MIRI: The Kuching Barrage topped the site visits for 35 civil and construction engineering students of Curtin University Sarawak, who gained first-hand knowledge on its operations, during a recent three-day study trip to Kuching.
Head of the Civil and Construction Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Dr Tang Fu Ee, and three other lecturers joined the students on the trip organised by the universitys Civil Society jointly with Curtins civil and construction engineering student club.
Sites visited included the Kuching Centralised Sewerage Systems wastewater treatment plant, Kuching Barrage and Shiplock, and the Vivacity Megamall and Stutong Heights Apartments II construction sites.
At the wastewater treatment plant, they viewed the components of the plant and the complex retrofitting works carried out in the city as part of the systems implementation. They also learnt about the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system used by the plant.
At the Kuching Barrage and Shiplock, they were briefed by the general manager of the Kuching Barrage Management Sdn, Captain Goh Chin Guan, on the history, roles and functions as well as maintenance of the engineering wonder.
They also got to see the barrage gates being opened to release water from the river to the sea, how real-time water and rainfall data collected via the facilitys telemetry system is used to predict discharge and water level and determine when the barrage gates are to be activated.
At Vivacity Megamall construction site, the students learned how a large-scale and mixed-development construction project is run, while at the Stutong Heights II site, they observed foundation and piling works and learned about construction sequences and techniques.
According to Dr Tang, the trip organised annually was to ensure students obtain real industrial experience in a wide range of civil engineering works.
We strongly believe that practical exposure to the industry makes our graduates marketable. In fact, our graduates fare very well in the job market. Their employers have given us very favourable feedback with regards to their capability and technical skills, he said.
Several participants interviewed agreed that the trip was a gripping experience.
It is an eye-opener for us, for example visiting the barrage and see the one-of-a-kind hydraulic structure combining a barrage gate, shiplock and flyover bridge, said third-year student Chan Guan Chii.
For final year student Kok Ka Yee, the trip was an excellent opportunity for her to bond with her lecturers and fellow students, while third-year Pakistani student Kashaf Ghani Sheikh said it had greatly increased his knowledge on the civil and construction engineering field.