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WTUN Exchange Programme: Speaker Series‘Universiti Teknologi Malaysia visits Shibaura Institute of Technology’ and ‘University of Bradford visits Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’

Date: Tuesday 15 August 2023

Time: 10.00-11.00 (BST)

Speakers: Dr Mohd Firdaus Abdul-Wahab, Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Science Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and

Dr Farshid Sefat, Associate Professor and Programme Leader of Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Technology, University of Bradford

Registration Link: Eventbrite (external)

Exchange One: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to Shibaura Institute of Technology.

A researcher exchange programme between UTM and Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) has successfully been carried out from 11-18 September 2022, funded by the World Technology Universities Network (WTUN). The exchange was hosted by Assoc. Prof. Azham Zulkharnain, from the Department of Bioscience and Engineering, College of Systems Engineering and Science, SIT. Both UTM and SIT are members of WTUN.

The main objectives of the exchange programme were to have the discussion and exchange of expertise in microbial and microbiome-related research in the focus areas of WTUN, namely clean water, and affordable and clean energy. Microbial and microbiomes technologies have enormous potentials to be applied in these focus areas, particularly in the treatment of wastewater, and generation of clean and sustainable bioenergy from wastes and wastewater, through biological processes. In addition, microbiome technologies can contribute directly to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs) through the integration of bioeconomy with sustainability. This exchange programme was aimed at intensifying research in these focus areas, by strengthening the collaboration between UTM and SIT.

The expertise developed at SIT, particularly at the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory headed by Prof. Zulkharnain, has been beneficial to complement the work carried out at the Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Science UTM, under my research group.

The discussion topics have included potential joint research grant application from Japanese (e.g. the Toshiba Foundation, Sumitomo Foundation, Toyota Foundation) and other international funders. Undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange programmes (e.g. the Sakura programme) between the two institutions have also been discussed. Prof. Zulkharnain and other interested Shibaura researchers will also be invited to deliver an online lecture to students of related courses at UTM, or participate in related workshops and conferences. These efforts will be a part of UTM and SIT’s growth to be prominent universities in biological sciences, bioengineering and biotechnology.

About Dr Abdul-Wahab:

Research Areas / Interest https://people.utm.my/firdausw/research-areasinterest/

Biochemistry of heat shock protein 47 (HSP47)

Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47) is a molecular chaperone crucial for collagen biosynthesis. It is a single-substrate chaperone, and binds only to collagen. ‘Knock-out’ of the hsp47 gene has been shown to impair the secretion of correctly folded collagen triple helix molecules, leading to embryonic lethality in mice. HSP47 belongs to the well characterised ‘serpin’ superfamily, but the chaperone itself is not fully understood in terms of its molecular interactions.

My interest is to elucidate the specific mechanism that governs HSP47 binding to, and release from collagen, at the molecular level. The mechanism is known as the ‘pH-switch mechanism’. I focus the investigation on histidine (His) residues, as the HSP47-collagen dissociation pH is similar to the pKa of the imidazole side chain.

Several biochemical and chemical techniques are involved, such as:
-protein homology modelling,
-site directed mutagenesis,
-affinity chromatography,
-protein separation and immunodetection,
-size exclusion chromatography (SEC),
-protein circular dichroism,
-fluorescence spectroscopy (intrinsic tryptophan and anisotropy),
-peptide synthesis and coupling,
-binding assays,
-fluorescence microscopy

I am also interested in further studying the interactions between HSP47 and collagen, towards application in drug development.

Exchange Two: University of Bradford to Universiti Technologi Malaysia.

The main aim of this research exchange was to start a joint collaboration between UK-Malaysia to fabricate a synthetic blood vessel that mimics the natural arteries. Researchers at the UoB already selected/fabricated a suitable biomaterial (Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly (lactide-co-glycolic-acid) (PLGA) for this purpose. There is a need of collaboration between two WTUN institutes to develop this medical device and carry out various characterisation experiments.

During his visit to UTM, Dr Sefat delivered a lecture ‘How to make artificial organs and treat diseases using tissue engineering and regenerative medicine’, toured a number of laboratories at UTM and also had the opportunity to visit Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)

Join us to learn more about Dr Sefat’s experience of the WTUN funded exchange opportunity and the impact and ongoing collaboration and research that this supported and helped to facilitate.

