Message from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Bin Ismail, Ph.D, FASc, CEng., FIChemE

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is one of Malaysia’s premier research intensive institutions.

Emboldened by a record of success and the prospect of contributing to the answers to the world’s great challenges, UTM’s staff is aiming high to deliver the benefits of research to society, solve industrial problems, contribute to  the country’s tertiary human capital development and acts as a catalyst to  create the nation’s wealth.

The university offers a world-class, comprehensive program and training for research. We offer a complete cycle of research and development programs across a spectrum of research, from fundamental to applied research and innovation.  Eventually, this will lead to  success whereby, we will commercialize the research products, directly applicable and relevant to the industry and communities. The extent of our success is evident from the quality and impact of our research programs.

Looking beyond  research and academic circles, there is a growing awareness of value and impact of peer-reviewed quality research, and the advantages that result from strong partnerships with institutions of higher education.

These partnerships can take many forms: joint research and development centers, licensing deals, scholarships, internships, graduate employment programs, and philanthropic foundations.

Strong linkages between universities and the broad industry have a multitude of beneficiaries because these will ensure that the research results are used at the national and international levels. This is sometimes called ‘research relevance’.

We are working to augment UTM’s ‘research relevant’ factor, in order to increase the positive impact.

To drive high quality and impactful R&D&C, we must expand the quality and scale of mutually-beneficial engagement with the private and public sectors. To achieve this, we have developed and consolidated a new,  five research alliances, representing the core strategic research and strength of UTM R&D&C which are:

  • Frontier Materials
  • Health and Wellness
  • Innovative Engineering
  • Resource Sustainability
  • Smart Digital Community

These strategic research alliances are complementary and promote multidisciplinary interaction.  They have been established to ensure our researchers work across a wide variety of fields in collaboration with their colleagues at the local, national and international level in search of solutions to key issues  that the world faces, and to develop a positive future for the next generations.

As UTM embarks on its second phase of the Global Plan (2015-2020), these strategic establishments together with our excellent R&D infrastructures are seen to be the catalyst for our talented staff and high quality students to endeavor to be world leaders in cutting edge research.

In the years to come, we are committed to work more effectively to develop further UTM’s excellence, to continue nurturing and supporting talent, and to intensify UTM’s impacts for mankind.

Research is central to what we do in UTM. Since our establishment over 50 years ago, we are known for producing research that has an influence well beyond the academic community.

Many of our researchers have made discoveries leading to significant and lasting impacts around the world. I believe an important factor in this effort is UTM’s focus on research that is not hindered by disciplinary or institutional barriers, because the university is always searching for means and ways to resolve these issues.

Our research goals can be summarised in three words: excellence, relevance and impact. We believe that these goals are mutually supporting, and that with these guiding aims our research can continue to solve the challenges society faces.

To achieve our overarching research goals, we are increasing our capacity to connect with the industry, government and the world’s very best research organisations. We are also breaking down the traditional barriers between fields of study by creating cross-disciplinary teams involving multiple faculties. Fundamental to our approach is an unrelenting commitment to excellence and support for our early career researchers and emerging research leaders.

Besides producing impactful papers, we inspire our researchers to develop their novel scientific and technical concept into a revolutionary product or services. We have created an environment to make our researchers think differently about  developing innovative products and services from their research. Researchers nowadays should think of themselves as  entrepreneurs by  transforming their research to be relevant and impactful to the society, economy and  nation.

As part of UTM’s strategic vision for the future, we are looking to embed research further into the university culture. Research skills are an important part of the curriculum, and they are supported by our staff development and recruitment practices that would enable us to continually build a research workforce focusing on creating new knowledge. In short, we deliver research-led teaching and evidence based practice. Our research effort continues to focus on key areas of research reflecting national and international priorities, ensuring that we play our  part as global citizens. Whether you are a student, academic or potential collaborator, you will find opportunities to achieve research excellence in a meaningful way in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.