The Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) together with its Industrial Linkage Committee (ILC) organised its first-ever virtual Industrial Advisory Panel (IAP) Visit and Industry Forum 2020 in Melaka Campus last December. The event involved four engineering programmes, namely BEng (Hons) Mechanical (ME), BEng (Hons) Electronics majoring in Robotics and Automation (RE), BEng (Hons) Electronics majoring in Telecommunications (TE) and Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (DME).

Twelve members of the IAP across multidisciplinary engineering fields were invited to attend the virtual IAP visit. These members, in no particular order, included Mr Klaus Jurgen Heer, Director of Assembly Design Sdn Bhd; Dr Chin Wai Meng, Head of Division (Development Support) of Daikin Research and Development Malaysia Sdn Bhd; Ir Goh Su Kin, Senior Mill Engineer of Lenga Palmoil Industries Sdn Bhd; Ir Dr Abdul Azim Abdul Rahman, Asia Pacific Product Engineering Manager of Steelcase Office Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd; Mr Syahril bin M Azmi, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Honda Assembly (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd; Mr Tan Teck Siang, Managing Director of AFA Technologies Sdn Bhd; Mr Lai Teck Phen, Managing Director of Intotest Sdn Bhd; Mr Pang Wei Lao, Managing Director of Inchz IOT Sdn Bhd; Mr Goh Ser Heng, Director and Co-founder of Bodibasixs Manufacturing Sdn Bhd; Mr Tan Cheah Heng, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff of Motorola Solutions, Malaysia; Dr Syed Mohamad Jamalullil Bilfagih, Group Head of Data and Analytics of Telekom Malaysia and Dr Diong Kah Seng, VP of Technical Services ZTE Malaysia.

The IAP members were welcomed with an opening address from Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fazly Salleh Abas, Dean of FET, followed by breakout presentation sessions by the Programme Coordinators (PCs); Dr Liew Kia Wai (ME PC), Ir Dr Chua Ming Yam (RE PC), Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tien Sze (TE PC) and Mr Jee Kian Siong (DME PC). The highlight of this one-day event was an industry forum themed “Overcoming Post-Pandemic Challenges: What Skills do Engineering Graduates Need?” with forum panellists composed of the twelve IAP members. The forum was moderated by Dr Em Poh Ping, Chairman of ILC, who featured the perspectives of the panellists envisioning the future of engineering education and industries during the pandemic and beyond. In essence, the inevitable pandemic-driven changes in engineering industries urge the need for future engineering graduates to be more versatile, especially when striking the balance between strong engineering fundamentals and highly practical applications in better preparing themselves for the imminent equivocal challenges of the real world.