TAKE a minute to think about every little invention that surrounds our lives. From the moment we arise from slumber to the moment we hit our beds after a long day, imagine how much we rely on electricity, water, telecommunication, transportation, machines and other equipment that help us function.
Whether it is structures, systems or mechanical, there is a reliable, skillful hand of an engineer at play. A world without engineering is akin to watching a movie with no colour, sound or effects. To the uninitiated, engineering is a structured world of design and creation. The study path is rigid and riddled with scientific and technical knowledge but to the passionate, engineering is world of opportunities. It is a chance to build communities, connect cities and improve the overall quality of life.
The world of technology today has seen the likes of Google glass, self-driving cars, robotically-engineered animals and machines to help people with disability and perform complex surgical procedures as well as environmentally sustainable facilities. Recent inventions such as food with longer shelf lives, drugs that cure the incurable and structures that can withstand natural disasters just go to show that the possibilities are endless. Engineers are today’s unsung heroes.
But for engineers to perform such feats, they need to be provided with the right foundation, exposure, knowledge and skills. Here, in Malaysia, there has been a strong emphasis on skilled workforce, particularly in the field of engineering, science, technology and commerce. It is safe to say that skilled engineers, architects, surveyors and a digitally-driven workforce are always in great demand in a growing digital economy like ours.
While there are ample tertiary institutions offering engineering degrees, very few focus on producing quality graduates who have the best interest of the community at heart.
This is where SEGi University is making a world of difference. Students at SEGi are not only exposed to top notch study programmes, but also opportunities to be versatile, industrious and philanthropic at the same time.
A HUMANISTIC APPROACH
The SEGi engineering programmes set an example of how the university goes all out to hone their students inside out. Something as structured and rigid as engineering is mashed with a humanistic approach at SEGi. Along with its industry-driven curriculum, character building is weaved into the syllabus to help students realise their true potentials and equip them with the right skills, knowledge and high order thinking. To the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Dr Chia Chee Ming, these elements combined, make up true heroes.
Dr Chia believes that more than equipping their students with the right knowledge, SEGi is inspiring their students to serve the community; come up with improved solutions; better products and practical facilities for the community they live in.
“What differentiates us and others is the learning experience the students have with us. Through our curriculum, we encourage our students to participate in research projects funded by the relevant industries so that they can understand real-life issues and are better prepared for the industry they are about to enter,” says Dr Chia.
GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
Unlike most academically-driven degrees, SEGi students are exposed to the idea of corporate social responsibility which is integrated into their syllabus. In their third year, engineering students are required to carry out an IDP (Integrated Design Project). The project is funded by industry players who have signed MoUs with the university. These companies also fund selected final year research projects that require students to come with an innovative solution to real-world problems.
“To give you an example, last year, we brought in a lady with osteogenesis imperfect, a genetic bone disorder. The patient despite being over 40 years old is only two feet tall and could not do things independently due to her condition. We challenged our students to make life easier for someone like her and got a group of students to make a wheelchair catered to her needs.”
“Besides putting their knowledge into practice, we are empowering our students to have a sense of mission where they are challenged to make a difference in the community. Essentially, this is what we would like them to be doing after completing their studies,” says Dr Chia.
BENEFIT FROM INDUSTRY EXPOSURE
SEGi’s industrial collaborations expose students to real-time learning. The university has signed MoUs with established companies from various disciplines to expose students to the industrial environment while they are still studying.
“The MoUs act as a bridge that connects the academia to the industry. They (industry) provide their expertise and resources to up-skill our students and we produce a talent pool that will eventually be serving these industries as they graduate. This win-win collaboration benefits the university, the students and the businesses moving all of us up the value chain simultaneously,” says Dr Chia when explaining how SEGi readies its students for the professional world.
ENJOY A WHOLESOME STUDY PACKAGE
At the academic level, SEGi engineering programmes are all accredited and recognised by the Engineering Accreditation Council and are taught by industry and subject matter experts.
“This just means all our programmes are of high quality. Our teaching staff is made up of research and industry-savvy personnel. To make ourselves relevant to the millennial, we have always encouraged a mix of young and experienced researchers and lecturers so that we could provide the best of both worlds to our students,” explains Dr Chia.
In addition, SEGi graduates enjoy a 90% employability rate, validating the saleability and marketability of the graduates.
There are six programmes offered at SEGi’s Faculty of Engineering and The Built Environment, namely mechanical engineering; chemical engineering; electronic & electrical engineering; civil engineering: quantity surveying and architecture.
While SEGi’s architecture programme is less than a year old, it is being run by experienced industry experts whereas the other engineering degrees have already produced several batches of graduates.
MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
SEGi’s dream is not limited to producing quality graduates but it also involves connecting the world through a sustainable ecosystem.
“To me, engineers are not heroes who work alone. They come as a team. Look at the countless inventions and discoveries around the globe. Many do not even know who created them.”
“Today, we cannot live without WiFi but how many of us remember who created it? Then, there are things like clean drinking water and advanced public transportation ecosystem. Someone had engineered these things and made life convenient for the rest of the world. The communities today are more connected and integrated thanks to such discoveries,” quips Dr Chia.
Being an engineer is not merely a job as far as SEGi is concerned but a calling that makes the world a better place.
For more details on SEGi’s engineering studies, visit engineering.