THE STAR, 31 JAN 2021
Assoc Prof Dr Aeslina Abdul and Assoc Prof Dr Nor Aziati Abdul Hamid are using their knowledge to spearhead developments in the fields of recycling, waste and waste water management, and transport and mobility.
Both are researchers and lecturers from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
Aeslina, from UTHM Faculty of Civil Engineering and Built Environment (FKAAB), was among 30 researchers who received the recognition of Top Research Scientists Malaysia (TRSM) 2020 based on their outstanding achievements in science, technology and innovation (STI).
The recognition, first launched in 2012, is given annually to local researchers who are actively conducting research in the field of STI, and have had the results of their studies recognised locally and internationally.
Born in Batu Pahat, Johor, Aeslina became active in research when she conducted a project that recycled cigarette butts into building materials during her doctorate of philosophy (PhD) studies in Australia. The results of this high-impact research have been featured in The American Society of Civil Engineering Magazine.
Realising that even small garbage items like cigarette butts could contribute to millions of tonnes of harmful pollutants in the world, Aeslina was determined to continue her work with solid waste management in Malaysia.
Her expertise in waste management led to her appointment as a consultant conducting research and resolve waste management issues in several local companies such as Malaysia Mosaics, Taiko Premier Bleach, Bina Kuari and Hap Seng Clay Products.
Recently, she was appointed by Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies and Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting (MURC) Japan as the project leader to represent Malaysia in the Integrated Decentralised Domestic Wastewater Management project in Asean, which involves nine other countries – Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.
Aeslina has published over 100 publications including proceedings, journals, books and modules as lead author and co-author with an H-index 13.
To date, she has also acted as chief researcher obtaining research grants worth almost RM2mil, and led consulting sessions worth more than RM300,000 both locally and internationally.
Nor Aziati, on the other hand, has received a grant for research on transport and mobility, given under the Higher Education Ministry’s Research Excellence Consortium Grant.
The grant, worth RM500,000, was introduced to expand the collaboration between local universities, government agencies and industry which are directly involved in the rail transport sector in Malaysia.
This is the first time the grant has been expanded to include the railway sector.
Nor Aziati, who is a UTHM Industry Centre of Excellence for Rail (ICoE Rail) senior researcher, received the grant to conduct research on railway reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RRAMS).
Her work under the grant will be supported by Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Malaysia Pahang research centres.
Nor Aziati, who lectures at UTHM Faculty of Technology Management and Business, had a two-year professional attachment stint at Sapura-EVD (communications and network contract package), involving the MRT2 project. She provided research and rail consultation services.
The Johor Baru native sits on editorial boards and is a journal evaluator for several international and national journals, in addition to being keynote speaker and guest speaker at various conferences and webinars.