A total of 9 students from Bisha University located in Saudi Arabia have participated in a summer school programme organized by Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) between 22nd of August to 28th of August 2017. This program is also a joint program between Language Academy, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The students comprised of two courses, i.e. civil and mechanical engineering. The main aim of this program was to provide UTM learning experiences to the students of Bisha University. For this, Faculty of Civil Engineering has prepared three main highlights, where the students were exposed to open-ended lab, wastewater treatment plant and mangrove. All of the three activities were not experienced by the students in their home university. The exposure was complimented with lectures given by the Associate Professors and senior lecturers of the faculty. The fundamental principles delivered were new information to these students.
For the first activity, students were introduced to hydrological cycle and how water pollutants were transported along the river in this cycle. The connection was explicitly explained. This was followed by the explanation on Malaysian Water Quality Index, an index used to classified river pollution. During the lectures, the students were actively participated making the lectures very lively.
To ensure the students have a better understanding on their lectures, they are required to do some experimental and field works.
The collected water samples were measured for chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), pH, total suspended solids, ammonical nitrogen and dissolved oxygen. While civil engineering students were busy with water sampling and experimental measurement, mechanical students were in the hydraulic laboratory running pipe friction and centrifugal pump characteristics tests. Those two tests are important for mechanical engineers to choose the suitable pump to minimize the energy usage in water, wastewater and any other industrial plants.
In the second activity, Bisha students visited Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) Sdn. Bhd. wastewater treatment plant located in Medini, Nusajaya. Here, information on the treatment technologies employed was imparted by the engineers working in IWK to the civil engineering students. Meanwhile, mechanical engineering students were explained on the pumping systems used and the current energy usage of the treatment plant.
Mangrove visit to Pulau Kukup were the last activity of this summer school program. Civil engineering students were required to observe the aquaculture activities at the surrounding area that can affect the biodiversity of the mangrove in Pulau Kukup. They were expected to propose mitigation measures in protecting the mangrove in Pulau Kukup. For mechanical engineering students, they were given the task to construct a do-it-yourself anemometer to measure the wind speed in Pulau Kukup. Following the measurement, the potential energy to be harvested was computed. They were also asked to propose the potential wind turbine location in Pulau Kukup.
Apart from academic activities, the mangrove visit has opened their eyes on the importance of environmental and biodiversity protection. This was something which they would never be able to experience in Arab Saudi.
Students were actively engaged with the online activity provided by Dr Shamila on Water Quality
Water sampling and in-situ measurement at UTM river.
The students learnt about how fish farming affect the water quality that can indirectly cause adverse impacts to the mangrove in Pulau Kukup.
Abdulelah carefully observing the plants in the mangrove area with curiosity.
Abdulaziz testing the constructed do-it- yourself anemometer.
Bisha students at the entrance of Pulau Kukup.
IWK engineer, En Zulkifli Said (white hat), explaining how the treatment plant works. At the same time civil (Aziz, on the left) and mechanical students (Abdulelah, on the right) were discussing on the working of the treatment plants from civil and mechanical engineering point of view.
Briefing on the overview of Medini Wastewater Treatment Plant and precautionary steps to be taken during the site visit.
Mechanical engineering students running pipe friction test.
The presence of these students has also brought forth new experiences for the faculty members in Faculty of Civil Engineering.
Reported by: Dr. Yong Ee Ling, Faculty of Civil Engineering