AVAILABLE RESEARCH GRANTS

Graduate Research Assistant Recruitment (MSc & PhD Studentships)

School of Biosciences
In vitro anti-metabolic syndrome properties of fucoxanthin-rich extract from Malaysian brown seaweed (TRGS phase 1/2015)
Abstract
Background. Seaweeds are macroalgae growing in coastal area or shallow water at the edge of the ocean. Seaweeds have been utilised not only as food source, but also for medicinal and fertilizing purposes. Various types of carotenoids were identified in different seaweed species such as fucoxanthin, zeaxanthin, β-carotene and lutein. Studies have shown that brown seaweeds have higher carotenoid and fucoxanthin content and antioxidant capacities compared to red and green seaweeds.

Literature Review. Most of the local seaweed species are underutilised due to the lack of information on their functional properties and health benefits. There is also limited information on the carotenoid content, particularly fucoxanthin of local seaweed species.

Objectives. This study embarks on the following objectives: 1) to separate and identify fucoxanthin from brown seaweed using solvent-partitioning tecnhiques; 2) to determine the effect of fucoxanthin on LDL oxidation, α-amylase inhibition, α-glucosidase and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition assays.

Methodology. In order to achieve the objectives, the following methodology will be used: 1) solvent-partitioning technique to separate and isolate fucoxanthin; 2) LDL oxidation, α-amylase inhibition, α-glucosidase inhibition and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition assays to determine anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive potential of fucoxanthin-rich extract.

Expected Outcomes. Fractionation of fucoxanthin is useful for isolation of fucoxanthin compound from brown seaweed. The isolated fucoxanthin is expected to be a potential natural anti-atherosclerotic and anti-cancer compound useful for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Apart from that, fucoxanthin could be utilised in the food industries as a natural colourant with antioxidant properties.

Qualifications
Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Food Science/Nutrition or any other related disciplines with a first class or second class upper degree

Responsibilities
Successful candidate will be involved in research project funded by TRGS on health benefits of fucoxanthin-rich extract from Malaysian brown seaweed

Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00 (Qualified candidate may apply for financial aids from Taylor’s University and/or external funding)

Application Deadline
Immediate position – Open until the position is filled up

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Yan See Wan
School of Biosciences
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: +603 5629 5650
Email: seewan.yan@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Role of “Carvone” on multiple mechanisms of obesity and cardiac dysfunction in FFAs-treated H9c2 myotubes: in vitro metabolic pathways
Abstract
Obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD are major problem worldwide that increases the risk for a wide range of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop plant based supplements/formulation. The proposed research is intended to investigate the potential role of carvone, a natural phyto-compound on ER stress, insulin signaling pathway, lipid metabolic regulators, calcium response pathway, inflammation and oxidative stress markers on FFAs-treated H9c2 myotubes. Moreover, the study is designed to evaluate significance of carvone on metabolic, calcium response, inflammatory and ER stress genes by microarray analysis.

Designation
GRA (Graduate research assistant)

Qualifications
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Pharmacy/Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery/ from a recognized university.

Stipend and Benefits
Graduate research assistant will receive stipend of RM 1800 per month and will be allowed for enrolment to Post Graduate Program (Master of Science/Master of Pharmacy) at Taylor’s University.

Job Description
The primary focus of the project is to look at the co-relations between obesity and cardiac dysfunction on the cell based studies model using natural product. Interested candidates can directly contact Dr. Aditya Arya with their CV via post or through e-mail.

