2012: An Enigmatic Year


2012: An Enigmatic Year

Volume 5 Issue 12 News & Resources | December 2012


This December 2012’s editorial is a bit late, I admit. This is purely my habit of putting off things which should have been dealt with the soonest. As it goes, a year just went by and all of us are struggling to make sense of the real measurable achievements and failures accumulated along the way. Yes, this is the time for sensible thinking, and being honest and true in auditing. Also, without fear, to be ruthless in giving merit or points, except for the deserving ones. We just have to do it right, and hope we can extract real-life lessons from them. No points in sustaining (or defending) bad habits. And, remember, people do say that bad habit dies hard. Good bye 2012, and welcome 2013.

We did start on a positive note in early 2012, and Alhamdulillah; in one way or another; we did end 2012 with an equivalent feeling of success. The quantum may be different, but there is certainly a sense of fulfillment and believe that we have made some impact, if not to others, at least to oneself. Let me run through some of the significant achievements. In Feb 2012, two of the articles from URRG came out in the maiden edition of IEM Bulletin under the Marine and Naval Architecture Technical Division (MNATD). Yes, this is free publicity for the group, and clearly a privilege to the chosen few. Thanks to the “unofficial” editor for allowing this to happen. Yes, our work and circle of influence has been fully documented. February 2012 also signified the beginning of a new research funding awarded to the research group – making the complete tally for ongoing research grant to five. We did start with a bang. Thank God.

Unfortunately, the harvesting season ended quite rapidly. March, April, May, June, July, August and September 2012 came and went away, without anything worth mentioning. Of course, I had the opportunity to go on an interesting sojourn to Yeosu, South Korea – attending IEEE OCEANS 2012. Interestingly, I managed to meet some familiar faces and revive my not-so-strong international linkages. World Expo 2012 in Yeosu was also not bad. Very interesting booths with very tired legs packaged together. I now know that I am not a fan of Kimchi the veg. I am not sure about Kimchi the K-pop since I have not met any. It is just not my taste. But of course, Kimchi is a signature dish of Korea. Back home, significant amount of efforts went into the school’s accreditation documents preparation during this gloomy period, but I do not count them since those are non-research kind of task. We managed to put together three SAR documents and submit them to the EAC office. It was a very taxing and exhausting phase for accreditation application, and the end is still not in sight. Of course, from the research output side, one of my students manage to graduate after putting so much to her work and contributing significantly to the group. Congratulation! Also, we manage to complete one research project, well almost, and get the other one officially extended by the Ministry. Yeah!

The “dry” months were also spent on organizing USYS’12 and worrying so much about whether the conference and accompanying workshop will be successful or not. The main worries were on the financial capability and whether people will actually attend the conference. By then, I have yet to settle and confirm the keynote speakers’ attendance. We also had this plan for a free workshop which has not been confirmed by the main convener, whilst the hotel has included the cost into the overall expenditure. Wow – talking about this responsibility. This was déjàvu to me as this was not the first time I felt such feeling. Alas, we pulled through, and the conference went quite well. Thank God. We also made many new friends and future contacts, especially via the free workshop. Yes, everyone likes free workshop. Although it was not free in the real senses, it provided meaningful platform of many things. The theme of USYS’12 was excellent and spot on – “Linking Expertise, Synergising Technologies” – a bit of a mouthful, nonetheless.

In December 2012, our planned special issue on Underwater Sensors and Applications went online and in-press. Thanks so much to Dr. Sundaresan from NISCAIR, India for giving another opportunity for us to share our research output. We had significant number of papers from the group, and the papers ensured we kept the KPI for annual publication output intact. One important lesson that I gained was that one must plan, execute the plan, AND, be patience for the fruits of the efforts. There was also another paper accepted in a good international journal with a better IF number. Wow. This paper really boosted the confident level of some of us. Alhamdulillah, one of my PhD students passed his PhD viva. Frankly, I was dead worried for the outcome. Alas, he succeeded, though a bit jilted from the barrage of questions and corrections. And, finally, the cream of this year-end harvest just has to be the “gift” which I have been waiting for so long. It came at last, and I am very grateful that everything went well. Yes, thanks for the sacrifice and patience. It makes everything so meaningful, and sweet. His name is Ahmad Rayyan - a fitting name for a handsome boy – just like his father .

Wow, what a harvest!

Let us look forward for 2013 – the year for simplicity and giving.

Yes, this is the group’s motto for 2013 – just to let you know.

Written by : 
Assc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Rizal Arshad 
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering 
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