Civil Engineering Camp an eye-opener for engineering students

Miri – 27 April 2010 – The Civil and Construction Engineering Department of the School of Engineering and Science at Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) and the Curtin Civil Society (CCS), a society of civil engineering students at the university, held a highly successful second annual Civil Engineering Camp recently.

The 2-day Civil Engineering Camp 2010 saw the participation of 68 first- and second-year civil and construction engineering students as well as students from other engineering disciplines. Assisting the academic staff in facilitating the camp were 14 student volunteers from the CCS.

The main objective of the camp was to enhance the understanding and knowledge of civil engineering among the participants, at the same time providing them an opportunity to observe the practical aspects of civil and construction engineering.

Practical and integrated activities designed to enhance the participants’ achievement of Curtin’s graduate attributes and employability skills were also conducted.

All the activities on the first day were conducted on the Curtin Sarawak campus. They included a talk on ‘The World of Civil Engineering’ by the chairman of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Miri Branch, Ir. Peter Ting Kang Ngii, during which he shared his vast experience as a civil engineer.

This was followed by a challenging ‘Build and Break’ competition coordinated by civil and construction engineering lecturer Brabha Hari Nagaratnam, which required the participants to build structural models using raw materials provided within a set time.

The second day’s events began with a ‘Civil Hunt’ held at Taman Awam on Airport Road coordinated by Ir. Ahmad Tamby Kadir and Marina Patrick, in which they were required to apply their engineering knowledge and critical thinking skills to complete ten activities in a given time.

Later in the day, they visited a construction site at Taman Bayshore where they observed work in progress and learned about some of the practical aspects of civil engineering.

According to Dr. Jayakumar Muthuramalingam who coordinated the visit, Curtin Sarawak’s civil and construction engineering students go on similar site visits throughout their course to gain a practical perspective and understanding of civil engineering in action.

At the close of the camp, all participants were given certificates of attendance, and winners of the games and activities also received attractive prizes.

Kevin Choo, one of the participants, said the camp was a lot of fun and that he looks forward to participating in similar activities throughout the course of his studies at Curtin Sarawak.

CCS president Jong Shin Ning also gave the camp the thumbs up, describing it as a great opportunity for students to relate what they learn in the classroom to actual situations in the outside world.

“I’m glad for the first-hand experiences in civil and construction engineering during the camp. Everything we have learned just came to life and they really helped us understand the classroom instruction and theories a whole lot better,” said Jong.

Head of the Civil and Construction Engineering Department, Associate Professor Dr. Lau Hieng Ho, thanked all the students and staff involved in the camp, which he hailed as a resounding success, and expressed hopes of an even more successful camp next year.

Dr. Lau also encouraged those interested to pursue a higher education in engineering to consider Curtin Sarawak’s Civil and Construction Engineering programme, which is an excellent blend of fundamentals of civil and construction engineering combined with practical skills that are essential to begin effective professional practice immediately on graduation. Furthermore, he said the programme is accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and Engineers Australia, which gives graduates an added advantage when seeking jobs later.

According to Dr. Lau, career opportunities abound for graduates as there is considerable demand for civil and construction expertise both in Malaysia and internationally, particularly from consulting engineers, large contractors, specialist sub-contractors and government authorities.

For more information on the Civil and Construction Engineering programme, e-mail Dr. Lau at, or contact the university’s Student Recruitment Department by calling +60 85 443939 or e-mailing Alternatively, one can visit Curtin Sarawak’s website at

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