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Aditya Arya
Senior Lecturer-I, School of Medicine
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
Block B, Level 1(B1.04)
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: +603 5629 5653
HP: +6017 6140 741
Email: aditya.arya@taylors.edu.my
 
 

School of Engineering
Poly-L-Lactide Acid and Polycaprolactone Based Scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering
Abstract
Cartilage replacement is still facing major challenge with current technology. Cartilage cells can be grow in a lab. The main challenge is when placing those cells in a particular location, and gets them to function effectively in that area. Cartilage is a complex tissue; in order for cartilage to function it must be able to withstand tremendous forces. Simply injecting cartilage into a joint would serve no useful purpose; those cells would be destroyed in a short time. Therefore the cartilage replacement device must allow body to accept and allow the cartilage to adhere to the surface of the joint. Once on the joint surface, the cartilage must be able to support the weight of the body, and glide smoothly to allow motion. Many scientists are working on ways to accomplish these goals, but there is no solution right now.

Cartilage biological materials consist of chondrocytes and collagen. 3D printing can customize the shaping of cartilage for different patient needs. A 3D printer can construct scaffolding which then attach to the femur. This research plan to use regular desktop based rapid prototyping 3D printer to 3D print custom cartilage, which will be combined various ratio of PLLA and PCL. 3D printing is able to construct 3D-printed scaffolding that the surgeons could immediately examine and then engineer can work together in real time to modify the designs.

Qualifications
Registered Master’s students

Responsibilities
Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his/her master degree programs in a timely manner (full time in 18 months).

Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00

Application Deadline
September 2016

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Yong Leng Chuan
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-56295000 ext:5098
Email: lengchuan.yong@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Development of Pulsed Plasma Thruster for Nanosatellite Applications
Abstract
In recent years, miniaturisation of satellites have promoted high demand of reliable micropropulsion system. According to SpaceWorks Enterprise, 25% of the future nanosatellites will be in the 3U class (< 6 kg), which suggests a huge market for micropropulsion system for 3U cubesats. Compared to other micropropulsion systems, low energy Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) are popular candidate for the purpose because of high efficiency, low power consumption, safe and low mass.

This project aims to develop an engineering model of 2 Joule (2 J) single stage parallel electrodes pulsed plasma thruster (PPT). The development process involves two major stages: (1) Design and fabrication of the PPT engineering model, (2) Performance characterization of the PPT in terms of impulse bits and specific impulse.

Upon completion of the project, it is expected a PPT engineering model which can be integrated into a standard 3U cubesat bus will be developed. The successful development of PPT is a significant breakthrough for the nation in strategic space propulsion technology, fostering the growth of local satellite technologies.

Qualifications
Registered Master’s student

Responsibilities
  • Plan and execute the research project
  • Working towards the completion of his/her master degree
  • This is collaboration project with University of Nottingham Malaysia and Universiti Malaya. The student is expected to travel between different institutions for research works. Travel allowance will be provided.
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00

Application Deadline
Open until filled

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Cheah Kean How
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-56295000 ext:5398
Email: keanhow.cheah@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Effects of Microwave Sintering on the Properties of Manganese Oxide-doped Y-TZP ceramics
Abstract
Despite possessing key attributes of a biomaterial such as good mechanical properties, wear resistance, inertness and biocompatibility, the ageing or low temperature degradation (LTD) behaviour of yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystals (Y-TZP) ceramic remains a major obstacle to the application of Y-TZP ceramic for biomedical applications. Premature failures of zirconia femoral head component in hip prostheses had warranted an international recall of several batches of the biomedical implants and left a questionable future of zirconia as a biomaterial. Manganese oxide (MnO2) has been shown to be an effective sintering aid for Y-TZP ceramics with improved properties when densified via conventional pressureless sintering. However, the relatively long soak time during the conventional sintering leads to significant grain growth and coarsening of grains that lowers the mechanical properties of the sintered ceramic. Mircowave sintering is an alternative sintering method that allows for full densification to be achieved in shorter durations and possibly at lower temperatures.

The present research aims to investigate the effects of microwave sintering on the properties of MnO2-doped Y-TZP ceramics Sintered samples will be characterized for their mechanical properties, phase content and LTD resistance. Results of the research contribute to knowledge by elucidating the role of MnO2 as a sintering aid for microwave sintering of Y-TZP ceramics.

Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.)
  • Registered Master’s student
Responsibilities
  • Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his/her master degree programs in a timely manner (full time in 18 months).
  • To assist researcher in conducting research and project supervision.
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00

Application Deadline
The position remains open until filled.

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Kelvin Chew Wai Jin
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-56295000 ext:5091
Email: kelvinwaijin.chew@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Submersion of a tube-shaped ultrafiltration unit coupled with a mesh ball in a cellulose hydrolysis reactor for simultaneous glucose removal and enzyme recovery
Abstract
The technology of producing fuel ethanol from cellulose-based biomass has been attracting an increasing interest in research and devolopment as it is a potential alternative to fossil fuel. Agricultural and forestry residues are a rich source of cellulose such as palm empty fruit bunches, rice/wheat straw, which undergo pretreatment, hydrolysis, fermentation and purification to get converted to fuel ethanol. However the practical realisation of this technology is challenged mainly in the one critical step which is enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose due to some limiting factors, eg., high enzyme cost. Studies has shown that batch reactors are unsuitable for conducting enzymatic hydrolysis due to its disadvantage of accumulating glucose inside the reactor causing product inhibtion on the enzymes.

The new strategy of simultaneously removing product and retaining enzymes inside by integrating the hydrolysis reactor with a membrane filtration unit is a new approach to improve the effectiveness of the hydrolysis process in term of product inhibition reduction, enzyme recovery. In this research, a signifcant modification on membrane reactor was proposaed, the first is a mesh ball to contain cellulose in suspension of the reaction media and second is a submerged membrane filtration device placed inside the reactor to remove glucose and recover enzymes. The method of doing this reseach is to conduct the enzymatic hydrolysis at varying enzyme to substrate ratio, cellulose concentration, and flow rates of product removal with product analysis by Dinitrosalicylic (DNS) and High Perforance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) analsis. It is expected that the new configuration of the membrane reactor is more advantageous than the conventional batch reactor with better performance in term of higher conversion of cellulose.

Qualifications
Registered Master’s students

Responsibilities
  • Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his/her master degree programs in a timely manner (full time in 18 months).
  • Student should able to write technically and report need to be submitted to the supervisor for every 6 months.
  • Meeting the supervisor on a regular basis and update about the status of the project and able to do the experimental setup. Student should also have the capability to do critical literature survey, identify methodology and analyze results with appropriate discussion.
  • Student should publish two indexed technical paper during the course of time.
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,800.00

Application Deadline
Open until filled up.

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Rajesh Rajasekaran
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-56295000 ext:5263
Email: rajesh.rajasekaran@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Energy Efficient Rail Brake for Railway Vehicles derived from Linear Switched Motor Technology
Abstract
The major challenges in the rail network is the energy loss during the start and stop position and is estimated about 10-15% of energy is lost during these. With the demand in the usage of the network it is inevitable that shorter interval start stop is required, so the drivers brake more often. The number of such train tripping has increased, causing uneven wear or some cases wheel flat. At the moment the conventional braking using pneumatic, electro-pneumatic, disc brakes, moving block, fixed block braking are challenged by the adhesion together with the other issues mentioned above. In Japan they have introduced the linear induction motor technique for starting and stopping. However this type of magnet machine adds the weight to the system together with the magnetic cogging. Hence an alternative to magnet less machine to reduce the carbon impact together with the mechanical ruggedness of machine is expected as future technology.

The purpose of this work is to examine the deployment of the magnet less braking through linear switched technology for the rail brake systems with a rugged structure that improve the energy efficiency of the system. The proposed system involves an optimized taper designed linear reluctance switched motor that increases the energy efficiency during the start and stop operation. Since this machine involves no magnets the start and stop are faster and recovery to motion is rapid, hence energy efficient.

