Global Outreach Programme, France: Learning Beyond our Shores

The 6th Global Outreach Programme (GOP) to the IUT Saint-Malo, France, was completed from 3rd to 12th December 2022 with 8 student participants (IUT news). This time around, Prof. Normah brought along 3 junior academics (Dr. Ummikalsom Abidin, Dr. Natrah Kamaruzaman, and Dr. Muhammad Faiz Hilmi Rani), part of a training as an effort to make the Global Outreach Programme at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME) a continuous “learning beyond our shore” activity.

An in-house seminar was held at the Rennes University Institute of Technology (IUT) where students, as well as academics, from both universities, presented their current research. Lab visits and discussions on future potential research collaborations concluded the meet. Lecturers and students learned how working alone may be fast but together can brings us far and wide, building bridges of friendship and work collaborations that benefit all.

Prof. Normah from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), with Prof Thierry Maré and Prof Patrice Estellé from the IUT have been collaborating in research since 2012 (Patrice Estelle). Students from the IUT Saint-Malo have also been completing their lab internship at FME.

More than 10 years of friendship had strengthened the GOP France initiated by Prof. Normah and Prof. Thierry Maré from the Institut universitaire de technologie (IUT) Saint-Malo/Rennes. The 1st GOP to the IUT Saint-Malo was in 2012, followed by 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019 – partially funded by the IUT with halal certified lunches and ground transportation.

When Prof. Maré was appointed as an attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Jakarta in 2019, Mr. Andre Berthelot took over the responsibility of co-organizing the GOP. The Director of IUT Saint-Malo in 2012 when GOP FME first began, Abel Kinie, is now the Deputy Mayor of the city of Saint-Malo. He took the UTM’s group for a personal tour of the administrative office of Saint-Malo.

GOP Participants at city Saint-Malo admin office
Personal tour of the city of Saint-Malo admin office by the Dep Mayor, Abel Kinie

The 1-week GOP involved English classes, cultural and historical site visits, and visits to two French industries; the La Française des Plastiques (LFP) and WILO (this company has a branch in Selangor), the latter manufacturing heat pumps.

At La Française des Plastiques (LFP)
Clean environment at the La Française des Plastiques (LFP)
UTM academics and the host at WILO
UTM academics and the hosts at WILO

On the last day at IUT, Dr. Ummikalsom presented project topics to the IUT students who may be interested to spend their 10 weeks internship in FME. The GOP ended with a two-day visit to Paris saying hello to Mona Lisa in the Louvre as well as the gargoyles in Montmarte.

The next GOP to be organized by Prof. Normah will be to Kookmin University (KMU) Seoul in 2023.