DuraBI international conference an opportunity to create infrastructure, construction solutions for Sarawak

Miri – 11 January 2018 – The participation of over 140 academics, researchers, industry professionals and postgraduate students from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Australia and other countries in the region at the inaugural International Conference on Durability of Building and Infrastructures (DuraBI) 2018 in Miri is an excellent opportunity to discuss and create solutions for infrastructure development and transportation development in Sarawak.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said it is opportune as Sarawak is prioritising the development of infrastructure and transportation to be on par with other regions of Malaysia and any forums to discuss the latest research and technologies in the fields would be of great interest to the state government.

“Road interconnectivity in Sarawak is a high priority of the federal and state governments, which includes the multi-billion ringgit Pan Borneo Highway project, and a prerequisite for the rapid development in Sarawak,” he said in a speech read by Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi during the opening of the conference hosted by Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) yesterday.

Masing said other improvements to air, sea and land connections continue to ease the flow of goods and people within and outside Sarawak. He added that these efforts are expected to provide a substantial increase in capacity and capability, and create a strong base for the expected growth of Sarawak in the coming years.

The three-day conference is a collaboration between Curtin Malaysia, the DuraBI Centre at South Korea’s Hanyang University and the Korea Institute for Structural Maintenance and Inspection; Yamaguchi University in Japan; Curtin University in Australia; University Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara.

It aims to become a global forum for academics, researchers and engineers to present and discuss innovations and new techniques in civil engineering, architectural engineering and materials science relating to the durability of infrastructure and buildings.

108 papers were presented by delegates and the keynote speakers comprised Associate Professor Raja Rizwan Hussain of King Saud University, Saudi Arabia; Professor Toshihiko Aso of Yamaguchi University, Japan; Professor Jahangir Mirza of Hydro-Québec Research Institute, Canada; and Professor Han-Seung Lee of Hanyang University.

Among those present at the opening were Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Tranportation permanent secretary Datu Haji Safri Bin Haji Zainudin, Curtin Malaysia Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Beena Giridharan, Curtin Malaysia Faculty of Engineering and Science Dean Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho, conference chairs Associate Professor Mohamed Abdel Kader Ismail of Curtin Malaysia, Professor Han-Seung Lee of Hanyang University and Professor Nam-Gi Lim of the Korea Institute for Structural Maintenance and Inspection.

In her opening speech, Professor Giridharan mentioned that as the first international university in East Malaysia and Borneo reputed for its high standards and impressive research record, Curtin Malaysia was honoured to collaborate with an equally-reputable university like Hanyang University, which has set up numerous research institutes to accelerate research in new areas.

Echoing Masing’s remarks, she said it was hoped that the DuraBI international conference would not only generate interest in the latest ideas and technologies within the local engineering and construction industries, but also spur greater development of the industry to support the infrastructure development of Sarawak.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).

Datuk Julaihi (fourth from left) launching the conference, accompanied by (from left) Prof Lau, Prof Lim, Prof Lee, Prof Giridharan, Associate Prof Mohamed and Datu Haji Safri.

A South Korean delegate briefing Assoc Prof Mohamed on his research project.

International delegates during one of the conference sessions.

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