Tech- driven change

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - COURSE FOCUS -

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.

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