Three UPM Lecturers Win National Academic Awards 2011 & 2012 | Universiti Putra Malaysia
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Three UPM lecturers win National Academic Awards 2011 & 2012

By Syifarida Muhamad Zaki
Photo by Marina Ismail

From left: Prof. Dr. Mohd Adzir Mahdi, Prof. Dr. Mohd Hair bin Bejo, Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj. Ramlan and Dr. Joanne Yeoh Pei Sze

Putrajaya, 21 Aug (UPM)  -  Universiti Putra Malaysia grabbed three awards at the National Academic Award (AAN) 2011 & 2012 presented by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muyiddin Yassin at the Hotel Marriott, Putrajaya, last night.

The annual award by the Education Ministry was the highest recognition accorded by the government to academicians from the Public and Private  Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTA and IPTS) who had made significant and excellent contributions in their respective fields toward the growth of education and national development.

The UPM lecturers are:

* Prof. Dr. Mohd Hair bin Bejo, Dean of the Veterinary Medicine Faculty  (Innovation and Product Commercialization Award);  

* Prof. Dr. Mohd Adzir Mahdi, Deputy Dean Research and Post Graduate Studies of the Engineering Faculty (Promising Academician Award), and

* Dr. Joanne Yeoh Pei Sze, Head of the Music Department of the Human Ecology Faculty  (Artistic and Creativity – Performing Art Group Award).

Lauded at the same ceremony was the former Dean of UPM’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,  Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Abdul Latif Ibrahim, who is  one of the three top recipients of the AAN 2011 & 2012, namely the National Eminent Academic Personality Award 2012.

UPM had conferred him the status of Professor Emeritus on his retirement for his achievements during his 10-year tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UPM which had gained recognition at the international level in the field of veterinary science study in Malaysia as well as his research works in developing the Chicken Plague Vaccine.

Prof Emeritus Latif who is presently attached to the Universiti Industri Selangor,  received a cash prize of RM200,000, a trophy and certificate.

Seven awards were offered for the AAN 2011 & 2012, namely the National Eminent Academic Personality Award, Journal Papers Publication Award, Book Publication Award, Product Innovation and Commercialization Award, Artistic and Creativity Award, Teaching Award and the Promising Academician Award.

Dr. Joanne Yeoh Pei Sze, Head of the Musical Department of the Human Ecology Faculty, UPM  was selected as the winner of the Artistic and Creativity (Performing Arts Group) Award 2012 .

She is a renowned solo violinist who incorporated innovative and traditional elements in the music played and is a pioneer academician in the field of contemporary instrumental music.

Her performance at the ceremony mesmerized the audience, as her rendition of  her Mathias Thir 1775 violin virtuoso underlined her placing as a world-class musician.

Dr Yeoh when asked for her comments after the function said:

“I'm grateful that AAN recognises the performing arts industry as an academic field. This award represents the achievements of my fellow musicians who have come before me to make pathways for music education in higher institutions.

“Finally I hope too that this acknowledgment given by AAN would be an encouragement to all musicians in Malaysia to pursue music to an even higher level.”                                                                                                       


In the case of Prof. Dr. Mohd Hair bin Bejo, who received the recognition for being committed and active in teaching, research and professional services, had frequently been appointed as PhD and Masters thesis examiner as well as for research project evaluation. He had also headed 12 research projects, participated in 20 projects as members and actively involved in 10 other projects with the industry.

The product he had successfully commercialized in September 2005, the MyVAC UPM93 IBD Vaccine had been marketed and won two awards, namely the UPM Excellent Research Award 2005 and the Innovative Research With the Public Sector and Private Sector Award 2008.

Five of his other products namely three ELISA and two Vaccine kits are now in the discussion stage with partners in the industry for commercialization and another new research project, TechnoFund  worth RM2 million was being developed for commercialization, namely Novel ECA Products.

Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Mohd Adzir Mahdi had shown encouraging achievement that enabled him to be appointed as a Professor in UPM at the young age of 36.

His expertise in the field of photonics led to his selection as an article examiner by 13 ISI journals. He was also awarded two patents, while seven of his ideas had been filed. More importantly, one of the products developed, the Band Optical Amplifier , had been used by two American optic networks.

Each of the three winners took home RM50,000, a trophy and a certificate.

Prof Adzir when asked for his comments said:

“This effort by the MOE to enhance academic excellence by conferring this prestigious awards on academicians is a noble one and should be continued as long as possible.

“As a recipient, this award is a catalyst to me and my colleagues  to continue serving the people and nation.”                                                               

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Dato’ Hj. Muhyiddin Hj.Mohd Yassin  said Malaysia's future depended on efforts to provide outstanding human capital churned out by institutions of higher learning.

“AAN appears to be capable  of elevating the integrity of the academia and subsequently becoming a role model and creating a healthy competition to achieve the status of a developed nation with high income.

“The objective of this award is in line with the role of the higher education sector as a major contributor that mobilizes government transformation and generates the national economy to support the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP),” he said.

The seventh edition of the AAN 2011 & 2012 Award presentation, which had been raised to seven categories compared with six AAN categories offered for competition previously, is seen as capable of developing a talent pool and to preserve talent to develop national human capital and highlight the role of academicians to the public. -- UPM

- smz/ao/kgo

Date of Input: | Updated: | amir_peli


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