Recipients of the Outstanding Scholar Award 2016 - Assoc Prof Dr Lai Weng Kin (Leftmost) and Ms Chia Meow Lin (Rightmost) proudly displaying their certificates with Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok (Centre).
In its effort to encourage excellence in scholarship among the academic staff, TAR UC awarded two outstanding faculty members, namely Assoc Prof Dr Lai Weng Kin and Ms Chia Meow Lin, the Outstanding Scholar Award on 8 September 2017, for their noteworthy performance in 2016. Assoc Prof Dr Lai, from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering (‘FOEN’), was awarded the Outstanding Research Achievement Award whereas Ms Chia, from the Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Applied Sciences (‘FOAS’), was awarded the Outstanding Lecturer Award.
The Outstanding Research Achievement Award is awarded to TAR UC academic staff who has been awarded by renowned national and international research body for his/her scholarly work. The Outstanding Lecturer Award is awarded to TAR UC academic staff who has been consistently producing excellent students’ academic examination result.
“I was pleasantly surprised and at the same time honoured when I received the letter confirming that I was the recipient of this award,” said Assoc Prof Dr Lai who has been teaching at TAR UC since September 2011. “TAR UC’s support and encouragement to the academic staff to undertake research has been instrumental in many of my research accomplishments”. He also took the opportunity to thank his colleagues and peers for their continuous support.
Having been involved in research work since his postgraduate days, Assoc Prof Dr Lai has always been fascinated by how modern technology can help society and mankind thus developing his interest in machine intelligence. An accomplished researcher, he was awarded the Special Meritorious Award by the Asia Pacific Neural Network Assembly (‘APNNA’) in November 2016 for his contributions towards promoting Neural Network research in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also the first in TAR UC to file a patent with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (‘MyIPO’) on “A Particle Characterization Method in Enhancing the Mechanical Stability Test for Natural Rubber Latex Concentrate”.
Another recipient of the inaugural award was Ms Chia who has been serving in TAR UC for 21 years.
“I was surprised when I found out that I had won this award because I didn’t know that I had been nominated,” said Ms Chia. “I was aware of this award but I never really thought much about it because I think that with or without the award, all of us are very committed to our jobs.”
When asked what goes into the making of a good lecturer, she shared that it is a combination of knowledge content, commitment, dedication and care towards students. “Everybody has his/her own approach and there is no “best method” so to speak because every student is different. For a different cohort of students, you would probably have to use different methods. For me I am still trying to improve. Maybe my approach would be to help them feel interested,” she remarked.
The duo were presented certificates acknowledging their accomplishment by Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok, President of TAR UC.