Saving the world for the next gen

OUR next generations have concerned parties such as Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) to thank, for bringing together key players from around the globe to share knowledge and seek innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

UTP recently hosted the sixth edition of the World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress (ESTCON) 2020 – a three-day event (July 13-15) themed Science, Technology and Humanities: Reinventing the Future.

As the rest of the world grappled with the pandemic, more than 1,000 experts from the academic fraternity, industries, government agencies and non-governmental organisations from some 30 countries came together to present ideas that range from innovation, engineering, technology to humanities.

Nine international conferences were held simultaneously during ESTCON2020, held virtually for the first time since its inauguration in 2010:

• International Conference on Oil and Gas Engineering and Technology (ICOGET 2020)

• International Conference on Civil, Offshore and Environmental Engineering (ICCOEE 2020)

• International Conference on Production, Energy and Reliability (ICPER 2020)

• International Conference on Earth Resources (ICER 2020)

• International Conference on Process Engineering and Advanced Materials (ICPEAM 2020)

• International Conference on Intelligent and Advanced System (ICIAS 2020)

• International Conference on Computer and Information Sciences (ICCOINS 2020)

• International Conference on Fundamental and Applied Sciences (ICFAS 2020)

• International Conference for Management, Social Sciences and Humanities (ICMeSH2020).

“The nine conferences were in tandem with UTP’s objective to be a leader in technology education and centre for creativity and innovation.

“They allowed the university to embark on new frontiers, pioneer research, create new technology, and introduce innovative solutions and methods for sustainable development that will benefit society,” said UTP vice chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib who was chairman of ESTCON2020.

ESTCON2020 was co-organised with the Alliance of Government-Linked Universities, and supported by the Higher Education Ministry, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) in collaboration with Petronas, Yayasan UTP and the Malaysia Board of Technologists.

“It was crucial for academics and industry players to seriously enter into strategic dialogue at ESTCON2020 over the challenges facing higher education especially the possibility of opening new avenues for collaboration that tap into the knowledge and expertise of other sectors aimed at innovating new solutions,” said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

At the virtual closing ceremony, Mosti secretary-general Datin Paduka Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said: “ESTCON2020 has been a force to reckon with when it comes to resonating the ideas and aspirations of industries and academics with regard to science, technology and humanities.

“Through this congress, we were able to catch a glimpse of what we could do more of and how we could contribute to this new era in these unprecedented times,” she said.

Eminent speakers at ESTCON2020 included:

• Axilor Ventures chairman and Infosys India co-founder Senapathy Gopalakrishnan

• ASM senior fellow Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid

• ASM vice-president and Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation chairman Prof Datuk Dr A Bakar Jaafar

• Amity Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (India) president of Dr William Selvamurthy

• Green Chemistry in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast (UK) chair Prof Dr John Holbrey.

“We all have the same aspiration in reinventing the future of science, technology and humanities,” said UTP academic deputy vice-chancellor and ESTCON2020 co-chairman Prof Dr Hilmi Mukhtar.

“During the three days of ESTCON2020, we have seen the possibility of these dreams becoming reality.

“The pandemic has hit hard for all of us, and we need to undergo changes that will decide our survival in the future.

“There is indeed plenty to reflect upon and if this in any way enhances our individual and collective contributions to meeting the global challenges, then the congress can truly be considered a success,” he said.

The main sponsors of ESTCON2020 were Dialog Group Berhad, Schlumberger, Transwater, Creative Minds, Uzma Berhad, NeuDimension, Maybank, Patentsworth International, Techsource Systems and Telekom Malaysia.

The seventh edition of ESTCON is scheduled to be held in 2022.

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