Kuna elected to UK Royal Academy of Engineering

Kuna (file pic) is the first and only Malaysian to be elected since the academy’s inception in 1976.

KUALA LUMPUR: HSS Engineers Bhd executive vice-chairman and co-founder Tan Sri Kuna Sittampalam was elected as an International Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom, in September.

This is in recognition of his outstanding and continuing contributions to the engineering profession, both nationally and internationally.

Kuna (pic) is the first and only Malaysian to be elected since the academy’s inception in 1976.

This year, the Royal Academy of Engineering elected 50 engineers across the UK and three International Fellows into its fellowship.

The other two International Fellows elected are from Finland and the United States.

“Beyond a personal achievement, this election as an International Fellow is due to what we have accomplished as a nation in the engineering fraternity.

“Over the past 40 years, Malaysia has established an exemplary regulatory framework and best practices in the sector, including setting up a thriving landscape of more than 300 engineering consultancy firms, ” said Kuna in a statement.

“Many of the achievements by our engineers have not been recognised on the global stage, hence limiting our sphere of influence. I am proud that this admission to the Royal Academy of Engineering helps to place Malaysia on the world map and provides the recognition that Malaysian engineers richly deserve.

“Above and beyond that, this allows me to embark on my goal of providing mentorship to the younger generations of engineers, promoting Malaysian consultancies in the South-East Asian region, and bring in the Royal Academy of Engineering’s excellence and technology innovation into Malaysia. It is my fervent hope that this will raise the benchmarks of quality in the engineering sector towards regional leadership, ” he added.

Charles Hay, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, congratulated Kuna and said the fellowship reflected his dedication to the engineering profession and his contribution to national development.

“He now joins a very select group of only 1,600 eminent engineers from around the world as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, ” said Hay.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also congratulated Kuna and said he hoped to see him further contributing to the field for years to come.

“For almost four decades, he has been instrumental in changing the infrastructure landscape in Malaysia as well as abroad by conceptualising, innovating and executing challenging development projects, ” said Khairy.

Association of Consulting Engineering Malaysia president Datuk Mohd Adnan Mohd Nor also extended his congratulations and said it was a recognition of Kuna’s leadership and a testimony to the capabilities of the Malaysian consulting engineers.

HSS Engineers is the largest listed engineering consultancy group in Malaysia, and is involved in large-scale projects including Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) 1 and 2, Maju Expressway 2, West Coast Expressway, Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE), Pahang–Selangor Water Raw Transfer, development of Sungai Selangor Phase 1,2 and 3, Sarawak water grid study and East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

HSS Engineers is also involved in major projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Papua New Guinea.

Kuna, who is also the founder member and president of the Malaysian-Indian Business Council, represented Malaysia in national strategy discussions with India, as well as UAE, South Africa and other countries.

In 2010, Kuna assisted in drawing up the memorandum of understanding of undertaking between Malaysia and India on the provision of technical services on highway management in India.

Currently, he is also appointed to India’s expert panel, road, transport and highway to advise on the pre-casting industry.

Kuna attributes this success to his supportive family and friends as well as the dedication and hard work of his staff who have handled uniquely challenging award-winning projects.

“I have great pride in mentoring these multi-disciplinary teams, who have risen above challenges and adapted well to technological changes and initiatives in recent years, ” he said.

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