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'Smart cities and urban science' – professional seminar

World Bulletin Team

Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam (right)
Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam (right)

Smart cities attempt to make the movement of people and goods safer, greener and more equitable. The need to educate ourselves on the finer details of Smart Cities became very apparent with the fact that smart cities can also lead to unintended consequences such as increased vehicle miles traveled, higher pollution, and more urban sprawl.

In line with this need, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Malaysia Branch (IMechE) in collaboration with the Engineering Education Technical Division of the Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), organised a professional seminar, 'Smart Cities and Urban Science'. It was held on 27 February, 2018 at Wisma IEM with an attendance of 74 participants of varying backgrounds but with just one common objective, which was to attain insight into smart cities and the treasures they hold.

The first speaker was Dr. Farhan Ahmed. Dr. Farhan is a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and a Certified Systems and NetWare Engineer. He has been involved with several industries including smart cities/districts, data centres, telecoms, ICT, banking, management consulting, construction (buildings and infrastructure), government, Education and as-built design engineering. His talk focused on the smart city context, determining the approach, the technology impact and thesmartcity/township platform. They went on to discussing the project challenges and opportunities as well.

The session continued with a session by Dr. Mazlan. Dr. Mazlan is the co-founder and CEO of FAVORIOT Sdn Bhd. He is ranked among 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by World CSR Congress 2017, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2017, ranked No. 20th Thought Leader in IOT by 2014 Onalytics Report – “The Internet of Things - Top 100 Thought Leaders”, ranked Top 100 in Smart Cities Top Experts by Agilience. The session by Dr. Mazlan focused on the product-based to outcome-based IoT businessmodel. He based his talk on his brainchild, the FAVORIOT app.

The third speaker was Ar. Dr. Loo Kok Hoo is a registered architect and researcher based in Singapore and Malaysia. He has over 28 years of experience in practice, teaching, research and collaborations with various tertiary institutions to promote, explore and teach green architecture. His pet subject is sustainable constructions and he definitely delivered a session which was very valuable, a technical talk covering bamboo constructions. Later, he also presented a comparative study of the thermal performance of wood wool cement panels and conventional brick wall and alternative building material.

Next was Mr. Ahmad Soalahuddin B Ahmad Termizi, who  is currently the Acting Head of Business Development & Strategic Communications, Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd. He presented 'The Cyberjaya Case Study' during his session, speaking about the many intelligent features of Cyberjaya, a smart city, that many of us do not realize have been implemented even though we have travelled to or spent time there.

The final session was conducted by Prof. Ir. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam and Mr. Gabriel, currently a PhD student at University Malaya. Mr. Gabriel presented the design and development of a power optimsation software Tool for Smart City Building Services which he named the Z-Analyzer. This tool, when applied to an older construction, is able to intelligently calculate the savings that can possibly be acquired if the building’s parts were to be ‘greened’.

The seminar was planned to be a very interactive, Q&A type of session for the attendees to clarify any doubts or seek information directly from the experts involved in the rail industry. The session concluded at 4.30pm but based on the seemingly endless private discussions that the several attendees continued to have with the speakers over their tea, it is very evident that the objective of the one day seminar has been achieved and that the attendees have gotten what they came for.


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