25 October, Pagoh – The UTM Low Carbon Research @ Pagoh under the UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport in Cooperation with Imperial College London has been officially launched at the Malaysia Minister of Higher Education, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh.
The centre aims to develop low emission vehicles of the future. It combines intense research with educating new researchers in the field of low carbon technologies, with particular application to road transport.
The minister in his officiating address stated that he believes this partnership will act as an impetus to the centre’s efforts to internationalize its work and widen its impact in the region.
He further pointed out that the centre’s establishment is in line with Malaysia’s commitment for a 40% reduction in terms of greenhouse gas emission by the year 2020 as stated by Prime Minster Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak at the 2009 United Nations Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen.
UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Dr. Ir Wahid Omar, views the alliance between UTM and Imperial College London in low carbon technologies to be strategic and significant as low carbon initiatives and engine downsizing are probably two of the most intense fields of research in automotive. He pointed out that many major engine and vehicle manufacturers in the world are either producing or working towards rolling out downsized high power engines for conventional and hybrid vehicles.
The UTM-Imperial College London collaboration will further intensify research in low carbon technologies, with research areas to be explored including low carbon vehicles, fuel cells and batteries, and membrane technology. The collaboration is also exploring research on artificial leaf, which looks at the development of catalytic system capable of efficiently harnessing renewable energy sources to achieve the reduction of carbon dioxide in chemical fuels.
The partnership will also facilitate staff and student mobility. In fact there are currently 10 UTM PhD faculty studying at Imperial, while others based in UTM will receive co-supervision from Imperial academics. Plans are also underway for 10 postdocs to be attached at Imperial College London to strengthen links between the UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport (LOCARTIC) and Imperial’s Energy Future Lab.
The UTM-Imperial collaboration will also enhance high impact joint research and publication activities, namely, the ones led by Prof. Dr. Ricardo Martinez-Botas from Imperial College London and Dr. Srithar Rajoo from UTM. It is believed that more initiatives will follow once this lab is fully utilized in April 2016.
Also present at the launching ceremony were the President of Imperial College London, Professor Alice Gast and the Secretary General of the Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Dr. Zaini Ujang.
Professor Alice Gast expressed her believe that international partnerships such as the UTM-Imperial collaboration, with intensive research, education of students, outstanding facilities and open publication, will benefit the entire world.