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Curtin University of Technology
Media Releases 2012

Meeting the demand for electrical power engineers

There is hardly any aspect of modern civilisation that is not dependent on electrical energy. We use it for heating, cooling, lighting, transportation, manufacturing and processing, to name a few areas of application.

Electrical power engineering considers these applications of electrical energy, together with its generation, transmission and distribution, and the harnessing of sources of renewable and sustainable energy for power generation.

It is a huge industry all over the world as well as in Malaysia, where the development of new power sources such as hydroelectric dams to power the country’s rapid industrialisation has created considerable demand for expertise in the field.

Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), Curtin’s largest international campus located in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia, is well placed to meet this demand with the Electrical Power Engineering major under its Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) programme.

Identical in all aspects to the Electrical Power Engineering major offered at Curtin’s main campus in Australia and popular with both local and international students, the well-designed and fully accredited course is relevant to industry with theory, computer simulation and practical components.

The degree has been accredited by Engineers Australia (EAust) and graduates of the course fulfill the stage one competencies required by EAust as the pathway to chartered-engineer status (CPEng).

In Malaysia, it is recognised by the Malaysian Government through the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Public Services Department, and through the Washington Accord, to which both Australia and Malaysia are signatories, the qualification is recognised by participating nations such as Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Canada and New Zealand.

Furthermore, Curtin degrees are awarded under the Australian Qualifications Framework, a single nationwide system designed to ensure qualifications are recognised and accepted throughout the world.

As a result, graduates can look forward to excellent employment opportunities both nationally and internationally. They can expect to find employment with electricity supply authorities, machine manufacturers and other large-scale users of electrical energy such as mining companies.

The course requires four years of full-time study, beginning with a common first year for all its engineering students designed to build their range of basic science skills and knowledge, with particular emphasis on physics, chemistry and mathematics.

They then undertake a year of study in common with those in Computer Systems and Electronic and Communication Engineering, and have the flexibility to change between these courses until the beginning of third year.

Thereafter, they will study applications of electrical energy, together with its generation, transmission and distribution, as well as the harnessing of sources of renewable and sustainable energy. They also examine a new field in electrical power engineering - the application of electronics to large power devices.

They will learn from teaching staff of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science, many of whom have extensive industrial experience and strong links with national and international engineering institutes and professional bodies, as well industry professionals through guest lectures, site visits and industrial training stints.

In the course of their study, they will use ETAP Enterprise Solution Electrical Software tools in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Power Laboratory, giving them the opportunity to develop real-world skills using the best cutting-edge power analysis software tools.

At the end of the four years, graduates are able to apply the knowledge and principles of electrical power engineering and use appropriate technology for a variety of applications, as well as recognise international and national issues regarding electrical power engineering and work within industry and professional standards.

In addition, they would have developed critical and creative thinking skills to help them solve problems and communicate solutions in an effective manner, and be geared to practice lifelong learning by learning new technologies and contributing to the advancement of the electrical power engineering field.

Before graduating, students are required to obtain 12 weeks engineering work experience and a senior first aid certificate. Honours are awarded to graduates based upon their performance during the four years of the course.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a good balance of theoretical background and practical experiences throughout the duration of students’ course of study. It places considerable emphasis on giving students the practical skills necessary to begin effective professional practice immediately on graduation as well as the understanding necessary to keep up with developments in technologies used by professional engineers.

Teaching staff present the units of the course in a way which emphasises the significance of the academic material to applications in engineering design and operations. Project and research work is conducted in association with industry and ranges in scope from fundamental studies to topics directed at development of processes or plant.

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the university, applicants to the course should have completed physics and mathematics, including calculus in secondary school. Students with a diploma or equivalent in electrical engineering will be granted exemption from certain units of the course.

Curtin Sarawak opened its doors in 1999 following an invitation from the Sarawak State Government to Curtin University to establish its first international campus in Miri in the north of the state. It has one of the most modern university campuses in Southeast Asia, where stylish buildings based on the architectural style of Curtin’s main campus in Perth complement world-class, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

It is a popular choice for both Malaysian and international students from over 40 countries because of its international outlook, innovative courses, world-class teaching facilities, flexible study options, applied and practical subjects, used of advanced technology, and partnerships with industry and government. The relatively lower tuition fees and living costs compared to undergoing the same courses at the main campus is also a big draw. In a nutshell, students get a quality Australian education and global learning experience in a unique Malaysian setting, and at Malaysian prices.

Further information on Curtin Sarawak can be obtained from its website at www.curtin.edu.my. Alternatively, one can contact its Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443939 or via e-mail to enquiries@curtin.edu.my for more details. Curtin Sarawak can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia.