Dr Maszlee Malik presenting the letter of appointment to Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan (left) as the new vice-chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia. Looking on is Higher Education director-general Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.

THE Education Ministry has appointed Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan as Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) new vice-chancellor.

The ministry, in a statement, said Faisal Rafiq will assume his duties from Oct 4 until Oct 3, 2022.

The appointment was based on recommendations by the Public Universities Vice-Chancellor Selection Committee headed by Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, with Tan Sri Wahid Omar, Tan Sri Dr Lin See Yan, Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Abdul Razak and Dr Andrew Aeria as panel members.

“The appointment was based on his expertise, knowledge, experience and achievements during his tenure as Universiti Malaya (UM) deputy vice-chancellor (development) for six years. We hope he will continue contributing to USM’s vision to be a top research university globally.”

Faisal Rafiq, who hails from Kuala Lumpur, was born on July 9, 1975.

He obtained his degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, the United Kingdom, in 1997.

He then continued his master’s in engineering at UM and graduated in 1999. In 2007, Faisal Rafiq received his doctorate for his research in integrated optical devices from University of Southampton in the UK.

As UM deputy vice-chancellor, he was involved in the implementation of the university’s water and waste management system, as well as leading research and education in sustainable development.

Under his watch, UM was awarded the “Most Sustainable (Greenest) City Centre University in Asia” by UI Green Metric in 2017 and last year.

He had also successfully commercialised his research through his spin-off company, Flexilicate Sdn Bhd, which he founded in 2015.

The company won the Best Asean University Start-up at the inaugural Rice Bowl Start-up award the same year.

In June 2016, the company and its collaborator, the University of Southampton, won the prestigious Dengue Tech Challenge grant amounting to RM1.9 million.

The ministry also expressed gratitude to former USM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail for her services since 2016. Asma is now the new chairman of the Malaysia Qualification Agency and will continue her role as Academy of Sciences president.

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