Curtin students look at how Long Lama bridge is being built firsthand

Curtin students and staff with PPK staff at the bridge construction site.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Dec 18: The Curtin Highway Infrastructure Research and Innovation Hub at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently hosted a technical talk on the construction of the bridge over Batang Baram in Long Lama, in collaboration with the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM), Miri Branch.

The talk was attended by students and staff of the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Science as well as members of IEM Miri.

Delivering the talk was Sam Yii Hock Wong, a senior project manager with Pekerjaan Piasau Konkerit Sdn Bhd (PPK), the main contractor for the construction of the bridge, who is an experienced and qualified professional engineer with about 20 years of experience in road and bridge construction works.

The bridge project is fully funded by the Sarawak government at a cost of about RM67 million and is expected to be open to the public in April next year.


Yii elaborated on the overall works involved in the construction of the balanced cantilever bridge, from the foundation to the construction of the piers and bridge deck. He highlighted the various methods of construction, including the post-tensioning, that are specific to bridge deck construction as well as problems faced during construction and the solutions used to overcome them.

While all the students were appreciative of the opportunity to be able to connect what they have learned in their course to actual industry practice, final-year students who attended, in particular, remarked that the talk was particularly relevant to their final-year design project unit.

As part of their Bachelor of Engineering in Civil and Construction Engineering course, final-year students are required to complete a design project from design to construction and project management.

Yii also hosted a site visit to the bridge project site the following day. They got to view first-hand how a balanced cantilever bridge is constructed, gaining valuable insights as Yii pointed out the travelling formwork used in constructing the bridge deck and how post-tensioning works are carried out on site.

Meanwhile, Department of Civil and Construction Engineering head Associate Professor Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman commented that at Curtin Malaysia, undergraduate students were given ample opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom.

He said special lectures by invited speakers and field trips were organised every semester to help students connect their studies with actual industrial applications.

“With the additional exposure, undergraduates pick up further knowledge and skills, enhancing their marketability upon graduation,” he said.

The four-year Curtin Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) course in Civil and Construction Engineering at Curtin Malaysia is identical to that offered at its parent campus in Western Australia.

The professional and practically-oriented course is professionally accredited by Engineers Australia and the Board of Engineers Malaysia. And by virtue of Australia and Malaysia being signatories of the Washington Accord, the qualification is recognised in over 20 countries worldwide.

A comprehensive combination of civil engineering and construction engineering, the course has extensive support and collaboration from industry players and is highly prized by graduates and respected by professional engineers.

The quality of Curtin University’s courses is assured through its strong rankings in the global university rankings. The university is currently ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2018.

It is also ranked in 27 out of 48 subjects globally in the 2018 QS World University Ranking by subject, including two subjects in the Top 50 and eight in the Top 100 worldwide. They include Top 100 for Civil & Structural Engineering.

Furthermore, Curtin is recognised for global excellence in five broad subject areas, including being ranked as number 152 worldwide for Engineering and Technology. — DayakDaily