MOU Renewal between Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and University of Oxford: collaboration of UTM-CIAM and OCIAM

Oxford, Tuesday, 6 September2016 – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) through its global prominence strategy has set its sight in developing and maintaining strategic alliances with renowned institutions and universities around the world.  One of its high profile international collaboration is with the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM) within the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford.  Since the launching of the UTM Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (UTM-CIAM) and the strategic alliance with OCIAM in December 2012, many joint activities have been organised between the two research centres.

In fact, one year prior to the formal signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2012, the University of Oxford had assisted UTM in organising the first Malaysian Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISG). MISG is an international workshop offering a collaborative approach to industry problem solving, with mathematical scholars, graduate students and industrial partners working together.  Through joint expertise in mathematical modelling and computation, operational research and statistical modelling, the 2011 MISG workshop was able to generate real time problem solving solutions to the industries.

Based on the success of MISG 2011, UTM-CIAM and OCIAM continued to play major roles in organising MISG 2014 and MISG 2015. The impact of these MISG workshops has been tremendous, solving many vital industrial problems in Malaysia. Additionally, through the collaboration, the Malaysian Mathematical Modelling Camp (MMMC) organized in March 2015, was successful in bringing together graduate students nationwide to work on industrial mathematics problems under the guidance of experienced mentors from Massey University, New Zealand; Queensland University, Australia; OCIAM, Oxford University; and UTM-CIAM, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

In view of the effectiveness of the existing MOU as evident through the strong commitment and active involvement of both OCIAM and UTM-CIAM, both universities have agreed to renew the MOU for another five years. The signing of the renewed MOU was carried out at the University of Oxford, with UTM represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid bin Omar and the University of Oxford represented by the Director of OCIAM and Associate Head (Research) of the Mathematical Institute, Professor Dr Jon Chapman. Also present were Emeritus Professor Dr John Ockendon FRS (OCIAM), Professor Dr Nordin Yahaya (UTM International), Dr Zoe Kelson (Smith Institute, UK) and Associate Professor Dr Abd Rahman Abdul Rahim (UTM International).

Future proposal of the strategic alliance includes the establishment of the Malaysian Hub for Industrial Mathematics (MHIM), where the plan is to set up MHIM in accordance with the Smith Institute, which is a mathematical consultancy network of OCIAM. The hub will be based in association with UTM-CIAM and aims to provide mathematical consultancy to Malaysian industries, businesses and also the government. Dr. Zoe Kelson who is a member of the Smith Institute will be the key personnel leading the establishment of MHIM.

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