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Two Curtin Sarawak academics recognised for research excellence and scholarship


Miri – 2 November, 2009 – Two Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) academics were recently presented awards for outstanding achievement in Curtin University’s Research Performance Index (RPI) Round 2009.


Dr. Jayakumar Muthuramalingam, Senior Lecturer in Civil and Construction Engineering of the School of Engineering and Science, received the Award for Highest RPI Points for Early Career Researcher for Publications. Lecturer in Marketing and Management Lew Tek Yew of the School of Business, meanwhile, won the Award for Highest RPI Points by Faculty for Publications.


The RPI is an initiative run annually by Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia, to reward researchers at all its regional and international campuses for research excellence and scholarship.


The RPI scheme allocates funds based on performance inputs such as external research grants obtained, and outputs such as publications and successful postgraduate research supervision in the preceding year.


It is open to researchers who have made a quantifiable research contribution as part of an RPI Group. This year, a total of 108 groups participated. All groups wishing to participate must first register with Curtin’s Office of Research and Development, and then upload their publications onto SCRIPT, an information management system that manages Curtin’s consultancy and publication activities and reports on research grant activity, for evaluation throughout the year.


Curtin Sarawak as a group achieved an impressive 6,148 points in the 2009 Round of the RPI, marking a 55% growth from 3,964 points in the 2008 Round.


In congratulating Dr. Jayakumar and Lew for their efforts in achieving this fine result, Dean of Research and Development Dr. Kaniraj Shenbaga said, “Scoring highly in the RPI is not an easy task. There are stringent requirements to adhere to. I look forward to receiving the continued support of our academics involved in research towards our annual RPI standing, and towards the overall success of Curtin Sarawak's research and development.”


Dr. Jayakumar and Lew received their awards at the recent Researcher Forum held at Curtin’s main Bentley Campus in Perth, Western Australia.


Dr. Jayakumar‘s research interests include construction engineering and management, assessment of wave loads and structural response of offshore structures, design and construction of offshore concrete platforms and bridges, stabilisation of sub grade and construction of roads in soft soil regions, and supervised research theses and projects. In addition, he has to his credit a long list of publications on all these subjects dating from 2003 to the present.


Lew’s research interests meanwhile lie in human resource management (HRM) practices, services marketing, job satisfaction, organisational commitment, perceived organisational support (POS) and employer-employee relationships. He, too, has produced a large volume of publications including book chapters, refereed journals and conference proceedings, at the national and international levels.


His publications have covered subjects such as urban tourism marketing, the relationships between HRM practices, POS, affective organisational commitment and turnover intention; transformational leadership amongst enterprises in Miri, antecedents of needs and job satisfaction among bank employees, managing expectations and perceptions of service quality among local and international students in an offshore branch campus of an Australian university, enhancing Miri's image as a new tourist destination through the media, and adoption of deep learning approaches by students pursuing higher education in Sarawak.


At Curtin Sarawak, he teaches management and marketing related subjects, including Principles of Management, Organisational Behaviour, Human Resource Management, Marketing of Services, Consumer Behaviour and others. Prior to joining Curtin Sarawak, he was engaged in the banking industry, dealing in commercial credit processing and evaluation, management and marketing of financial services.


 “I am delighted to receive this prestigious and meaningful award from Curtin because the award shows that Curtin recognises exceptional research performance and significant research contributions by academic staff. Moreover, this achievement is also another milestone for the 10th anniversary celebration for Curtin Sarawak. This strategic initiative will definitely motivate more academic staff to excel in research and contribute towards the success of Curtin’s reputation of producing quality research and enhancing research capability,” said Lew.    


Two other Curtin Sarawak academics received similar awards in the inaugural RPI Round 2008. They were Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Business Information Systems Dr. Junaid M. Shaikh and Lecturer, R&D Coordinator and Postgraduate (Higher Degree by Research) Coordinator of the Curtin Sarawak School of Business, Goi Chai Lee.


Dr. Jayakumar Muthuramalingam, winner of Award for

Highest RPI Points for Early Career Researcher for Publications.


Lew Tek Yew, winner Award for Highest RPI Points by

Faculty for Publications.