Director of UTM MTC awarded with RM175,236.00 research grant by The Ocean Cleanup

JOHOR BAHRU, The Director of Marine Technology Center (MTC) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Dr. Henry Kang was awarded a total of RM175,236.00 of research grant by the environmental Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ which based in The Netherlands (Holland) on 6 March 2021.

The grant was released to fund the programme titled ‘Floating Plastic Debris Monitoring in Marine Area and It’s Implication of Ocean Cleanup Technologies’  which in general put a lot of emphasis on ocean and river cleaning.

According to Dr. Kang who was also appointed as the coordinator of this research programme said, the grant was given to fund the three small projects which take shelter under the main program as mentioned above.

“There were three small projects sheltered under the main programme.  The first project title ‘Floating Plastic Debris Monitoring in Marine Area and its implication of Ocean Cleanup Technologies at Skudai River and Tebrau River’

“The allocation for this project was RM 74,504.00 with the duration of project has begun on December 7th, 2020 until December 6th 2022 which included six months of data collection and 18 months post-monitoring research,” said Dr. Kang.

The objectives of this project were to visualize the counting of floating debris in each river and to conduct physical classification of debris in each river.  The research team will also have to monitor the hydrodynamic conditions of floating debris and navigation characteristics in each river,” said Dr. Kang.

The second project titled ‘Floating Plastic Debris Monitoring in Marine Area and Its Implication of Ocean Cleanup Technologies at Klang River’ led by Dr. Lee Kee Quen from the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) of UTM Kuala Lumpur.

“The budget allocated for this project was RM80,232.00 with the duration started from December 7th, 2020 until December 6th 2022,” he said.

The main intention of carrying this project was to visualize the counting of floating debris in Klang River, create physical classification of debris in the same river and to monitor the hydraulic condition and navigation characteristics in Klang River. The information will contribute to the decision making of The Ocean Cleanup in the site selection for their latest Interceptor 005 cleaning floater.

Speaking about the third project, Dr. Kang said that the project title given was ‘Floating Plastic Debris Monitoring in Marine Area and Its Implication of Ocean Cleanup Technologies using Low-Cost Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)’ headed by Dr. Alvin Lau Meng Shin from Faculty of Built Environment (FABU) of UTM Johor Bahru.

“For this project, Dr. Alvin was given the budget allocation of RM20,500.00 with two years of project duration starting from December 7th, 2020 until December 6th, 2022.  This package came with six months data collection and 18 months post-monitoring.”

“The objectives of this project were to conduct the preliminary site assessment using low-cost UAV for the study areas and also performing the pre and post-processing of UAV data acquired with the help of ‘in-situ’ data,” said Dr. Kang.

Although Dr. Kang was not involved directly on second and third projects, he was given the tasks of monitoring the progress as he was appointed as the coordinator of these projects.