School of Civil Engineering USM
The School of Civil Engineering is located in Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Engineering Campus in NibongTebal which is located about 50 km from the main campus on the island of Pulau Pinang. Two thirds of its students population are undergraduates with the remaining being postgraduates pursuing Master and Ph.D degrees. To date, the school has about 120 Ph.D candidates. The school is acknowledged for its active industrial and community engagements, and for its highly employable graduates.
The school was founded in 1989 as one of the earliest engineering schools established in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Classes began in July 1989 in the old Engineering Campus in Tronoh, Perak. From its humble beginnings with only 11 undergraduates for its inaugural intake, the school has now stabilized to around ninety new undergraduate students annually. On the postgraduate front, the school is now hosting postgraduates from more than ten countries.
OUTCOME BASED EDUCATION (OBE)
In 2006, the School began to embrace the Outcome Based Education (OBE) for its undergraduate program. As a result, from 2009 onwards, its Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) (Civil Engineering) programme has become fully accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) of the Board of Engineers, Malaysia and the Washington Accord. Thus international companies throughout the world have employed many of its alumni.
RESEARCH AND APEX STATUS
Since the beginning of the century, the reputation of the school as a place of choice for postgraduate studies in all areas of civil engineering has increased. Basic and applied research studies carried out in the school have attracted students at both Master and Ph.D levels. Projects aimed at solving sustainability issues such as water supply, pollution, slope stability, drainage, mobility, and alternative pavement and construction materials have been actively pursued. Positioned as the only university in the country enjoying the prestigious APEX status, UniversitiSains Malaysia has received preferential funding, thus benefiting the school in terms of its capability to carry out research projects. The faculty members have also able to garner grants from central government agencies, international bodies, relevant ministries and industries.
CONSULTANCY AND COMMUNITY PROJECTS
The School actively serves the industry and reaches out to communities through consultancy and community engagements projects. Many academic staffs of the school have been appointed by government agencies and industries to help solve the problems of the country and the people. These engagements with industry and community have eventually culminated into a wealth of practical experience for the academic staffs. Such invaluable practical experience has also enhanced the quality of teaching. The research output and products have been made to benefit the communities, especially the deprived ones. As testimony to the impact of these out-reach-programs by the school, one of its many research inventions has been applied in a water supply project for a native aboriginal community in Kampong Langkor, Sungai Siput, Perak. In this project, treated water which is otherwise out of reach by the community due to its remote location, has been made available via an engineered delivery system involving local water resource, a small dam, a filtration plant, and a network of piping. The result is a community now empowered by the newly earned self-sufficiency in having free and abundant supply of clean water. Throughout 2013 and 2014 the school has carried out regular maintenance of the facility to ensure a sustainable supply of clean water.
With the current strength and reputation, the school has become a magnet of attraction for local and international students alike. Placement has been very competitive and based on merit. Undergraduates are wholly comprised of Malaysians while postgraduates include students coming from many countries. The school offers MScmixed-mode programs in Structural Engineering and Environmental Engineering to provide opportunities for graduates and professionals to enhance their knowledge in these areas.
TALENT AND GOVERNANCE
90% of the academic staffs of the School are Ph.D holders with 11 professors and 6 professionals among them. The laboratories are well equipped with state-of-the-art apparatus and manned by well-qualified and highly skilled technical staff. Laboratories of the school are constantly consulted by the industry in the areas of structure and material testing, field and laboratory water quality monitoring, air and noise pollution measurement, environmental impact assessment, traffic planning, traffic impact assessment, and geotechnical evaluations. For 25 years since its establishment, the School of Civil Engineering has maintained its role as the trusted leader in tertiary education and home to students, researchers, lecturers, and engineers working together for the betterment of the society.
PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES
The School of Civil Engineering aims to be a leader at providing the highest quality of undergraduate education available in the country. The task is to provide all students with the opportunity for a broad-based educational experience and to enable students to address complex and comprehensive civil engineering problems. In addition, the school seeks to provide students with the necessary fundamentals for them to advance in the profession in response to the changing technology as well as societal needs and expectations. Last but not least, the school intends to offer the preparation and fostering of intellectual interest needed for graduate studies and research. These objectives are being reflected in the mission statement of the School of Civil Engineering as stated:-
“To nurture and sustain excellence in delivering comprehensive education, imparting knowledge, exploring frontiers of technology, and providing services to the industry and community, at the local and international levels, by applying the most advanced knowledge and leading expertise, creating innovative ventures, being truthful and by upholding USM's motto “We Lead”.
The School of Civil Engineering has formally introduced the Outcome Based Education (OBE) process that is focussed at achieving certain specified outcomes in terms of individual student learning. The Educational structures and curriculum in the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) (Civil Engineering) programme USM are designed to achieve those capabilities or qualities highlighted earlier and they are regarded as means not ends. If the outcomes are not achieved they are rethought as to ensure there is a Continual Quality Improvement (CQI) within the education system. OBE is the essential requirement for Malaysia to become a full signatory member of a multinational agreement for the mutual recognition of engineering degrees, i.e. The Washington Accord (WA) in producing engineers ready for industry practice in the international scene.
The Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) (Civil Engineering) programme has in place the following accreditation requirements:-
#Published Program Educational Objectives (PEO) that is consistent with the mission of the institution;
#A set of Programme Outcomes (PO) and an assessment process in place to demonstrate that the outcomes are being measured;
#A curriculum and processes that ensure the achievement of these objectives and outcomes; and
#A system of ongoing evaluation that demonstrates achievement of these objectives and outcomes by using the results for Continual Quality Improvement (CQI).
The School of Civil Engineering provides complete laboratory facilities to produce civil engineers that are highly knowledgeable and innovative. Besides academic staffs who are experts in their respective fields of specialization, this school has fully equipped engineering laboratories.
Civil engineering graduates will have a diverse and challenging career. There is currently an abundance of employment opportunities for civil engineers in Malaysia and internationally. Civil engineers have a wide job prospect in both government agencies and private sectors as: