The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FKM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia hosted a virtual e-Colloquium titled ‘Advancement of Smart Materials & Sensors 2020’ on 18 November 2020. The e-colloquium was part of the MOU activity between UiTM and AlFaisal University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) supported by National University Ireland Galway (NUIG), Ireland, and AEH Innovative Hydrogel, Ltd, United Kingdom (UK).
The e-colloquium provided a virtual platform for academicians, researchers, industrial brains, and students from across the globe to get together and share knowledge on recent advancements in the field of sensors and advanced materials.
The session began with a welcome speech by the dean of FKM, Prof. Ir. Dr. Muhammad Azmi Ayub. He congratulated the speakers and participants and highlighted that “UiTM has always been committed to promoting teaching and research activities which includes collaboration and postgraduate studies”.
The first speaker for the session, Prof. Ts. Dr. Norhayati Saad from UiTM deliberated on ‘Microsensors for health screening and the latest invention of breathing sensors to detect chronic disease.’
Next was a presentation by Prof. Dr. Mohamed Zourob from Alfaisal University on low-cost-based biosensors for the detection of infectious viruses. Exclusively, he introduced a new concept of the cotton-swap-based sensor to detect the Covid-19 virus. This sensor, which has been currently filled for patent seems to be cheap, simple, and rapid detection.
This was followed by Dr. Patrica Scully from NUIG, Ireland who delivered her talk on smart functional materials and human motion in generating flexible sensors for healthcare monitoring systems on the detection of Alzheimer’s disease, premature baby, etc.
The final speaker, Dr. Beenish Siddique from AEH Innovative Hydrogel Ltd., UK shared her incredible journey in establishing a start-up business commercializing hydrogel-based material for agricultural and biomedical application. She also shared her secret in winning 1 million pounds from the UK government to commercialize her innovation on indoor-farming products from her research work.
A very engaging question and answer (Q&A) session took place before the colloquium was closed by the moderator, Dr. Siti Rabizah Makhsin from UiTM.
Collaborations like these reinforce the fact that universities as leaders in knowledge-creation and research play an important role in the evolution of the latest technology by collaborating with the industries, adapting to the advancement of the technology, and finally commercializing the product to benefit mankind.
The establishment of collaborations across the world has opened-up great potentials that inspire many young researchers to take part and smart partnerships with the experts.