About Dr Sefat:

Dr Farshid Sefat is Associate Professor and programme leader in Biomedical and Electronic Engineering Department at the University of Bradford (UK) and previously was head of Biomedical Engineering Department at King Faisal University (Saudi Arabia) and also a Visiting Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey, USA). He completed his post doctorate research assistant at University of Sheffield (UK) in the area of cornea tissue engineering. He received his Ph.D. (2013) and BEng. (2005) degrees from University of Bradford (UK) both in Biomedical Engineering mainly focus on bone cell engineering. He also obtained his MSc. (2006) in Cell and Tissue Engineering from Keele University (UK).

His research is based on developing biomaterials to control cellular behaviour with particular emphasis in developing engineered materials for various tissue engineering applications.  He is an author on >100 peer-reviewed journal articles, editorials, and review papers, >50 book chapters and 8 edited books. He is on the editorial boards and reviewer of >30 numerous journals including Materials Today, Acta Biomaterialia, IEEE, Bone, MDPI, Journal of Orthopaedics & Rheumatology, Materials Science and Engineering C, Journal of Biomechanics and many more.

Research Interest:

His research interest is mainly tissue engineering of soft and hard tissue including cornea, skin, breast, ligament/tendon, bone as well as investigating early diagnosis and treatment of glioblastoma, breast cancer, prostate, and ovarian cancers. For the past 11 years, Dr Sefat is focusing his research on Cornea Tissue Engineering with special attention to full cornea fabrication and replacement. For the past 5 years, he is working on fabrication and characterization of vascular graft using electrospinning technique. Management of the vaginal biofilm is another interesting research conducted in his lab. Currently he is supervising 20 Undergraduate and postgraduate research students in his lab.

In case you missed it

Click below to see details of WTUN webinars so far in 2023:

WTUN Exchange Programme: Speaker Series

WTUN Exchange Programme: Speaker Series

Watch the Replay:

Date: Tuesday 25 July 2023

Time: 11:00 – 12.00 (BST)

Speaker: Professor Fiona Macaulay, Professor of Gender, Peace and Development Director, Rotary Peace Centre, Department of Peace Studies and International Development, University of Bradford

Exchange: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte – UFRN.

About Prof Macaulay:

I am Professor of Gender, Peace and Development in the Department of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford, England, where I am also Director of the Rotary Peace Centre. I research women’s movement, politics, human rights and criminal justice reform in Brazil especially, and Latin America more generally.

I spent two weeks at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, in Brazil, collaborating with colleagues in anthropology, law and gender studies. I gave classes on refugee rights; delivered seminar papers on my recent book on feminicide and on my research on the roots of human rights abuses in incarceration practices; ran a theatre workshop at a community-run prison; carried out interviews with police elected to political office in the state; and interviewed/accompanied the special domestic violence patrol units, run by the military police and municipal guard.

My current research concerns policing and prevention of feminicide (intimate partner homicide) and the motivations and impacts of police officers running for elected office. I have a long-run research interest in human-rights compliance in the Brazilian prison system.

Join us for a series of webinars focussing on the participants of 2021/22 WTUN Exchange Programme (www.wtu-n.net/exchanges/). In this series, the WTUN has invited colleagues who successfully applied for funding to reflect on their experience of collaboration via the World Technology Universities Network, the impact of this partnership and plans for future research/inter-network collaboration. Speakers will also deliver a short presentation on their current research focus.


With the Military Police’s Maria da Penha domestic violence patrol (left) and with the Municipal Patrols (below). Operational protocol requires that anyone riding in the police car on active service should wear body armour

Overall assessment:

From the perspective of my hosts at UFRN, the reframing of their research in social sciences as ‘social technologies’ was very useful. Juliana Melo mentioned it several times in events, as they had never had a WTUN exchange in the area of social sciences. In some ways this reconceptualization of the social impact of their work in anthropology and law (the two departments I interacted with) constituted both a validation and reframing of their research and how it might be perceived within the academic footprint of the UFRN.