Qualifications
Registered Master’s students

Responsibilities
  • Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his / her master degree programs in a timely manner (full time in 18 months).
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00

Application Deadline
31st December 2016

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Aravind CV
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-56295000
Email: chockalingamaravind.vaithilingam@taylors.edu.my
 
 
Optimisation of technology for producing dried herbs using hybrid drying methods
Abstract
Herbs are well known for medicinal purposes throughout human history. Bioactive compounds of herbs are found to help in defending human body by deterring formation of free radical chain reaction which attacks human body’s cells. In addition, plant-derived essential oils have remarkable antibacterial effects against pathogenic microorganism. However, bioactive compounds of herbs degrade significantly after harvesting. Therefore, drying is introduced to retain bioactive compounds. However, some bioactive compounds will decompose or degrade during drying process based on characteristics of the compounds. To overcome this challenge, some researchers introduced combined drying techniques such as a heat pump–assisted drying, a microwave-assisted drying, an ultrasound-assisted osmotic dehydration, gas–particle contactors such as impinging streams and a pulsed fluidized-bed method, a multistage drying and intermittent drying.

However, limitations of these drying techniques related to feasibility, economically viable, efficiency for industry applications were reported by stakeholders. Therefore, the challenges now are to improve efficiency, reduce carbon footprint and enhance quality of dried products. The application advantage that rises with increased output of a product. In this study, a hybrid drying technique that takes into account of workable drying theory and nexus between food, water and energy will be conceived, designed, implemented and operated. After drying, an antimicrobial susceptibility test will be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of retained bioactive compounds of dried herbs. It provides opportunity to identify new compounds retained in herbs that can be used as antimicrobial property.

Qualifications
Registered Master’s students

Responsibilities
  • Master’s student is responsible for working towards completion of his / her master degree programs in a timely manner (full time in 18 months).
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,500.00

Application Deadline
31st December 2016

If you are interested, please contact:

Dr. Chong Chien Hwa
School of Engineering
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Tel: 016-9320389
Email: chienhwa.chong@taylors.edu.my
 
 

School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts
Towards a model of concerted and participative food heritage touristic valorization process: Kelabit indigenous community, Sarawak (FRGS phase 1/2015)
Abstract
In the recent years, initiatives promoting Kelabit’s food heritage have been set-up in the tourism sector in Bario (district of Baram, Sarawak) as well as widely in Malaysia, demonstrating cultural pride about local food model. However, it has been argued by the Centre of Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment, little is known of the impact on local food system, the nutritional and health status of the local population and its contribution to the global sustainability of the food system.

The overall objective of this research is to lay out the socio-cultural model through a concerted and participative valorization process towards a sustainable local food heritage in relation to the nutritional and health status of the population. This study involves meetings with local indigenous community of Bario, observations and interviews with local and global actors on food production, transformation and valorization, assessment of food habits and nutritional status of the population by face–to-face questionnaire and individual and group interviews with tourists on-site.

This study is expected to analyze the Kelabit’s eating habits and food heritage, conceptualize the participative building process as food as an heritage through tourism as well as an insight on the nutritional well-being of the local population. It is envisaged that this study will not only build the cultural pride of the Kelabits but will promote their indigenous food models to improve their economic, nutritional and health status. This project hopes to capture the attention of Malaysians and leaders at local and national levels of government and related agencies towards the richness of Malaysian indigenous food cultures towards a global sustainable food models.

Qualifications
  • Registered Master’s student
  • Master of Science (Tourism), Taylor’s University
  • Citizenship: Malaysian
Responsibilities
  • To assist researchers of the project on data collection and analysis
  • To assist in the writing of the research reports
  • To coordinate the logistics on the organisation of project meetings and events
  • To assist researchers on managing diaries and making appointments, booking rooms and travel arrangements, preparing and distributing papers and documents for meetings, taking minutes, drafting letters and other documents, maintaining filing systems, using various computer packages - Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Monthly Remuneration
RM 1,800.00

Application Deadline
September 2016

If you are interested or need further clarification please contact:

Dr. Elise Mognard
School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts
Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus
No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Email: eliseline.mognard@taylors.edu.my