Acting Editor’s Job


Acting Editor’s Job

Volume 6 Issue 8 News & Resources | August 2013


When the first time being asked to write something on Editor’s Note on behalf of Assoc. Prof. Dr Mohd Rizal Arshad (the true editor), I smiled to myself. The assigned job looks simple but not easy to carry out. While scratching the ‘non-itchy’ head, question ponder...what I want to write? Then, also another acting task for me to prepare the group research strength to be proposed as one of the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, USM niche area. Within a week, with a concept of killing two birds with one stone, here the resolution for the case.

Proposal for research niche area: Underwater Robotics

Underwater Robotics Research Group (URRG) from USM is pioneering in underwater robotics research and development efforts in Malaysia.


A sustainable world class R&D organization as a center for underwater system technology development, integration and sharing of resources towards product commercialization.


- To provide infrastructure for the goal of doing R&D and further development such as tools, equipments, environment and information. 
- To create platform to leverage from the available pool of academicians, scientist and engineers. 
- To be a hub for Underwater Research Network globally. 
- To develop and produce high quality products to be delivered and commercialized globally.

Since the establishment in 2001, numbers of research projects and grants, hundreds of scientific journal and conference proceedings and a few innovative products have successfully achieved and developed. In building the capacity, the underwater robotics research area has obtained quality researchers from academia to postgraduate students. The sustainability of the research area is maintained by continuously having cohort ranging from junior staff to senior one. Currently, there are 8 active researchers with sound background working within the area. The research leader, AP Dr Mohd Rizal Arshad has good research track record with strong leadership, providing continuity of support and mentorship to the other researchers within the group. As to enlarge the access to knowledge, various networking/collaboration channels have been established.

1. Established its own website: Http:// 
2. Established National Underwater Robotics Network (NURN) with members from all over Malaysia. 
3. Deliberately organized International Conference on Underwater System Technology: Theory & Applications once in two years (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012) 
4. Deliberately organized National Technical Seminar on Underwater System Technology annually (The 6th National Technical Seminar in 2013) 
5. Conducted workshop on underwater robotics, technology and applications as annually event. 
6. Produced monthly bulletin on underwater system & technology. 
7. Having strong support from the National Oceanography Directorate (NOD), MOSTI. 
8. Strong networking nationally with researchers of the same area from different universities e.g. UTeM, UTM, UMP, UMT etc. 
9. Strong networking internationally with researchers of the same area from other countries i.e. Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Korea, Japan, UK and USA. 
10. Have linkages also with government bodies and private sectors e.g. NOD, Royal Malaysian Navy, National Hydrographic Centre, PETRONAS, Subsea etc.

In assuring that the researchers of the area sustain a level of professionalism, involvement with professional bodies like IEM, IMarEST, IEEE, IET, SUT and others are also cultivated. Since 2013, as to provide broader multidisciplinary community of researchers, the group is renamed to Underwater Control Robotics Research Group (UCRG). As a result, an underwater robotics research is also esteemed with researches such as control systems and technology, bio-inspired systems and technology, sensors and instrumentation, imaging and vision technology.

Out of 24 criteria in determining the research strength, the group has fulfilled 20 criteria for the underwater robotics. This has signified the ability of the research area to develop and extend itself towards global scope, just as what the vision and missions of the research group that we are aimed on.

Written by : 
Dr. Rosmiwati Mohd Mokhtar 
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering 
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