Prof. Dr Omar bin Yaakob
Born on the 20th of August 1960 in Baling, Kedah, Professor Omar began his studies at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Kupang. Upon completion of primary six in 1972, he went on to Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh where he passed the Malaysian Certificate of Education in 1977 with distinction. MARA then sponsored him to pursue A-levels studies at Harrogate College of Further Education, United Kingdom and subsequently at the University of Newcastle. In 1983, he returned to Malaysia with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Marine Engineering.
He started his career at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Thermal Fluids, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in August 1983. He was a member of the team which pioneered the development of the Marine Technology curriculum, as well as the Marine Technology Laboratory and marine-related R&D activities at UTM. While in the service he continued his studies and completed a Masters Degree in Marine Technology in 1987 and a Ph.D in Seakeeping Design in 1999 at the University of Newcastle. He was appointed an Associate Professor in 2000 and a Professor in 2011.
He has held the post of Head of the Marine Panel (1989-1999), Head of the Department of Thermal Fluids (1990-1992), Head of the Marine Technology Laboratory (1999-2007), Head of the Department of Marine Technology (2007-2010) , Deputy Dean (Academic) from 2010 to 2012 and Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation) in 2017.
Professor Omar is currently the Chairman of UTM Professor Council and an elected member of the UTM Senate since 2013.
In the early stages of his career at UTM, Professor Omar focussed on teaching and R&D in the fields of naval architecture, ship design, hydrodynamics, marine transportation, management and operation. In the early 2000s, he moved on to pioneer a new field in Malaysia: ocean renewable energy and marine environment. His acknowledged experience and expertise in this field led to an invitation to represent Malaysia in a forum on ocean renewable energy at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York in 2012. He has also represented Malaysia several times at meetings of the World Maritime Organisation (IMO) on marine environment protection since 2010.
Professor Omar has produced more than 150 journal articles and presentations at conferences. He was invited to give keynote addresses at various conferences including in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the Philippines. Professor Omar is actively involved in research and has obtained grants from various sources including FRGS, ERGS, PRGS, TRGS, KeTTHA fund, Johor Port Authority, Look East Policy Fund and UTM-GUP fund. To date, he has filed 5 patents.
The Royal Institution of Naval Architects appointed him as a Fellow in 2010 and the UK Engineering Council accorded him a Chartered Engineer status in the same year. He was recently appointed as a member of the Marine Environment Committee of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. In addition, he was also appointed as an Associate of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
He has represented Malaysia in many meetings at the International Maritime Organisation dealing with energy efficiency and the environment. He is one of the founding member of South East Asia Collaboration on Ocean Renewable Energy (SEAcORE), a member of IOC-Westpac Working Group on Marine Renewable Energy as well as a permanent member of the the Organising Committee of Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference series (AWTEC).