Curtin acting dean recognised as rising engineering star under 35

MIRI: The United Kingdom-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers has acknowledged Curtin University Malaysia Faculty of Engineering and Science acting dean Assoc Prof Vincent Lee Chieng Chen as one of the best and brightest engineers under 35.

In its website, the institution said Lee, 31, and 19 other international ‘rising stars’ from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland, are shaping the future of the engineering profession and the world.

“In our search for the most exciting young engineers, we discovered a rich seam of talent and drive running right through the profession. From aerospace to energy, they’re bringing fresh ideas to some of the world’s biggest companies or venturing out on their own. Their backgrounds and experiences vary widely but, together, they’re shaping the future of the profession, and the world,” it said.

Assoc Prof Vincent Lee Chieng Chen

According to the website, the institution combined nominations from readers and recommendations from its Young Members Board to find the brightest and best young engineers aged 35 or below.

In congratulating Lee, Curtin Malaysia pro vice-chancellor, president, and chief executive Prof Jim Mienczakowski said Lee has done Curtin Malaysia and the country immensely proud, being the first Malaysian to receive such recognition.

“The international recognition Vincent has been given as a rising star in the field of engineering speaks volumes of the calibre of the academic staff we have at Curtin Malaysia.

“We are proud to have many young, innovative, and inspiring academics that are helping bring the university forward in multiple fields, particularly in teaching and learning and research in their respective disciplines,” said Mienczakowski in a press release.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Nottingham in 2009 and 2013 respectively, Lee joined Daikin Research and Development Malaysia Sdn Bhd as a research engineer, before moving on to Curtin Malaysia in 2013.

Lee’s research interests include engineering education, non-linear mechanics, simultaneous microwave-ultrasound irradiation as well as sports engineering and technologies.

He is currently looking at how microwave and ultrasound can be used to replace conventional heating techniques in engineering applications and was recently awarded a research grant by the Ministry of Education worth RM92,800 for the project.

“These conventional techniques are not always environmentally friendly. The end goal is to come up with a cleaner energy source,” said Lee.

In total, he has received more than RM400,000 in research grants from the government over the years to develop his research, including a National Science Fellowship from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation from 2009 to 2012.

Lee is a chartered engineer registered with the Engineering Council (UK), chartered scientist with the Science Council (UK), and a Project Management Professional.

He is also a member of the Energy Institute and Project Management Institute and a professional member of the Institute of Materials Malaysia.

Last year, Lee won the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Young Member Award in the ‘Developing Engineer of the Year’ category.

He was also a recipient of the 2018 Anak Sarawak Appreciation Award awarded by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, along with four other Curtin Malaysia staff.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit

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