For me personally, as you can see from the above account, the visit was tremendously useful in terms of my research agenda, affording me otherwise inaccessible opportunities for participant observation, and for research in an area of Brazil that is understudied not just by international scholars, but by Brazilian scholars and policy-makers alike.

WTUN Exchange Programme: Speaker Series


Watch the Replay:

Date: Wednesday 12 July 2023

Time: 09.00-10.30 (BST)


Dr. Bakkialakshmi V.S, Research Scholar, Faculty of Computing Sciences, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science

Dr. Tassaneewan Laksansopin, Director, Hatch Student Incubator, King Mongkut’s University of Technology

Dr. Zaid Omar, Associate Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science visits University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria.

‘International Collaboration with HE Institutions – Post Covid’

About the speaker: Dr. Bakkialakshmi. V.S  is currently a research fellow and teaching faculty. Her qualification is M.Sc., M. Phil., M.E., (PhD) in computer science engineering. She has 15+ years of experience in Teaching + Research + Administration. Her research interests are carried in the field of Affective Computing on Emotional Psychology. 10+ publications in the same research area with the following achievements.

King Mongkut’s University of Technology visits York University, Canada.

“The purpose of this exchange was to develop new connections between Hatch, a student incubator
at the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, and Innovation York at York University to
improve our ability to support innovation and entrepreneurial education, particularly in light of the
current global economic situation and the COVID-19 outbreak…This exchange provided an opportunity to learn about the complexities of developing entrepreneurship and business programs and new educational concepts, both at a university and a community level. The meetings and discussions focus on the lesson learned in entrepreneurial education and support services by the university.”

About the speaker:Dr. Tassaneewan Laksanasopin is currently holding three roles as an Assistant to the President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Head of Hatch (KMUTT Student Incubator), and Lecturer in the Biological Engineering Program. With a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University, she brings a unique blend of scientific research and entrepreneurial passion. Driven by her commitment to improving outcomes, she has initiated new courses and activities to promote entrepreneurship education and develop entrepreneurial skills in students. With her expertise and dedication, she actively drives innovation, fosters entrepreneurship, inspires the next generation of change-makers, and supports technology commercialization and spin-offs from university technologies.

Universiti Technologi Malaysia visits the University of Bradford, UK.

“The area of focus (for the exchange visit) was computer vision and image processing, which falls under the broader field of Electronic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence. Throughout the visit, I was exposed to the detailed works of Prof Ugail (bradford.ac.uk/staff/hugail/ his team, and his students at the Centre for Visual Computing. My visit also comprised laboratory visits and research discussions. In particular, we focused our discussion on solving the problem of recognising people’s ethnicity and clothing based on video surveillance footage. My initial aim was to facilitate discussion on collaborative efforts on this topic. The theme of the visit was…geared towards discussing a way forward for long-term collaboration between Prof Ugail’s research team and ours, including establishing communication, quick-win strategies, hot topics in research, and possible funding opportunities.

About the speaker: Dr. Zaid Omar is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Dr Zaid completed his PhD at Imperial College London in 2012, working on image fusion algorithms. Dr Zaid’s primary research interests are in image processing, medical imaging, and artificial intelligence. He was a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Visual Computing at the University of Bradford, UK, and is an associate member of UTM-IJN Cardiovascular Engineering Research Centre. Dr Zaid has vast experience managing research and consultancy grants, and has collaborated closely on various projects including with The National Heart Institute (IJN), Pharmaniaga Berhad and The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). He has published over 40 works in the field and has successfully supervised a number of postgraduate students.


The WTUN presents International Women in Engineering 2023: ‘Make Safety Seen’

The WTUN presents International Women in Engineering 2023 ‘Make Safety Seen’

Watch the replay:

Event:  In celebration and recognition of InWED (www.inwed.org.uk/) This webinar featured prominent speakers from Science and Engineering from WTUN member universities, hosted by colleagues from the University of Bradford. In addition, the WTUN is pleased to confirm it is collaborating with ATU-Net for this event and so will be welcoming colleagues from ATU-Net member universities.

Speakers: We heard from seven speakers across the two-hour session. The programme featured speakers specialising in Architectural, Environmental, Biological, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering from Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & the UK.

