Volume 2, September 2018



UMT maybe a small university, but it is a big player when it comes to conserving the environment. UMT makes it a point to be an agent of change that helps to create awareness about the importance of protecting the environment especially the marine ecosystem.

UMT Vice Chancellor Professor Dato’ Dr Nor Aieni Mokhtar said that UMT was the first university to ban the use of polystyrenes on islands along the Malaysian waters.

“Initiatives introduced by UMT prove that, as a conservation-oriented university, UMT is very committed to conveying the message to the society, in line with its slogan Ocean of Discovery for Global Sustainability.

We invite various agencies, public and private, as well as individuals to contribute in whatever forms, whether manpower, expertise, or financials, “said Professor Nor Aieni.

Professor Nor Aieni made the remarks 


during the officiating ceremony of the Say No to White Coffins campaign on 30th August 2018 at UMT, held in conjuction with the Bidong Merdeka Dive 2018. As part of the campaign, the use of polystyrenes is no longer allowed at UMT’s Pulau Bidong Nature Research Station.

During the ceremony, there was also taking the pledge segment by participants, led by Mr Ahmad Zulfa of Tourism Malaysia, East Coast Division. They vowed to help create an awareness among the public about the disadvantages of using polystyrenes especially at Malaysian islands.

The 4-day Bidong Merdeka Dive 2018 programme was filled with activities, one of which was the underwater clean-up at several dive sites at Pulau Bidong. A recreational sculpture was also placed at the Pulau Bidong Underwater Gallery.

Bidong Merdeka Dive is an annual event organized by UMT since 2016 to inculcate the spirit of patriotism and cultivate the love for nature in divers.



UMT and Universitas Hasanuddin (UNIHAS) signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 7th August 2018 in Makasar, Indonesia, as part of the effort to strengthen the academic and research collaboration between the two universities.

The MoU will enable UMT and UNIHAS to collaborate on research activities, especially in the fields of marine science, fishery, and biotechnology. In addition, it will allow both to collaborate on academic publication, jointly develop educational programmes, and initiate student-exchange programmes.

Representing UMT at the MoU signing was the Vice Chancellor Professor Dato’ Dr Nor Aieni Mokhtar and UNIHAS Professor Dr Dwia Aires Tina Pulubuhu.

The signing took place at Gammara Hotel Makassar, where an international conference entitled Marine Resilience and Sustainable Development (MarSave) was also held

Professor Nor Aieni was one of the invited plenary speakers. As a follow-up to the official partnering, a discussion was held the next day, attended by delegates from both sides. Considering that UMT and UNIHAS 


are partner universities and both signed MoUs with the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), the discussion focussed on CTI programmes.

Also discussed were plans for short-term and long-term programmes to meet the objectives of the MoU. One of them was staff mobility, in the form of visiting professors, where it was agreed to be implemented this year involving inaugural speeches by professors from both universities. In addition, both parties agreed to intensify the research collaboration especially with regards to matching grant application for research projects involving both countries.

Aside from academic and research programmes, knowledge transfer programmes were also discussed. UMT and UNIHAS agreed to provide expertise to train the people in the developing countries in CTT-CFF. Among the training programmes focussed on will be academic programme quality development and enhancement and latest methodologies in the fields of marine science and fishery. Targeted countries for these programmes are Timor Leste and Solomon Island.



UMT took its turn to organize the 4th International Postgraduate Conference on Biotechnology (IPCB) 2018 from 27th to 29th August 2018 in Kuala Terengganu.

More than 140 participants from Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The conference was officiated by UMT Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation Professor Dr Mazlan Abd Ghaffar.

The theme of this year’s IPCB conference was Symbiosis-Science and Technology for Sustainable Environment and Societal Well-Being.

“This year’s theme is profound, indeed. Three relevant subjects emerged from this theme: Symbiosis-Science, Sustainable Technology, and Societal Well-Being.

Today, the global community faces pervasive challenges towards environmental sustainability, the betterment of human lives and the consilience of knowledge.

What is most required at this critical juncture in history is the emergence of symbiosis-centred, scientific advances that are closely coupled to the daily lives, well-being of people and nature,” said Professor Mazlan.


The conference garnered a lot of attention because of what it brought to the table.

Professor Dr Mazlan stated “research institutions, the public sector, and the private sector are interested in the factors and mechanisms that encourage collaboration amongst diverse interest in order to stimulate innovation, foster R&D and promote access and diffusion of technology and information in the life science.

Biotechnology can unlock the potential of the environment’s biodiversity, leading to new knowledge and improved industrial competitiveness.

Fundamental to delivering such impacts is the imperative to continue to generate and build upon knowledge from all levels of marine and related areas of scientific research that would be achieved by IPCB.”

