field.
In the field of mechanical design, for example, more graduates are needed to help Malaysia move towards becoming a knowledge- based economy by 2020.
According to a recent survey, Malaysia has about 100,000 registered engineers of which about 80% are working in engineering technology.
Very few engineers are doing advanced research and development work, which require scientific training.
Even fewer are involved in submission of plans, which require professional engineers.
Demand and supply for engineering and engineering technology professionals should be in the ratio of 20: 80.
However, nowadays, more engineers are doing engineering technologist jobs because of the lack of engineering technologists in Malaysia, including in the field of mechanical design.
Mechanical engineers are in high demand in numerous industries due to their knowledge and versatility to adapt to the industries’ environment.
One of the most important roles of mechanical engineers in the industry is the ability to do mechanical design. Mechanical engineers with specific applied knowledge in design will have a lot of advantages and a bright future in their careers.
Fresh graduates in the field of mechanical engineering will usually have little experience in design and design skills.
Hence, they require more on- the- job training, incurring more cost and valuable manpower to train them in design. To overcome this, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Spanish Institute ( UniKL MSI) is offering a bachelor’s degree programme in mechanical design to fulfil industry requirements.
Graduates are expected to perform well in the workforce after graduating as they would have been trained in design through classroom and laboratory sessions by experienced design experts.
Bachelor of Engineering Technology ( Hons) in Mechanical Design ( BETMD) aims to assist graduates to become full- fledged mechanical engineering technologists with the knowledge and technical skills needed to serve the industry upon graduating.
Besides knowledge in mechanical engineering, these students also have the advantage of specialising in mechanical engineering design.
Emphasis will be placed on components and systems level design to serve the mechanical, manufacturing, semiconductor, electronics, solar and oil and gas industry.
Prof Dr Abu Talib Othman, dean of UniKL MSI, says, “We’re seeing strong demand for mechanical engineers, particularly within the design and manufacturing industries. There is a wide range of design, technical sales, project management and manufacturing manager roles that require skilled mechanical engineers.”
At the early stage, courses are aligned to expose students to basic mechanical and manufacturing knowledge.
During the programme, students will undergo specialised design courses that are relevant to the industry such as the engineering design process, ergonomics, design for plastics and elastomer, design for sheet metal forming, machine components design, machine and mechanism design and computer- aided engineering ( CAE) tools for analysis.
For the final year of the programme, students will use their design knowledge to create complex designs that comply with engineering standards on safety, reliability, environmental impact and functionality in their final- year projects.
Early industrial training exposure will be introduced throughout the programme instead of just in the final semester.
UniKL MSI provides technology workshops and laboratories with modern equipment, apparatus, machines and tools, originally adopted from Spain.
The university also houses several laboratories and workshops, including the Material Engineering Laboratory, Thermal Laboratory, Fluid Mechanics laboratory, CAD/ CAE Laboratory, Automotive laboratories and Design Development and Prototyping laboratories.
Situated in Kulim Hi- Tech Park, UniKL MSI is one of UniKL’s campuses that offers full- time degree and diploma programmes.
Students are provided with practical learning or hands- on help from facilities that meet industry standards.
In addition to technical skills, UniKL MSI also stresses communication skills through activities and programmes organised by the university while creating a more interactive learning environment.
“We want to produce graduates who are knowledgeable, competent, innovative and able to solve design and engineering- related problems in line with the industry requirements as well as graduates who have effective leadership qualities to support their roles in the industries,” says Prof Abu.
For more infromation, visit www. unikl. edu. my.
Besides lessons in mechanical and manufacturing aspects, UniKL students will also take on industryrelevant design courses.