Kagoshima, Japan: Ten students from School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) were selected to participate in the Sakura Science Exchange Program held in Kagoshima, Japan from 20th January – 27th January 2020. The program was supervised by Prof. Takashi Tsutsumi, from Department of Urban Environmental Design and Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kagoshima College, Japan. The theme of the visit is “Sustainable Construction”, where the main purpose of the visit is to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge within two countries.

Eu Chai Nie, Brendon Feadrek, Charlton Chong Jing Kang, Chin Chin Yet, Chua Hui Fen, Eiezaz bin Wilfred Simpoh, Farrah Qistina binti Mohd Azli, Fiona Jimbin,Firdaus Al Halil bin Saiful Azlan Shah and Fu Shin Jie are the students under Academic Advisory (PA) of Ir Dr Rini Asnida Abdullah, they also took this program as one of their PA group activities.

The program was warmly welcome by Prof. Shozo Himuro and Assoc. Prof. Hitoo Tokunaga, President of Kagoshima College and Vice President for International Affairs, Kagoshima College. The 7-day visit was properly designed, in which on the first day, the students from both UTM and Kagoshima College had a chance to get to know each other and work in the team under the Problem Based Learning (PBL) activities. This encourage the creativity of the students by having Paper Bridge Competition and Straw Tower Competition. Interesting traditional games like Congkak, Ceper, Lompat Getah and Batu Seremban were introduced by UTM students to expose Malaysian culture to the Japanese students.

Problem Based Learning activities

Two industrial talks were held at Daisyou Company and Koatsu Kogyo Corporation to expose students to the sustainable construction.  Sustainable construction is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance. The talks covered the technologies used in Japan construction sites to deal with disasters like earthquakes and also the maintenance work of old structures such as bridge and tunnel. Here, the students gained a lot of informative knowledge in tunnel and bridge construction, management and maintenance. Visit to Kagoshima University was also arranged during the program. They had laboratory visits to the Tsunami Centre and also other laboratories that relate to the earthquake testing facilities.

Visit to Chiran Samurai Village, Mount Sakurajima and Tsunami Centre, Kagoshima University (from left)

The educational visit was also organised to Mount Sakurajima, an active and beautiful volcano in Kagoshima. Other visits namely to Kagoshima Municipal Science Hall, Sengan-En and Chiran Samurai Village provided interesting historical and future of local Kagoshima prefecture. The programs ended successfully when the certificates were handed over to the participants during the closing ceremony by Prof Tsutsumi. The students really enjoyed the program and thankful for the opportunity given by the Sakura Science Exchange Program. More fun can be watched at . Finally, arigatou gozaimashita …!!

Photo session with President of National Institute of Technology, Kagoshima College and Prof Takashi Tsustumi during closing ceremony

Prepared by:

Ir Dr Rini Asnida Abdullah
Senior Lecturer
School of Civil Engineering


Photo session in front of School of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University

Chongqing, 16 December: A visit from School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to Chongqing University, China was led by Ir. Dr. Rini Asnida binti Abdullah, accompanied by Ts. Mohd Nur Asmawisham bin Alel, senior lecturer and Mr Muhammad Irfan bin Shahrin, PhD candidate. Professor  Fu Xiang and Dr. Ban Yuxin warmly welcomed the UTM delegates at Chongqing University. The visit was a courtesy visit as School of Civil Engineering was visited by Chongqing University representatives earlier in year 2019.

A collaboration meeting was held with Prof. Xie Qiang,  Associate Dean, School of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University  before the Letter of Cooperation (LoC) exchange ceremony held in the afternoon. The LoC tied between School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UTM and School of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University.

Exchange of LoC document between School of Civil Engineering, UTM and Chongqing University. (from left: Prof Xie Qian, Prof Zhang Wengang, Ir Dr Rini Asnida and Ts Mohd Nur Asmawisham)

Besides that, this visit is to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences with each other in various areas such as research, teaching and services related to rock mechanics, rock physics, and engineering geomechanics. We also focused to facilitates close interaction and collaborations between researchers across the University as well as with industry and government in these sectors. A visit to the State Key Laboratories and one of China’s largest Building Information Modelling (BIM) company, Zhuzhijian ARchGL were arranged during the trip. The briefing on the company and related BIM project in China was given by  Mr ChengXi, company’s assistant chief engineer. The company is committed to promote big data in the construction industry, engaging in BIM consulting, BIM R&D, and BIM training services outside China in the near future.

Visit to the Key State Laboratories at Chongqing University

With short stay at Chongqing, chilly weather but such a warm hospitality from Prof Xie and the team, we believed this collaboration will develop a remarkable research and will further broaden not only in civil engineering but to other related field between both universities; for the contribution to the technological and scientific innovation and progress of the country and the nation.

Prepared by:

Ir Dr Rini Asnida binti Abdullah
Ts. Mohd Nur Asmawisham bin Alel 
Mr Muhammad Irfan bin Shahrin

Technical Visit to V207-Mine Tunnel

Date: 27 July 2019
Venue: Sri Kembangan, Selangor

International Short Course on Disaster Risk Management

Date: 16-22 June 2019
Venue: National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Covers from identification, modelling, and field visit of debris flow. Also visit to EOC, City of  Tainan, Taiwan.

Visiting Scholar at Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Date: 8 April – 7 May 2019

I reported at Mining Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, METU on 9 th April 2019 to Prof Celal Karpuz as my supervisor.

The main objective of my visit here is to carry out research on the slope stability assessment in weak rock. We discussed on the Slope Stability Investigation for Main Field Pit of Tufanbeyli Lignite Mine. Tufenbeyli slope geometries of planned Main Field were updated according to the latest slope stability analyses. The analyses were performed using the numerical modelling of Finite Element Analysis in 2-Dimensional (2D) and also 3-Dimensional (3D) using the RocScience softwares.

During the stay, I also get opportunity to involve in the Graduate Seminar (MINE590), where the students share their research work and get the feedback from the panels. I also presented my research study at UTM work as to gain interest from the researcher in METU, these include, what we can offer in terms of the future collaboration work and also student exchange program. I believed it is very beneficial for both institutions, as we share the similar research interest.

I also made visit to the Rock Mechanics Laboratory both in METU and Hecettepe University. Here I learned and gained the idea on how to arrange the Rock Mechanics Laboratory back in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and what equipment can be purchased in the future.

Last but not least, Turkey is a very unique country, with  a rich history from ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, the culture in Turkey is a worth to be enjoyed and explored. I had a trip to Cappadocia and visited some interesting places in which, also relates to the soft rock.

10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium

Date: 30 Oct 2018
Venue: SUNTEC, Singapore