UK engineering body elects first M’sian woman as council member

Thumbs up: Prof Dr Leong and Prof Mandic discussed research project collaborations during their recent meet.

INTI International University pro vice chancellor Prof Dr Leong Wai Yie is the first Malaysian woman elected a council member at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), United Kingdom.

Following her appointment for the 2022-2024 term, Prof Leong, together with 27 other council members, has the responsibility of tendering advice to the board of trustees concerning the conduct of IET affairs, including its direction and strategy.

Prof Leong decided to go for the IET Council election after having volunteered in the engineering fraternity for many years.

“I was very surprised when I won the election. The voters were from more than 168 countries, so it was impossible to lobby and predict the results.

“I would like to give back to our community by taking on the role of a mentor and help future engineers and technicians develop their careers.

“I would also like to contribute my professional skills to research and social welfare by working with other engineers to keep inventing for our planet, to help protect lives and to prevent diseases.

“Engineers are at the forefront of technological advancement, so we need to continue designing new machines and algorithms to help tackle societal problems, with the result of combating climate change, improving the quality of life and bringing people closer together,” she said in a press release.

Prof Leong, who was elected in October last year, was in the UK to attend a series of IET meets last month.

“I was very surprised at how many senior engineers from all over the world were in attendance because we always assume that people are not very interested in meetings,” said Prof Leong, who was in the UK from June 7 to 11.

During her trip, Prof Leong, who was the recipient of the 2021 Laureate of the GREE WFEO Women in Engineering Award, the UN Women 2021 Malaysia WEPs Award, the Top Research Scientists Malaysia 2017, the Asean Meritorious Service Award 2017, the Institute of Engineering Malaysia Women Engineer Award 2017, and the Australia Queensland Smart State – Smart Women Award 2005, also discussed research collaborations on artificial intelligence (AI) engineering with Imperial College London.

“I met with Prof Danilo P. Mandic from the college and we explored Malaysia-UK research collaborations and staff exchange programmes.

“We talked about research projects that combine the principles of systems engineering, software engineering, computer science, and human-centred design to create AI systems in accordance with human needs for mission outcomes,” said the Institution of Engineering and Technology (Malaysia Local Network) immediate past chairperson, the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists vice president, and the World Federation of Engineering Organisation (Women in Engineering Committee) deputy vice chair, who specialises in medical signal processing and telecommunications research.

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