Date: Friday 23 June 2023

Time: 11.30-13.30 (BST/GMT+1)

Registration Form: click HERE






Hosted/Chaired by (University of Bradford):

Name and Position: Dr Elaine Brown, Reader / Associate Dean (EDI) https://www.bradford.ac.uk/staff/ebrown/

Dr Elaine Brown is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with a Batchelors degree in Manufacturing Systems with Mechanical Engineering (Bradford) and a PhD in Ultrasonic Monitoring of Polymer Melt Extrusion (Bradford). Her research is focused on ultrasonic technologies and their applications in industrial settings.
Research on in-process measurements looks at applications of ultrasound to measure material and/or process properties in-line during polymer melt extrusion, hot melt extrusion, injection moulding and micromoulding, rotational moulding and on methods of measuring polymer melt temperature. The techniques provide a robust, adaptable and non-invasive in-process measurement. Research into high power applications of ultrasound include ultrasonic polymer injection moulding and pharmaceutical processing. Research into ultrasonic characterisation of solids includes characterisation of composites and advanced materials, and determination of material properties. Her research projects fit across a number of areas including the Centres for Advanced Materials, Micro and Nanotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering Science.

Name and Position: Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe, RKT Business Development Manager https://www.bradford.ac.uk/staff/ctuineabobe/

Cristina has two multi-disciplinary PhDs: one in biomedical engineering and one in semiconductors’ electronics.  She is now based at the University of Bradford in the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics working as Research & Knowledge Transfer Business Development Manager. Her role is to facilitate academics interaction with government and industrial funding bodies, resulting in high quality proposals and projects. Cristina is promoting our mission to provide superior quality education with a high impact on industry, and on the country’s economy, through our ‘make a difference’ alumni cohort.





Name and position: Dr. May Alsaffar, Assistant Professor/Chairperson of the Department of Interior Design, Ahlia University

Title: ‘Towards Safe and Comfortable Built Environments: Human Factors and thoughtful Architecture’

Abstract: Human factors and architecture are both important considerations for ensuring safety in built environments. Human factors refer to the physical, cognitive, and social characteristics of people that influence their behaviour and performance. Architecture, on the other hand, refers to the design of buildings and other physical structures.

When designing buildings or other structures, it is important to consider human factors to ensure that the environment is safe and comfortable for the people who will use it. Architects and designers need to consider factors such as lighting, acoustics, temperature, and ventilation to create an environment that is conducive to productivity and wellbeing. They also need to consider the needs of people with disabilities, such as wheelchair users, and ensure that the building is accessible to them. factors also play a role in the design of safety features in buildings. For example, emergency exits and fire alarms need to be placed in locations that are easily visible and accessible to people in the event of an emergency. Signs and other visual cues need to be designed to be easily understood by people of different ages, cultures, and languages.

In addition to designing buildings with human factors in mind, it is also important to educate people on how to use the built environment safely. This includes providing training on how to use safety features such as fire extinguishers and emergency exits, as well as educating people on how to navigate the building in a safe and efficient manner. Overall, a combination of careful consideration of human factors and thoughtful architectural design can contribute to creating safe and comfortable built environments.

About the Speaker:

Motivated Assistant Professor with 10+ years of experience specializing in Architecture and Interior Design. Strong background in creating insightful course contents and research papers which increased University exposure and helped students’ learning development. Swiftly establishing strong relationships with pupils, increasing class engagement and enjoyment.

Prior to joining Ahlia University, May served as an Architect, interior designer, and urban designer in well-known design firms in Bahrain such as Ahmed Janahi Architects, Jalal Engineering, Apex Green, and AAA homes.

May also has served as a visiting faculty, Kingdom University (BAH), as a researcher at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Germany, and as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the United Arab University during her Ph.D. studies (UAE). She also participated as an external juror for graduation projects and design studios at the University of Bahrain and abroad.

Name and position:Dr. Naruemon Intarat , Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering, Thaksin University 

Title: Human Factors Influencing Women in Engineering

Abstract: “Most females considered engineering to be a male field, hence the low number of female engineering students. Females are underrepresented in engineering cohorts. However, engineering pathways for women are possible. Common influencing factors for female participation in the selection of engineering pathways included parental and teacher influences, self-efficacy, perception and attitude, gender stereotypes, and peer and media influences.
Self-Efficacy, perception, and attitude are important for all humans,  everyone is equal “Do whatever you want to do”.”

