Professor Carlos A Brebbia, Director of Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT), recently visited the Technical University of Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Bahru to discuss possible collaboration with different authorities and colleagues. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Datu Ir. Dr.Zaini Ujang, described his overall strategy and aim of making UTM a major research university and increasing its international presence. Professor Brebbia commented that WIT is a research and development institution with strong links with industry, all qualities that can help, in a modest way, UTM to reach its goals.
During his visit, Professor Brebbia met with several Heads of Division and Faculties, including that of Civil Engineering and the Environmental Engineering Institute where he gave a talk on the research carried out at Ashurst Lodge on the modelling of different problems related to air and water pollution as well as soil contamination, radiation from electrical sources and others.
A particularly interesting application for the region was the description of plate tectonic movements, carried out by the Damage Mechanics Division at WIT. This work, based on the World Stress database, can be useful to locate critical parts of the earthquake and consequent Tsunamis. Preliminary results have been obtained to explain the location of the epicentre in the case of the 2004 Sumatra Tsunami and the subsequent earthquake a few months later. These studies could have important applications in Malaysia and the surrounding region in view of the instability in the local plates and in particular the Sundra trench.
Professor Brebbia also commented on the significant advances made in boundary elements for the simulation of fracture mechanics problems and in particular crack propagation. He pointed out that some of the work was initiated by Professor Abdul Latif Saleh who is now Head of the Structural Group at UTM and obtained a PhD at WIT more than ten years ago. Abdul Latif’s thesis was a milestone in this work and because of that, has been published in book form by WIT Press.
Professor Brebbia finished his talk by describing the new facilities at WIT at the Ashurst Lodge Campus. The accommodation is now second to none with the added advantage of the Institute being located in the New Forest National Park, an area of outstanding beauty.
During his visit, Professor Brebbia held numerous discussions with members of UTM staff and many PhD students.
The visit was most successful and it is hoped that it will lead to further collaboration between the two institutions, the Technical University of Malaysia and the Wessex Institute of Technology.