Komag, MMU to groom plasma science students


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 24 Nov 2004

By DAVID TAN

KOMAG USA (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is collaborating with Multimedia University (MMU) to produce Master and PhD degree students in plasma physics to expand the pool of plasma scientists in the country. 

“Plasma” is the fourth state of matter after solids, liquid, and gas. 

Komag Inc chief executive officer Datuk T.H. Tan told reporters yesterday that the company would donate a multi-million ringgit-sputtering machine which produced plasma to MMU for research purposes in the field of plasma physics, with applications in thin-film magnetic and carbon deposition, solar cell, manufacturing and plasma television. 

“To groom a new generation of graduate students with skills that can be applied in modern industries, you need a university with the right faculty and the right students. 

“Most of all, you need a testing ground of ideas and a place where the students can see what their skills eventually would be used for. 

“MMU will provide the staff and students, and Komag will provide the testing ground of ideas and on-the-job-training required for success,” he said after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MMU to formalise the donation of the sputtering machine. 

Tan said there was only a handful of experts in plasma science available in the country now. 

Prof Chuah Hean Teik (right) exchanging documents with Komag vice-presidentand managing director (media operations) Oung Kheng Huat. The eventis witnessed by Datuk T.H. Tan (second from left) and MMU deputy director ofcentre (research & post-graduate programmes) Prof Tou Teck Yong

“As plasma physics is a key technology of the future, the country needs to have a few hundred plasma scientists by 2020,” he added. 

Tan said both Komag and MMU had spent a few million ringgit to set up a laboratory at MMU for the sputtering machine to be installed for use by early next year. 

“The machine can help train two to three plasma science post-graduate students a year,” he said. “With such a machine, MMU can now attract world-class experts in plasma physics to teach and conduct research in MMU.”  

Komag is the world’s largest independent supplier of thin-film disks, which is the primary high-capacity storage medium for digital data. 

MMU vice-president (research and development and academic development) Prof Chuah Hean Teik said it was very heartening to note that Komag was making a move to collaborate with a university in Malaysia in the area of research and development.  

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