About the Speaker: B.Eng. (Mechanical Engineering), M.Eng. (Mechanical Engineering), Doc.Eng. (Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics)

Name and position: Dr Maria Katsikogianni, Assistant Professor in Biomaterials Chemistry, University of Bradford

Title: ‘Harnessing nano-patterning and incorporation of antimicrobials to manufacture orthopaedic trauma implants that resist microbial colonisation ‘

Abstract: “More than 2 million people/year in the UK suffer a bone fracture that is addressed primarily using metal implants. Such implants facilitate microbial colonisation which can lead to medical device associated infections. Antimicrobial strategies can involve modification of the medical device biomaterial surface rendering it less amenable to colonisation. In this respect, the aim of this study was to evaluate the engineering of biomaterial surfaces at the nanoscale, with or without the addition of antimicrobials, for the preparation of orthopaedic trauma implants that prevent microbial colonisation.

Materials and Methods: VICTREX® PEEK with or without glass fibre reinforcement were micro-injection moulded using a Wittman Battenfeld Micropower moulding system and flat or nano-patterned mould inserts. Polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) and 1% or 10% (w/w) triclosan impregnated PDMS were compression moulded on a flat or nano-patterned mould. The moulded components were physicochemically and mechanically characterised. Their non-fouling and antimicrobial performance was assessed against bacterial adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Results and Discussion: Geometric characterisation of the moulded surfaces showed excellent replication of the mould inserts at the nanoscale, with the exception of the 10% triclosan impregnated PDMS. Of note was that 1% triclosan killed all tested bacteria on both flat and patterned surfaces within 1 h. In the case of PDMS without triclosan and PEEK, patterned surfaces reduced bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. Reproducible pattern replication was important for ensuring enhancement of the antimicrobial/non-fouling activity. This combined physical and chemical strategy provides a novel approach to generating non-fouling properties to medical device biomaterials.

Acknowledgments: Professor Ben Whiteside is acknowledged for his collaboration in the area of injection moulding. This work was funded by MeDe Innovation, the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices, under a “Fresh Ideas” Feasibility Study Funding Award.”

About the Speaker: I am an Assistant Professor in Biomaterials Chemistry, at the University of Bradford and I contribute to research and teaching in the areas of materials, materials characterisation, materials interactions with biological environments and microscopy. My research aims at understanding how material properties affect bacterial/cell adhesion, so that we get to prepare materials for a range of applications; medical devices, clinical settings, food packaging, amongst others.

With a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, I am the first female in my family to study Science and to do a PhD and I am proud of the young generation and the opportunities provided to them.

Name and position: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kwanchanok Viravaidya-Pasuwat, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

Title: ‘Transforming Cell-Based Therapy: Utilizing Automated Cell Processing Systems for Enhanced Safety and Efficiency’

Abstract: “Regenerative medicine has emerged as a promising field revolutionizing medical treatments and poised to become a significant contributor to the global economy. The goal of regenerative medicine is to stimulate the body’s repair mechanisms using healthy cells or tissues. Autologous transplantation of stem cells or primary cells represents a widely practiced regenerative medicine therapy. However, manual isolation and culturing of these cells present challenges, including labor-intensive and time-consuming processes, susceptibility to bacterial contamination, limited production capacity and reliance on highly skilled technicians. To address these concerns, automated cell processing systems have been introduced to streamline and standardize cell cultivation. These systems typically employ robot arms within closed, sterile cabinets to handle various cell processing functions.

In light of therapeutic potential, we propose the establishment of a cell manufacturing facility utilizing an automated cell processing system. Our initial focus is on producing autologous chondrocytes and autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells for clinical studies. These studies are essential to evaluate the quality of cells generated using the automated system and assess the efficacy of the cell-based therapies.”

About the Speaker: Dr. Kwanchanok Viravaidya-Pasuwat graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1998. She subsequently pursued her M.S./Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University, where she received a full fellowship and completed her studies in 2004.

Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat joined King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in 2004 as a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. She was promoted to the roles of Assistant Professor in 2008 and Associate Professor in 2013. As one of the pioneering faculty members, she played a vital role in establishing research activities and the curriculum for KMUTT’s Biological Engineering program. From 2013 to 2017, she served as the Director of the Biological Engineering program. Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat’s research endeavors revolve around the development of safer, more cost-effective, and easily accessible cell-based therapies, with a particular emphasis on scaffold-free tissue engineering approaches. Her notable contributions include the successful construction of tissueengineered constructs for the treatment of cartilage defects and severe burn injuries. Furthermore, she and her group are actively engaged in leveraging automated cell processing systems for applications in regenerative medicine.

In recognition of her outstanding research work, she was honored with the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO “For Women in Science 2014” Fellowship. Through her dedication and innovative research, Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat continues to advance the frontiers of regenerative medicine, striving to make significant contributions to the field and enhance the prospects of safer and more accessible cell-based therapies.

Name and position: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Netnapit Tantemsapya, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Engineering, Suranaree University of Technology

Title: Laboratory Safety in Academic & Schools in Thailand; Current status, challenges, and future directions

Abstract: There is a growing awareness on Laboratory Safety in Academic & Schools in Thailand in the past two decades. This talk is about the initiative on establishing Thailand’s university and school laboratory safety system. In addition, the current status, challenges and present future directions to reduce accidents using engineering and administrative controls will be presented.

About the Speaker: Dr. Tantemsapya is an Associate Professor at Suranaree University of Technology. She graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. She then furthered her study at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she received her master’s degree and Ph.D. also in Environmental Engineering and returning to Thailand in 2003 as a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Engineering at Khon Kaen University and moved to Suranaree University of Technology in 2017.

Her work focuses on pollution prevention, wastewater natural treatment, and Hazardous waste management.  Major projects include the fate transport of heavy metals in the environment, water quality modeling, pollution prevention of industries, and designing natural treatment systems. These projects involved collaboration with local/international research institutes and the industrial and governmental sectors.

For ATU-Net:

Name and position:  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norhayati Abdullah, Associate Director, UTM International Kuala Lumpur & Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia

Title:Pivoting Innovative Solutions – Role of Women Wastewater Engineers’

Abstract: Resilience of sewerage systems is of paramount importance considering the impact of untreated wastewater may have on the general health and well-being of human, animals as well as living things. Wastewater treatment and engineering is a field seldom treaded by women however the contributions of women wastewater engineers and academics are undeniably significant in transforming the water and wastewater sectors globally. Let’s have a look on the roles of women wastewater engineers on pivoting innovative solutions in #makesafety seen in wastewater engineering.

About the Speaker: Norhayati Abdullah is currently the Associate Director of UTM International Kuala Lumpur and Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). She completed her tenure as a Guest Scholar at the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability (Shishu-kan), Kyoto University, Japan. Norhayati is recipient of the 2019/2020 ASEAN Science and Technology Fellowship focusing on the strategic recommendations for water  sector transformation under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. Norhayati represented UTM and Malaysia at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor for the Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiatives in 2016-2017.

In 2018, she received the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship. She was Board of Director of the International Water Association (IWA) from 2014-2018, an IWA Fellow and Council Member of the Malaysian Water Association (MWA). At global level, Norhayati has been actively involved with the IWA program and activities since 2000. She received the IWA Young Water Professional (IWAYWP) Award in 2012 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in wastewater research and active involvement in various Professional development programs.

Norhayati is a certified openwater diver, loves reading and indulge herself in outdoor activities.

Name and position: Professor Mahendrawathi , Professor and Head of Enterprise Systems Laboratory, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia

Title:The Key Role of People and Process in Ensuring Workplace Safety and Security.’

Abstract: “Workplace safety and security are two important aspects that need to be attended to. Particularly, in today’s world where technology is pervasive in every aspect of human life. In one way, technology such as robotics, information and communication technology, and artificial intelligence, offers ample opportunity to help humans in conducting their day-to-day activities. On the other hand, it also creates a lot of challenges. While such technology has improved in unprecedented ways, the role of people and processes remains key. 

