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Dr. Zaini Ujang

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Former President and Vice-Chancellor
Zaini Ujang (MSc, 1991 and PhD 1996, Newcastle) is an administrator, environmental engineer and accomplished academic. He was the Secretary General, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia since August 2016, Secretary General Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia since July 2015 – August 2016 and the Secretary General II, Ministry of Education Malaysia (June 2013 – July 2015), the fifth President/Vice-Chancellor of University Technology Malaysia (October 2008 - May 2013) and the first recipient of the prestigious Merdeka Award for the category of Outstanding Scholastics Achievement in 2009.

He was Chairman of the task forces for preparing Malaysia’s Green Technology Master Plan (2017-2030) and Malaysia’s Higher Education Blueprint (2015–2025) and spearheading the governance and financial sustainability shifts. He also has initiated UTM transformation program to be a research technical university, from 10% to 50% enrolment of graduate students within five years (2008–2013); and initiated research collaborations with leading universities including MIT, Harvard, Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford. He received Honorary Doctor of Science from Newcastle University (UK, 2018).

His academic contributions are in the field of environmental management and technology, particularly water and wastewater treatment sustainable resource strategies and industrial ecology. Apart from his involvement in his academic circle, he also served on various public agencies such as Chairman of Environmental Quality Council, Malaysia (since 2009), and member of National Water Services Commission (2007 – 2014).

He has written more than 250 scientific papers published in leading academic journals and proceedings, and 36 books on environmental engineering, water sustainability, higher education and learning innovation, and published more than 1000 articles in mainstream media since 1988.

Dr Ujang has extensive experience to serve various boards: PETRONAS Foundation, Chemical Company of Malaysia, Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (RM45 billion loan facilities to students of higher education), Malaysia Qualification Agency and Universities Board (UTM, UKM, UNITEN, UNIRAZAK and UIAM).

He is also active in voluntary bodies: Vice-President of International Water Association (2004 - 2006), Editor of Water Science and Technology since 2000 and President Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia (since 2016). He was also a Visiting Research Fellow at MIT (the United States), Visiting Professor at Imperial College London (UK), Lund University (Sweden) and Tsukuba University (Japan).

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