Three women researchers from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) Center of Excellence for Geopolymer and Green Technology (CEGeoGTech) will represent Malaysia at the European Union Women Inventors & Innovators Network (EUWIIN) which will be held on 27 June 2019 in London.
Dr. Zarina Yahya, Dr. Rafiza Abdul Razak and Dr. Alida Abdullah will be showcasing their individual research findings and innovation on green technology in construction.
Associate Professor Dr. Mohd. Mustafa Al-Bakri Abdullah, Manager for CEGeoGTech UniMAP states that the competition is organised by Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network (GWIIN), with the aim of addressing the issue of gender inequality and enhancing the capabilities and potential of women scientists globally.
While many women scientists and researchers perform impressively in their careers, the issue of gender inequality remains to be a challenge to many, he added. Women researchers excelling at UniMAP is evident; 43 percent of all 51 young researchers below 40 years of age with h-index exceeding 7 are female. In fact, the Dr. Rafiza Abdul Razak has the highest h-index of 7, making her the university’s 7th best.
“We know that the pervasive gender imbalance is not due to researchers’ lack of capability but rather due to lack of opportunity and platform for them to showcase their products. GWIIN is one such platform that will provide them with support, information and tool they need to boost their career”.
Researchers from 30 countries will converge at EUWIIN, the final round for the three researchers who have earlier passed a shortlisting exercise. “This is a prestigious competition with judging panelists comprising renowned world scientists and researchers, as well as prominent corporate leaders,” explains Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Mustafa. “We hope to see our researchers bag the best awards”.
In 2015, another female researcher from UniMAP won gold medal in the same competition through her research product “Laser Surface Modification of Biomaterials for Coronary Stent Applications”.
One of the three researchers, Dr. Zarina previously collected gold medals in two international competitions: European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (EUROINVENT) in Romania and International Trade Fair for Ideas, Inventions and New Products (IENA) in Germany. At EUWIIN, Dr Zarina will be exhibiting geopolymer-based construction material for marine use. An example of application is the building of main pillars at sea using waste material such as the more economical fly ash and slag.
Dr. Rafiza will be presenting her work on the production of artificial aggregate as construction material using mud from Sidoarjo volcano in Indonesia. The manmade aggregate will replace natural aggregate in the production of concrete. The research, conducted in collaboration with researchers from Petra Christian University Surabaya, is expected to contribute to community empowerment agenda.
Dr Alida Abdullah, meanwhile, will exhibit her work on the production of lightweight aggregate using waste from electrical power system. The aggregate can be used as thermal insulation in concrete structures.