In this talk, I will focus on the use of Information and Communication Technology in particular social media as it plays a big role in my country. Social media in various forms such as Social Networking Sites, Image-based sites, Video sharing/streaming platforms, Discussion forums, and Blogs and community platforms has grown tremendously. Such social media not only helps people to get connected but also helps them to do their tasks on an individual level and to perform their roles at the workplace. WhatsApp for example, has been used by many employers to discuss work-related issues. However, many individuals are unaware of the safety and security measures that they must follow. This includes personal and privacy protection. For example, what is safe to share over social media? How to ensure that your data is protected? These measures must be embedded in the people. The employer also needs to ensure that the process that the employee must perform meet the safety and security standards. “

About the Speaker:

Mahendrawathi ER is a Professor in Business Process Management and the Head of the Enterprise Systems Laboratory in the Information Systems Department, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia. She received her Ph.D. from Nottingham University, United Kingdom, in 2004. Her teaching and research interests are in Business Process Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Supply Chain Management. She has written books in all three areas. Her research has been published in various academic journals. She is passionate to apply her process-oriented skills to help individuals, organizations, and society achieve their goals.


‘Construction of 3D biological morphologies: Application in the Life Sciences’ -Wednesday 24 May

‘Construction of 3D biological morphologies: Application in the Life Sciences’

Date: Wednesday 24 May 2023

Time: 11.00-12.00 (BST)/12.00-13.00 (CEST)

Speaker: Professor Dr. Andreas Schober, TU Ilmenau

Registration Link: Closed


The fusion of classical engineering methods like micro system technology with life sciences like tissue engineering, advanced cell culturing and molecular biology promises the development of a “toolbox” (which one might call “biolithomorphie”) for modelling real biological systems. Such an approach of nanobiosystem research is dedicated to the examination and reproduction of biological systems under the aspect of “biotechnical multiscale engineering”. By this we mean a systems biology view that considers that, for example, macroscopic biological systems also represent a synthesis of functional nano- and microelements. For the systems approach and the associated post-modelling, it must therefore be taken into account that both the smallest functional elements and the next higher units are necessary for the function of biological systems. Both the geometric dimensions and the hierarchical, respectively compartmentalized links and organisational principles play a role here.

The kernel of such a research program is the designing of 3D structure for artificial cellular substrate and systems. First, micro fluidic devices for advanced cell cultivation and their capability to provide original three-dimensional biological microfluidic environments have to be designed. Second, is the construction of 3D scaffolds using advance polymeric materials by different means of fabrication techniques. Among them are the methods for micro machining of polymeric cell supports, organ printing methods, chemical pattern guided cell cultivation and the design of 3D structures by irradiation induced polymerization of artificial polymers. Research of such methods aims for the construction of technical systems which are closely mimicking the real biological environment. In this talk we review the representative developments in this research field and the fusion of the different disciplines with potential for new applications in the life sciences e.g. stem cell research.

#Nanosystemintegration #3DCellCultivation #OligocellularCellSystems #StructuringOfPolymers #Microfluidics #Bioreactors #Biolithomorphy.

About the speaker:

Professor and Head of Department Nano-Biosytems-Technology of TU Imenau, Professor Andreas Schober research interest is focused in the last years on biological systems and their emulation within the frameworks of Biotechnical Multi-scale Engineering (BME). The term BME stands for the extraction of all these basic physical scales and functional principles in a biological system, ranging from the sub-nanometer distances between lipids in a bilayer and the micron diameters of capillaries to the macroscopic dimensions and functionality of whole organs. Together these components form the 3D environment which is to be artificially created. Applications of BME range from the Life Sciences to Medical and Biotechnology.

