Close to 60% of the world’s population, are currently clustering themselves in cities varying in size across the globe. With that, comes a need to create cities that are livable and affordable. The inevitable is that the cities will continue to experience tremendous growth. From this growth, we need to ensure that the quality of life and professional productivity of human beings within these areas are sustainable.

Icon of RM1.4 Million

RM1.4 Million


Icon of 5 Projects

5 Projects

4 Faculties

Icon of 3 Years

3 Years

2017 - 2020


Innovative Technologies and an Integrated Sustainable Framework to Address Environmental, Economic, Health and Social Challenges in the Planning, Designing and Maintaining of Asian Cities, is the original title for the flagship programme. This multi-disciplinary programmme involves staffs from 4 faculties. It is estimated that half of humankind cluster themselves in cities varying in size across the globe. It is a well known fact that over the next decade and a half, more than 5 billion people, close to 60% of the world’s population, will be living in such cities.

It is clear that cities will continue to experience tremendous growth and there exists a need to ensure that these cities are liveable and affordable – this in turn will ensure quality of life and professional productivity of human beings within these area. This flagship programme aims to cater 4 scopes of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG): Innovative Technologies, Surrounding and Living Environment, Purpose and Identity, and Sustainability.


This flagship programme is divided into a series of projects which involves staffs from the following Schools and Faculties: School of Architecture, Building and Design, School of Engineering and School of Computing from the Faculty of Built Environment, Engineering, Technology and Design; School of Business from the Faculty of Business and Law; School of Liberal Arts and Sciences from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; School of Hospitality from the Faculty of Hospitality and Leisure Management. 



It is highly imperative in a smart energy technology of the future, integration of energy resources is highly critical. The key challenge ahead is to address the form ot storage capabilities of solar energy and the continous wind power generation due to wind velocity variations. The executive core of this proposal is to propose a new way of storage capacity of the solar component as a static energy generation and the increase of dynamic wind energy generation and combine them both,  to study energy balance.

The first part (termed as component 1) imbibes the study on thermal storage capability from the solar PV technology. The proposed eutectic salt mixture with nanoparticles as HTFs is new and still under investigation. The nanoparticles is to be identified based on their morphology and conductivity generally looking into carbon nanotubes or graphene nanoparticles due to their superior thermal conductivity properties. The properly designed eutectic nano-fluids with optimized design parameters of PV system would increase the thermal conductivity, outlet temperature, critical heat flux leading to higher efficiency of the solar collector and thereby reducing the carbon footprint.

The second part (termed as component 2) of this proposal includes a dynamic energy generation unit (conceptual configuration introduced by the lead researcher) operational with a three axis low speed DC driven. The lower wind velocity regime (that require higher starting torque) is offset with the use of magnetic levitation based support, light weight composite fabrication materials and the use of dual speed dual rotor generator is proposed. Validation is to be done on a fabricated prototype through experimental measurement. An exergy-energy balance study is to be done based on the above two components using and the findings is expected to bring new directions in the energy generation and management using renewable resources.


Component 1: Statistic Energy Storage Capability – To design and develop an independent solar energy harvesting using eutectic solvents dispersed with nanoparticles.

Component 2: Dynamic Energy Generation – To design and develop an independent energy unit of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine utilizing Multimode Magnetic Orientation.

Compenent 3: Energy Exergy Balance Study – To design and deliberate the engagement of data from both the generating and utilizing unit using cloud computations and monitoring

Key Experts


Once, Klang as a Royal Town, prided itself as the principal port of the state of Selangor, the gateway to the Malayan peninsula as well as a major agricultural centre. Due to rapid urbanization and the rise of manufacturing activities in Malaysia in the 1970s, Klang is deteriorating rapidly. Klang has lost not only its economic role but also its identity as a waterfront town. The town is isolated and surrounded by heavy infrastructure of railway lines and highways that connect Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang. Business and even its bus terminal have been dragged out of town. The livability of the town is declining and antisocial activities are not uncommon.

