Investing in world-class research

A research-intensive university

It's been a challenging year. Yet, Monash University Malaysia continues to invest in the future of Malaysia and the wider international community. We have continued our work as a research-intensive university that is committed to innovation and discovery as central elements of our mission. With an unpredictable global pandemic causing disruption throughout the world, the ability to adapt and change has become even more vital.

We aim to conduct research that will benefit society directly and indirectly by finding new answers to real-world problems. The world is evolving. Without ongoing and new studies, understanding problems and finding out how to solve them may take a very long time. Research is crucial to ascertaining answers.

Research with impact

Spearheaded by our mantra of "if you don't like it, change it," the University has a legion of academics and PhD students working on various research areas and topics, intending to contribute to a better future. This, along with partnerships with key research institutes around the world, cements our strength as a leading research innovation and learning centre.

Monash University Malaysia boasts some notable research projects that are trying to change the world for the better. Dr Arshad Adam Salema from the School of Engineering is focusing on a sustainable solution for the electric bus transport system in Malaysia using solar energy. The project will showcase for the first time a viable solution to develop an integrated low-carbon township in Sunway City.

Associate Professor Qasim Ayub from the School of Science was part of the Human Evolution team at the Wellcome Sanger Institute that sequenced 929 genomes. One of the main objectives of the sequencing was to examine DNA variation in indigenous populations from different parts of the world with different ethnicities, lifestyles and languages that are under threat. The breadth and depth of genomics are exemplified by its use in various fields, from anthropology, personalised medicine, forensic sciences, conservation and computational biology.

Diseases like stroke and injuries to the spinal cord often result in reduced mobility. They are reported to be among the leading causes of mobility impairments worldwide. Dr Alpha Agape Gopalai, who runs Monash University Malaysia's mechatronics program, is working with a PhD student on an exoskeleton, called Ambulate Me, to help support the body by sending stimulation signals to the affected muscle group so that the limbs can move again.

Dr Jin Zhe from the School of Information Technology is working with Yonsei University in South Korea and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute to create Bio-PIN, a secure set of algorithms that can be incorporated into any biometric cryptosystem. The Bio-PIN has an extra layer of encryption that protects the raw biometric data. With biometric data playing an increasingly important role throughout society, this is an important initiative in protecting personal security.

Social media platforms and online discussion forums have given a voice to users without holding them accountable for the accuracy of what they say. As a result, these platforms have become a fertile ground for individuals intentionally spreading misinformation and fake news. Dr Ian Lim Wern Han, also from the School of Information Technology, is using a combination of graph algorithms with machine learning to extract valuable tacit information from platforms like Reddit, StackExchange and Quora, to apply a score that estimates the reliability of someone's post.

Dr Saman Ilankoon from the School of Engineering teaches both fluid mechanics and separation processes. An expert in mining and minerals engineering, he is currently exploring the extraction of copper from discarded printed circuit boards as a lot of natural materials used in electronic and electrical components are lost when products are discarded. He is also developing a Smart E-Waste Collection Box, which uses a mobile application to optimise the collection of e-waste materials.

Underlining Monash's commitment to community engagement, Dr Siti Noraida Habibullah who is a senior lecturer at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, founded Little Steps Charity Organisation which runs multiple projects that span areas such as education, shelter and healthcare for the less fortunate. Academic Priya Sharma from the School of Business is shedding light on how the pandemic continues to have a widespread impact on migrant workers, succumbing them to forced-labour trafficking in Malaysia.

Research priority areas

We are about to embark on a major new initiative in our pursuit of research excellence. In the coming months, we will be recruiting up to 20 early career researchers focusing on seven research priority areas; catalysts and energy; smart technologies; ageing; infectious diseases; non-communicable diseases; environmental and genome biodiversity; and policy and industrial transformation. These are areas where Monash University Malaysia is making a world-class contribution providing emerging scholars with the perfect environment to launch their careers.

"Our aim is to bring the best and brightest PhD graduates to Monash University Malaysia, where they can work with top-class research teams on some of the core challenges facing Malaysia and the broader ASEAN region," said Professor Andrew Walker, President of Monash University Malaysia.

"We are committed to contributing to sustainable development in Malaysia and beyond, and this new recruitment initiative will turbo-charge our efforts to find creative and innovative solutions for real-world problems. We expect to continue this recruitment in the coming years, continuing to build our research effort and developing new areas of expertise to keep pace with changing national, regional and global priorities," he added.

A world-class university, right here in Malaysia

Monash University Malaysia is the third-largest campus of Monash University, Australia's largest university. Earlier this year, Monash University claimed the 55th spot in the QS World University Rankings. Adding to this, the university has recently retained its rank of sixth in the world in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education Golden Age Rankings 2020 and ranked 64th globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.

Monash University Malaysia is the most successful of all international Australian university campuses, reflected by its reputation in Malaysia and the South-East Asian region. It prides itself in enabling students from Malaysia and the region to get a first-class international education right at their doorstep. Not only can they receive a first-class Monash education, but they are also studying in a research-intensive environment, being taught by scholars who are also engaged in cutting edge research and innovation.

"The international rankings are a testament to Monash's commitment, quality and vision. This is particularly important in this time of great disruption when the world desperately needs research-driven solutions," Professor Walker stated.

With a major research and education campus right here in Malaysia, Monash is uniquely placed to use global networks of expertise to address local challenges.

"We will continue to explore new frontiers of academic research while expanding our reach through collaborations with students, government, industry, alumni and our academic peers to produce first-class research that has real-world impact," Professor Walker added.

If you are passionate about tackling core challenges facing the world, Monash University Malaysia is the perfect place for you. We are looking for early career researchers to join our research teams which include some of the world's leading researchers. We can help you reach your goals and beyond with our rewarding Post Doctoral Fellowship Scheme. Click the link to find out more.