Selected publications:

1. Mai, P, Schober, A., et al. , MatriGrid Technology Bioengineering 2022, 9(5), 220

2. Marx-Blümel, L., Marx, C., Sonnemann, J., Schober et al. Sci Rep 11, 21163 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00619-6

3. Marx-Blümel, Schober, et al. Biomimetic reconstruction of the hematopoietic stem cell niche cells. – In: PLOS ONE. – : PLOS, ISSN 1932-6203, 15 (2020), 6, e0234638, Seite 1-17 ttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234638

4. Borowiec, J; Schober, A et al. 3D Microcontact Printing for Combined Chemical and Topographical Patterning on Porous Cell Culture Membrane June 2018ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10(26) DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b06585

5. Bingel, C; Schober, A.; Witt, O.; Oehme, I. Three-dimensional tumor cell growth – In: Cell death & disease, ISSN 2041-4889, Bd. 8 (2017), (24. Aug.), e3013, insges. 16 S. https://doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2017.398

6. Baca, M.; Schober, A. et al. Microbial electrochemical systems – In: Advanced energy materials, ISSN 1614-6840, Bd. 6 (2016), 23, 1600690, insges. 10 S. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aenm.201600690

7. M. Gebinoga, Th. Klar, A. Schober, et al., Eng. Life Sci. 2013, 368-375

8. Fernekorn U., , A. Schober, et al., RSC Advances, 2013, 16558 – 16568, DOI:10.1039/C3RA42358A.

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Prescriptive Analytics and Industrial AI: Only those who know the past and understand the present can shape the future – Thursday 16 March

Watch the replay:


Artificial intelligence has been used for decades – sometimes more, sometimes less prominently – as an umbrella term for a variety of underlying methods and approaches. Especially in recent years, we observe an increasing importance and impact of AI technologies in many areas of life due to the amount of available data in terms of quantity and quality in combination with the increasing performance of parallel computer systems has led to a stronger focus on these technologies – especially in the area of machine learning. A discipline that builds on this and is particularly relevant for industrialized regions is prescriptive analytics.

Prescriptive analytics is a cross-sectional topic in a cross-sectional discipline or, in other words, a synergetic hybridization of various methods and algorithms from statistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics and operations research. Its aim is to provide optimized recommendations for action in various application areas. In this way, knowledge gained in the digital world is brought back to the real world, providing better and more efficient procedures, designs and processes.

About the speaker:
Michael Affenzeller is professor for heuristic optimization and machine learning at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. He graduated in mathematical computer science and did his doctorate and habilitation in computer science with a special focus on applied systems science.

Concerning University administration Michael Affenzeller served as vice-dean for R&D at Hagenberg campus and as the scientific head of the Softwarepark Hagenberg between 2014 and 2022. Since July 2022 he serves as provost of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers in journals and collective volumes.
Bringing together machine learning, simulation-based optimization and meta-heuristics with a special focus on adaptive search in dynamic environments in the context of prescriptive analytics is Michael Affenzellers research focus for the next years.


Photograph of a white man wearing a black suit jacket, white shirt and blue and white striped tieProfessor Peter Scharff, Chair of the World Technology Universities Network, Professor and former Rector of TU Ilmenau will introduce this lecture.






university of applied sciences upper austria



The World Technology Universities Network in collaboration with Asia Technological University Network (ATU-Net) for ATU-Net World Engineering Day 2023

Held live – Monday 6 March 2023 08:00 – 09:30 (UTC)/16:00 – 17:30 (UTC+8)

Hosted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), ATU-Net WED 2023 highlights the theme “Celebrating Engineers: Towards Sustainable Innovation in Engineering”, which will feature a sharing session by prominent speakers of member universities from both Networks.

Details of the programme are as follows:

Date: 6 March 2023 (Monday)
Time: 16:00 – 17:30 (UTC+8) / 08:00 – 09:30 (UTC+0)
Mode: Virtual on Zoom and Facebook Live (ATU-Net)
Fee: Free of Charge
Registration Link: https://forms.gle/T43XYNwxjCDPE5PR9
Registration Deadline: 3rd March 2023 (Friday)
Website: https://atunet.org/atunetwed2023/

ATU-Net WED 2023 is designed in conjunction with the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development which is celebrated every 4th March beginning in 2020, proclaimed by UNESCO at its 40th General Conference in 2019. As an international alliance which focuses on Engineering and Technology, ATU-Net takes pride in recognising and honouring the valuable contribution of all excellent engineers of ATU-Net member institutions and beyond in advocating sustainable innovation in engineering for our next generation.

Participants of this event will be provided with an e-certificate at the end of the programme.


To view the details of previous WTUN led webinars, visit here.

© World Technology Universities Network 2023