The first International Postgraduate Conference on Biotechnology was held seven years ago in 2011 at UMT and it was co-organized with Soka University, Japan, with 90 participants from both countries. In 2014 the second IPCB was held at Soka University, Japan, with co-partners Indonesia, South Korea, and China.

The third IPCB was held at the Institute Teknologi Sepuloh Nopember in Surabaya.



UMT and marine electronics service provider Teraju Tri-Tech Sdn Bhd signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on 7th August 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, making the two formal partners in several upcoming maritime technology projects.

Associate Professor Dr Mohd Rosni Othman, signing on behalf of UMT, said that UMT had always been the leading institution in maritime education and research, as evidenced by UMT being appointed the lead university for the Industry Centre of Excellence (ICoE) for the Maritime Cluster in November 2017. He also said that UMT was always looking for capable industries to forge partnership with to venture into maritime-based collaborations.

“With the agreement formally inked, it is now time to start implementing the strategic plans stipulated in the signed documents. The partnership with Teraju Tri-Tech would pave the way for collaborating on maritime technology projects such as vessel and boat monitoring system using Automatic Identification System (AiS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), ”said Dr Rosni.

“As part of the agreement, UMT and Teraju Tri-Tech will be sharing the knowledge and technology that will benefit both parties. Teraju Tri-Tech has been kind enough to have UMT lecturers and students undergo a short term attachment at the company,” added Dr Rosni.

He further stated that UMT would also be receiving funding to carry out research.

“Teraju Tri-Tech is the perfect partner when it comes to working on maritime projects, considering it is one of the top service providers in maritime electronics industry in the nation. They have been in the business for quite a long time and know the field well,” said Dr Rosni.

Representing Teraju Tri-Tech at the signing ceremony was its CEO Mr Mohd Shafrizan Solah.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Director General of Malaysia Maritime Department Dato’ Haji Baharin and UMT Board of Directors Chairman Dato’ Asmawi Nordin.

The signing took place during World Maritime Week 2018. The three-day event was held to celebrate the maritime industry.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Transport and Marine Department of Malaysia and hosted by Malaysia Shipowners’ Association (MASA).


Emeritus Professor Dr Patrick Sorgeloos has held UMT’s Sultan Mizan Professorial Chair since 18th November 2016, when he was first appointed during an official ceremony graced by His Royal Highness Tuanku Sultan Mizan, Sultan of Terengganu.

Professor Sorgeloos was selected as the recipient for the chair in recognition of his longstanding and significant contributions to aquaculture worldwide. His appointment was made in an effort to seek his expertise and experiences to boost research and academic development in aquaculture at UMT.

Professor Sorgeloos was born in 1948 in Kortrijk, Belgium. He obtained his training at Ghent University (Belgium), where his M.Sc. (Biology) was awarded in 1971, his Ph.D. (Biology) in 1975, and the postdoctoral degree of “Aggregate of Higher Education” in 1979. He also undertook postgraduate studies in Marine Biology in France (Roscoff, 1969), Germany (Helgoland, 1970), and USA (Beaufort, North Carolina, 1972).

He is a Professor of Aquaculture at Ghent in Belgium. His publications number in the hundreds and include manuals and books that are universally in use.

Since holding the Sultan Mizan Professorial Chair, Professor Sorgeloos has made several contributions, one of which was assisting UMT in securing its first European Union’s Horizon 2020 Grant with partnership from six other prominent institutions from Europe and Southeast Asia. Referred to as EURASTiP and valued at 2 million EUROs, this grant enabled UMT to expand its capacity building effort as well as widen its research and academic collaborations in aquaculture with new and existing counterparts from both regions.

His initiative in linking UMT to the world continued with the successful setup of several joint programmes with universities from China. More importantly, he assisted UMT in establishing the ASEAN Fisheries Education Network (ASEAN-FEN), a team comprised of fishery and aquaculture universities located within the Southeast Asia region. Currently, ASEAN-FEN consists of 28 institutional members from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, China and Japan, with its mutual objective being supporting and enhancing the fishery and aquaculture sectors in the region through education, research, and public outreach.

Professor Sorgeloos was also instrumental in enabling UMT to organize its first International Seminar on Aquaculture Technology (iSAT 2018) on 15th March 2018. iSAT 2018 was a platform to disseminate the latest aquaculture technology and knowledge developed by the academics to the industry. The seminar focussed on important issues related to aquaculture such as aquatic organism diseases, microbial management, breeding technology, feed, nutrition, genetics and bioinformatics. The seminar attracted more than 150 participants worldwide, with strong participation from local industries.

Kudos to Professor Sorgeloos.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu,

Website: https://www.umt.edu.my  Email: pro@umt.edu.my

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