The free and open source softwares(FOSS) is an important element in engineering and technology development. As one of the technical universities in Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) strives to keep abreast of this development and develop young talents in this field. In this talk, I will introduce our institution’s efforts in promoting, supporting and recognizing FOSS related activities in research, teaching and learning. The first big effort we did is recognizing the importance of FOSS in our organization by establishing a committee for promoting and supporting FOSS related activities. The committee is known as Jawatankuasa FOSS, or the abbreviation JFOSS. The JFOSS is divided into five chapters: operating system, programming languages and tools, productivity related FOSS, user’s experience, and operations. I will also introduce two simple engineering projects by our students utilizing only FOSS. The first is the migration of mechanical parts design process from commercial CAD softwares to FreeCAD in our UniART racing team, and the second is a Beowulf cluster implementation using workstations in one of our mechanical design laboratories.
Born in Kajang, Selangor, Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr R Badlishah Ahmad received his B. Eng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics from University of Glasgow, UK and his PhD from University of Strathclyde in 1999. His expertise is in the field of optical networks specifically on high-speed computer networks, wireless access networks and sensors. He is a registered corporate member of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), and a professional engineer under the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM). He is also registered as a professional technologist with the Malaysia Board of Technologist (MBOT).
His academic career began in 1999 as a lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Apart from teaching and research, he also managed the Distance Learning Engineering Degree Programme. He joined UniMAP in 2004 as the Dean of School of Computer & Communication Engineering and maintained the post until 2017. He was promoted to professorship in 2012. He was then appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Research and Innovation at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) from 2017 to 2019, subsequently appointed as the Vice-Chancellor at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).
Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr R Badlishah Ahmad has vast research experience in the fields of computer and telecommunication network modelling, embedded system design and open-source softwares. He has authored and co-authored more than 300 articles in numerous journals, book chapters and proceedings. He has supervised more than 40 PhD and MSc students. He also had accumulated a total of RM2.5 million in research fundings from various ministries and industries.