Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Swinburne expands data analytics teaching, research capacity

May 7, 2020

A mock up of industry IoT at Swinburne Sarawak which generates manufacturing data for analytics.

KUCHING – Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Swinburne continues to expand its data analytics teaching and research capacity. Last December, the University signed a MoU with SAS Institute, a leading global analytics specialist, to establish the Centre of Excellence (COE) for Advanced Analytics at the University.

The Centre pools together data scientists and analytics capabilities from around the university, including from its main campus in Melbourne and its global research network, to support research across all disciplines at the Sarawak Campus.

The Centre leverages on SAS industry grade analytics platform and SAS network of solution providers, end users and industry clients.

“Having SAS as partner enables the University to participate in groundbreaking commercial project. We work closely with SAS local partner, notably with Protechnology Sdn Bhd, which has allowed our researchers and PhD students to work on real world problems” explained Prof. Wallace Wong, Director Future Projects for the University.

Since the MoU, the University has embarked on several data analytics research projects and started recruiting PhD students locally and internationally to work on them.

The PhD topic includes the use of deep learning to personalize social media advertisements and deployment of artificial intelligence to detect heart diseases. 

“The Centre was in discussion with potential industry partners to deploy data analytics solution prior to the Movement Control Order. These have now been postponed. Nevertheless, it has not stopped the Centre from expanding its capabilities” he said.

“This includes a project with a utility provider to gain useful insights from the data collected by the industry IoT system that we jointly retrofitted into their legacy infrastructure. We hope to predict costly failure and prescribe maintenance requirement based on the data”.

“We were also preparing to look into agriculture data for precision farming. We are definitely seeing more Sarawak industry piloting industry 4.0 and data analytics projects. We are pleased to be able to contribute to their effort. It benefits our students as well as we chart our teaching content to stay relevant to the real world needs, especially in Sarawak,” he added.

Not to be dampened by the pandemic, a strong team of 9 University researchers have recently started their intensive professional SAS training online. The know-how gained from the training will enable researchers to operationalize their research in the real world.

“Our focus on data analytics research and education is very much aligned with the Post Covid-19 Exit Economic Strategy’s ‘Data Centre & Innovation’ sector, announced by Chief Minister of Sarawak on Wednesday. Swinburne will continue to focus on data innovation and nurture future ready learners to ensure the success of the strategy”, said Prof John Wilson, the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.

The University provides data analytics training in its degree programs and professional short courses.

For more information about Swinburne, visit www.swinburne.edu.my, or follow its Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter (@Swinburne_Swk) and YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).



Nur Salfiah Muthazrah Bujang
Corporate Communications Executive