One of the important elements to restore Klang’s identity as a waterfront town and revitalise the economy and sense of place is by an understanding of its history, its dynamic and the process of growth. This will not only provide roots for the Klang people, but also giving them a strong sense of place and inspiration for the future.

The intended research embraces a multi-disciplinary approach that is intended to produce an Integrated Sustainable Framework for reviving declining waterfront towns in Malaysia using Klang as an urban laboratory. The project draws upon expertise within the Faculty of Built Environment, Engineering and Design; and the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. There are six research components outlined in the attached appendix 1. It is expected that the outcomes of the research will be replicable in other waterfront towns and cities in Malaysia.

Key Experts


There is a deep concern over the issue of unsustainable economic growth and its impact. With the onslaught of globalisation, borders between nations have been tremendously reduced, leading to significant competition among nations and its cities. These cities act as magnets for population and resources; however they experience issues relating to poverty, environmental deterioration, affordable housing, crime and homelessness.

The purpose of this study is to explore the concerns of liveability and affordability as perceived by the city dwellers in Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley using primary data analysis. The study will investigate the different dimensions of liveability and affordability in cities, with focus on two specific areas: homelessness and air quality. This multi-disciplinary mixed-method study willl employ both the hard-core material science and social-science aspects in understanding the above concerns.

The quantitive approach of the study will utilise Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) and standard operating procedures of environmental analytical chemsitry, while the qualitative approach will utilise NVivo to establish the possible concerns that city-dwellers face. The findings of the research will provide a better perspective for governments to enhance their policy making and strategies scecifically within the context of liveability and affordability in city. In addition, the study will conclude with an examination of the policy implications of the findings.

Key Experts


Many larger ASEAN cities are designed for the car, not the human. There is therefore a lack of use of existing public spaces and streets within many large ASEAN Cities because there is no catalyst to draw people out of air-conditioned buildings into the street, resulting in ever-increasing use of energy and a lack of ‘ownership’ of public space and an increased tendency to litter and vandalize. Due to poor design & material choices, existing public spaces within these cities are under-utilised and under-appreciated, representing a waste of public funds because many spaces do not live up to their potential.

This is a multi-disciplinary approach combining a study of art, architecture and tourism to identify specific urban locations which have untapped ‘touristic potential energy’ which can be fully realized via the integration of art, design and innovative materials into the urban fabric.

Key Experts


This research is focusing on liveability and safety of Asian cities in two aspects. Firstly it focuses on providing a quiet indoor environement using sound absorbers made of natural fibers. The second focus is to enhance the safety and wellbeing of human using Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). Natural fibers are wastly available as agricultural waste in tropical countries such as Malaysia. Research has shown that these fibers can be used in acoustic absorption panels.

This research is taking advantage of Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT) to overcome both of these challenges. CNT has excellent mechanical and thermal property and it is found that CNT arrays, in some cases, may provide better acoustic absorption than conventional porous materials of equivalent thickness and mass. Fibers are mixed with CNT in different ways and their acoustical and microbial activities are evaluated. The expected outcome of this section is a natural fiber composite that has excellent acoustic absorption coefficient throughout the frequency spectrum, and can be used safely in a humid environemnt at a reasonable price.

SHM and geohazards such as landslide monitoring are very important for a sustainable living environment. This section proposes alternative distribution sensing called optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) for landslide monitoring. OTDR can be implemented with much lower cost compared to Brillouin-OTDR with relatively comparable performances. OTDR has been used in telecommunication industry for fault location estimation in optical cables. Thus, the objective of this section is to make an integrated real-time monitoring system with affordable optical sensors using OTDR signal over quasi-distributed FBG sensors. Reliability of the real-time monitoring system will be examined by installing various optical sensors on Taylor’s University buildings while, performance of the landslide sensor after laboratory calibration will be validated in real in-situ in compare to other commercial sensors.

Key Experts


Centre for Research Management
Adeline Yong Sui Yen