Beijing, 3-6 Dec 2012 – A delegation from UTM, led by Professor DrMazlanHashim, accompanied by Assoc. Professor DrAbLatifIbrahim, and Adjunct Professor DrJohn van Genderen, all from Institute of Geospatial Science and Technology (INSTeG), visited China to discuss scientific and technical collaboration with three top research institutes in field of remote sensing, aerospace and related technology in China: (i) Chinese Academy of Science – Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (CAS-RSDE); (ii) Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping (CASM); and (iii)  Beijing University of Astronautics and Aeronautics (BUAA).

Chinese Academy of Science – Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (CAS-IRSA) is a new Academy of Sciences Institute was formed by merging the former two very prestigious centres belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, namely CAS-IRSA (Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, and the very modern CAS Centre for Earth Observation and Digital earth (CAS-CEODE). The delegation visited the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and met with staff of the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth ( CAS-RSDE).  Theacademic collaboration was signed by Academician Prof. GUO Huadong on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences RSDE, and Prof.DrMazlanHashim, on behalf of UTM-INSTeG. The focus of the academic collaborationare on: Joint research;Joint publication in high impact SCI Journals; Staff Exchange; Exchange of post-graduate students; research staff; and the Establishment of Regional Centre of Excellence in Remote Sensing and other related geospatial technologies.

UTM delegation visit to Centre for Earth Observation and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Science.  From left, Prof DrMazlanHashim and Associate Prof DrAbLatif Ibrahim, in front of state-of-the-art of the hemispherical dome for the digital earth simulator.

The second Agreement signed was with the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping (CASM).  This will focus on joint research and staff/post-graduate student exchange in such fields as photogrammetry, surveying, remote sensing and GIS, etc. In addition, there may be opportunities for sharing and exchanging experience in the use and applications of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) manufactured by CASM.

Professor ZhangJixian, president of CASM signing the Academic Collaboration with Prof. MazlanHashim.  Back (left to right), witnessed by Dr Zhang Liming,  Prof Yan Qin, Assoc Prof DrAbLatif and Prof John Van Genderen.

UTM delegation was also invited to visit and discuss various aspects of academic collaborations with one of the leading Chinese university for Astronautics and Aeronautics – Beijing University of Astronautics and Aeronautics (BUAA). Both parties agreed to have collaboration in the development and applications of small remote sensing satellite.  BUAA is also noted for their research heritage research in designing, manufacturing and launching of small satellites and aircraft.

Exchanging documents on signed academic collaboration of INSTEG-UTM and Beijing University of Astronautics and Aeronautics (BUAA). From left Prof Huang Hai of BUAA and Prof MazlanHashim of INSTeG, witnessed by DrTalebzadeh, Director General of Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation in Beijing.

Besides these three Agreements which were signed, the delegation also established contact with the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), based in Beijing. They met with Dr. Ahmad Talebzadeh, Director-General of the Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs.  UTM-INSTeGwas invited to collaborate with APSCO to organize and host an international Workshop on Small Satellite at UTM in 2013 for regional cooperation in launching of small remote sensing satellite of 30 Kg, jointly collaborate with BUAA.  UTM in particular, INSTeG had known for its niche in remote sensing applications namely in satellite oceanography and tropical sensingwhich will play major role in mission study of this joint endeavor.

The above academic collaborations with three renowned Chinese research institutions will hopeful augers well for UTM’s increasing international network of top Centres of Excellence in Asia.  The official MOUs and respective MOA of specific area of research will be further materialize in the near future.