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UiTM Vice-chancellor Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said (second from left) shaking hands with Robin Mason, flanked by Zakiah Ahmad (left) and Professor Clive Roberts, director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education.

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is taking steps to enhance expertise in railway engineering to contribute towards the government’s goal of a world-class rail transportation system.

Vice-chancellor Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said said to position the country as a potential regional rail hub requires the provision of appropriate technology, human capital, training and accreditation.

And this is what UiTM hopes to offer through a strategic partnership with the University of Birmingham in United Kingdom, in particular between UiTM’s Faculty of Civil Engineering and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education.

UiTM Vice-chancellor Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said.

Speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two parties, Hassan said the aim of the collaboration is to propel UiTM’s visibility at the international level as well as work with University of Birmingham, especially in the area of railway engineering, joint research and student mobility.

“University of Birmingham is a truly global university producing world-leading research. It is ranked 141st in the world, 19th in the UK for its international outlook by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018. This strategic partnership will lift both institutions to greater heights,” he said.

University of Birmingham pro vice-chancellor Professor Robin Mason said by working closely together, the two tertiary institutions can tap

into opportunities in railway engineering consultancy.

“The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education brings together a multidisciplinary team to tackle fundamental railway engineering problems, researching into all aspects of railway technology and operations. It has a world-class reputation in railway control and operations simulation, data integrity and cybersecurity, and condition monitoring and sensing. It also has a centre of excellence in digital systems,” he added.

“We’re always looking for bright-minded partners that we can work with. It’s very important that we help to grow capacity locally as well to help create the next generation of railway engineers.”

UiTM’s Faculty of Civil Engineering dean Professor Dr Zakiah Ahmad said select lecturers will attend a Training the Trainers programme related to railway engineering at the University of Birmingham.

“We plan to offer a double master’s degree programme in railway engineering next year. Also in the pipeline are plans for an exchange programme of undergraduates. UiTM students can spend a semester on railway engineering-related courses in Birmingham ,” she said.

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