Swinburne Sarawak produces innovative, high-impact and engaged research. We support and invest in our researchers by offering them international collaborations, industry involvement and access to world-class facilities. Read some of our research stories and meet the people committed to bringing about change.

Research students at Swinburne

Research students at Swinburne

Now is the time for renewables

  • Prof. Blair Blakie from University of Otago was here to explore collaborations with Assoc Prof. Basil Wong. This is where blue sky and applied science research converge, as both the researchers' methods are the same. "At the end its all physics and mathematics."- Prof. Blakie

Now is the time for renewables

“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” – Einstein

This would sum up what my research in thermal radiation is about. I am looking into using nanotechnology to enhance the performance of solar cells; particularly by incorporating metallic nanoparticles in the solar cells.

  • Nas and Edwin (both pursuing PhD) In Rajang river filtering sediments
  • Nas collecting sediment samples in Maludam
  • Nas and Edwin in Svalbard, the Arctic to study microbes which appear to be similar to those found in Sarawak peat soil.
  • Nas sampling in Svalbard

We need an adaptable evacuation system


We need an adaptable evacuation system

Dr. Loke Kar Seng and his student, Chee Hin Foong have developed a concept which changes the way emergency response teams are deployed during a natural disaster. Their dynamic evacuation plan for urban areas won the country prize in the UN Big Ideas Competition for Urban Issues using Data Innovation.

Secrets of the Ocean

Prof Richard Sanders from the National Oceanography Centre UK was at Swinburne to discuss ways to collaborate in Oceanographic research. A member of his team has just won a Newton Fund (worth 1M RM) in collaboration with Assoc Prof Müller from Swinburne and Dr. Aazani Mujahid from UNIMAS. The project will examine how multiple land use affects the health and socio-economic value of aquatic environments in Sarawak

Prof. Sanders mentioned that one of the main reasons why Borneo is of interest, is that relatively little is known about what happens to carbon and organic material once it is released into the rivers in and around Borneo. Results, published by Asoc Prof.Müller obtained from several years of CO2 measurements in local rivers, were much lower than commonly expected, making Borneo an even more unique place to study.

Future work proposed by Prof. Sanders included the National Oceanography Centre’s Discovery ship (one of the worlds most advanced research vessels) coming to Borneo waters as part of a research cruise in the Indian Ocean. This unique ship is augmented by absolute high-end technology such as gliders and auto-submarines; some of which could be possibly be set up in the rivers around Borneo; hopefully solving one of the many secrets still locked up in Bornean waters. 

  • Prof. Richard Sanders (left) with Dr. Müller and the research team which was awarded a Newton Fund grant worth 1 million RM for oceanographic research around Sarawak
  • The National Oceanography Centre UK's Discover ship augmented with gliders and auto-submarines


Transport Innovation Centre offering full scholarships

In 2016 Swinburne launched the Transport Innovation Centre with the Malaysia Automotive Institute. Its aim is to become the leading centre of excellence addressing the transport and mobility needs of the population in the ASEAN region. The Centre leverages on the research expertise and facilities of Swinburne’s campuses while MAI brings in its vast experience and network in the transportation industry in Malaysia.

The Transport Innovation Centre is offering 20 full scholarships for Master by Reseach.

Brewing a microbe cocktail

Dr. Tan's been inspired by the primary tropical rainforest which houses about 50% of all land diversity on earth. What makes the soil here so productive? Its the multiplicity of microbes which act as ideal fertilisers and soil conditioning agent. 

He's researching collecting, isolating ideal microbial varieties to make a greener and more effective biofertiliser which will allow for plant diversity to flourish. 

Dr. Tan is brewing a microbial biofertiliser which mimics the soil productivity of the primary rainforest


Dr. Google will be able to predict your medical health

Together with Assoc. Prof. Jean-Guy Schneider from Swinburne Melbourne, Assoc. Prof. Patrick Then aims to create a kind of medical search engine for doctors and medical practitioners. By creating a paradigm of historical data of patients with cardiovascular disease, doctors can compare their patients’ condition with people who had the same or similar medical condition and can see how their health will progress.

On a mission to find microbes

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions through microbiology

Marshy peat soil stores a lot of carbon in them and when this soil is drained for agricultural purposes, the peat comes into contact with air and releases a high level of carbon dioxide. That peat + air = CO2 is basic science but there are some exceptions to this rule. The peaty soil in Maludam National Park emits surprisingly low amount of CO2 and that is what Dr. Müller's team is investigating.

Read More

  • Dr. Moritz Müller and his research team
  • Sampling trip to Maludam National Park
  • Collecting samples of the peat soil
  • Nas and Edwin in Svalbard in the Arctic to collect and compare microbes


Building in challenging geology

Fredrik’s research in construction methods, especially pipe-jacking is so useful that an engineering company, Hock Seng Lee Berhad has partnered with his research group for advice on their building projects.