Interview with Dr. Mushtak Al-Atabi
GEDC: What are some of the leading cutting edge research projects in engineering that Taylor's University has undertaken recently?
Mushtak Al-Atabi: Taylor's School of Engineering has embarked on an ambitious project to align its research and academic efforts towards the Grand Challenges for Engineering. The academic staff and research students are organised in 7 main research groups that conduct research activities which are clearly aligned to the Grand Challenges for Engineering identified by the National Academy for Engineering.
The main objective of our institution is to expose "its engineering students to some of the world’s real challenges, SOE aspires to provide a strategic platform to enhance students’ learning process through academic-industry-community collaborations as well as to promote a culture of research among the future engineers. Meeting all those challenges will not only make the world a more technologically advanced and connected place, but also create a more sustainable, safe, healthy, and joyous — in other words, better — living environment for the generations to come."
More information is available at: http://www.taylors.edu.my/en/university/schools/engineering/research
GEDC: Can you describe some of the initiatives at Taylor's focused towards attracting and educating more woman Engineers?
MA: We have decided that the best way to attract women into engineering is employ and support women academic staff. Currently 2 of the 3 heads of departments that we have are women. This is a more organic approach to educating the society that career in engineering (including research and academic leadership) are suitable for women.
GEDC: What are some practices that educate engineers with global knowledge and technical skills at your university?
MA: Taylor's School of Engineering have identified Project Based Learning as a strategic approach to educate engineers who are ready to make a positive difference upon graduation. The School is a member of the CDIO international initiative. The school is a powerhouse for educational technology and curriculum innovations. We developed the first MOOCs in Malaysia and utilised iBooks and iPads to deliver entire courses. Undergraduate research is an area of focus as well and it is aimed at equipping engineers with the necessary skills to excel in an ever changing world. Presenting a conference paper is a requirement for graduation and the School is organising the annual EURECA conference to enable the students to present their research work. A link to the conference website is shown here: http://www.taylors.edu.my/EURECA/2013/
GEDC: Taylor's has actively pursued an educational practice focused on project based learning, can you provide some concrete examples?
MA: Our Brand Promise is very simple, the students will work on a major project in each and every semester of their study, starting with the first semester. Our most successful project is the TRT (Taylor's Racing Team). More information is available at: http://www.taylorsracingteam.com
GEDC: Your research is focused on thermofluids and renewable engineering, what is the impact and contribution of your university in these two fields of study at a national and international level?
MA: We have worked on fluid challenges in a diverse areas such as biological flows, mixing and energy storage. We have collaborated with the university of Birmingham (UK) on joint research projects related to surgical repair of mitral valves of the heart and the use of air liquefaction to store energy.
GEDC: What are some international partnerships that have taken place at Taylor's?
MA: Taylor's believes in reaching out to the global community. Currently we have a number of successful partnerships around the world. More details at
Mushtak Al-Atabi is a Mechanical Engineer by training. He earned his first degree and masters degree from the University of Baghdad and PhD from the University of Sheffield. Currently he is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Dean of School of Engineering at Taylor's University (Malaysia). He is also fellow of the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers).
Prof. Al - Atabi's Research Fields are: Thermofluids; Renewable Engineering; Biomechanical Engineering; Engineering Education; Academic Leadership; Scholarly Activities
Refereed Journals (Abreviated List)
Al-Atabi, M.T., Ooi, R.C., Luo, X.Y., Bird, N. and Chin, S.B. 2011. “Computational Analysis of the Flow of Bile in Human Cystic Duct.” Journal of Medical Engineering Physics. In Press.
Al-Atabi, M.T., Espino, D., Hukins, D. and Buchan, K. 2012. “Biomechanical Assessment of Surgical Repair of the Mitral Valve”. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H, Journal of Engineering in Medicine. Vol. 226, No. 4, April 2012 pp. 275 - 287.
Al-Atabi, M.T., 2011. “Experimental Investigation of the Use of Synthetic Jets for Mixing in Vessels”. Journal of Fluids Engineering. Vol. 133, Issue 9, doi:10.1115/1.4004941.
Shah, Q.H., Mujahid, M., Al-Atabi, M.T., and Abakr, Y.A. 2011. “Load Carrying Capability of Liquid Filled Cylindrical Shell Structures under Axial Compression”. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology. Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 516- 529.