QBR UoB-Taylor's Roundtable on Engineering and Sustainability

Monday 24 January 2022 (08:30-10:00)

Please contact Wenwei Wu, International Development Manager Birmingham Global for more information.


The University of Birmingham is proud to be the Official Partners of the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) (International). In the spirit of the QBR celebrating bringing people together and working collaboratively to tackle the global challenges we face, we will be organising a joint virtual roundtable with our key partner, Taylor’s University in Malaysia to discuss the topic of Engineering and Sustainability. The aim of the roundtable is to discuss the challenges and impact of sustainable engineering, and to explore how engineering solutions can help and what role industries, engineers and researchers can play to enhance sustainability.

The roundtable features speakers from the British High Commissions Malaysia, and panellists from outstanding researchers from both University of Birmingham and Taylor’s University, as well as experts from relevant industries from the UK and Malaysia. The virtual roundtable will be of interest to engineering researchers, students and professional engineers, policy makers and influencers


08.30-08.45 GMT /16.30-16.45 MYT

Introduction by Professor Prof Stephen Jarvis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham

Opening addresses

Mr David Thomas, British Deputy Higher Commissioner Kuala Lumpur 

Professor Dr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Taylor’s University 


08.45-08.55 GMT/16.45-16.55 MYT

Keynote Speaker

Prof Gary Leeke, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham 


08.55-09.05 GMT/16.55-17.05 MYT

Keynote Speaker

Associate Professor Dr. Chockalingam Aravind, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Taylor's University


09.05-09.15 GMT/17.05-17.15 MYT

Keynote Speaker

Mr Chris Eng. Chris Eng is the Chief Strategy Officer at Etiqa Insurance and Takaful where he is responsible for the development and execution of strategic initiatives and marketing plans to support Etiqa's long-term growth. Under him, Etiqa has expanded across ASEAN and continued its Digitalisation agenda. All of this contributed to Etiqa growing to be the 5th largest ASEAN owned insurer with a Number 1 Brand position in Malaysia. His latest efforts have been to start Etiqa on its Sustainability journey. Prior to his current role, he was Head of Research/Products and Alternative Investments where he has championed the Sustainability Investment theme since 2014. He is a Chevening Scholar with a MPhil in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and previously worked as a power engineer in the roll out of the first generation Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Malaysia as well as the deregulation of the Singapore power industry.


09.15-09.55 GMT/17.20-17.55MYT

Panel discussion: Making Engineering Sustainable 

Professor Dr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Taylor’s University. Prof Nair has been in his current post since 2009. He led numerous institutional turnarounds and pioneered the first dual award degrees in Asia. Prof Nair is the co-founder of the Tourism Educators Association of Malaysia (TEAM), Founding President of the ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA), member of the National Curriculum Board for Polytechnics in Malaysia and currently the Deputy President of the Malaysian Association of Private Universities and Colleges.

Prof Gary Leeke, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham. Gary has over 20 years expertise in resource efficiency and the development of processes to recover, upgrade and remanufacture materials and chemicals. Gary works at the interface of chemical engineering/chemistry/materials and has expertise in high pressure engineering and thermo-chemical processing, specifically in reaction engineering, separation technology, polymer/composite processing and remanufacture, waste materials and the circular economy.

Phil Kelly, Director, Head of Department, Sustainable Solutions from Ramboll, UK. Since 2019 Phil has been working for Ramboll, a global engineering, architecture and consultancy company with expertise in creating sustainable solutions across Buildings, Transport, Water, Environment & Health, Architecture, Landscape & Urbanism, Energy and Management Consulting.  Before that he worked for 7 years for Hoare Lea, an engineering consultancy that provide innovative solutions to complex engineering and design challenges for buildings.  Phil is one of the University’s alumni. He studied MEng in Mechanical Engineering 2004-2008.

Prof Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid, Birmingham Energy Institute. Xiao-Ping Zhang is a Professor of Electrical Power Systems, Director of Smart Grid, Birmingham Energy Institute, and Co-Director of Birmingham Energy Storage Centre sponsored by UK, and Head of the Electrical Power & Control Systems Group. Professor Zhang has been conducting active research in the fields of Energy Union, Global Power & Energy Internet, Super Power Grids, Smart Grids, modelling and control of FACTS and HVDC, renewable generation (wind and wave) control, integration of EVs into power grids, energy markets & game theory applications, smart metering, distributed energy management and services for homes and buildings and wide area grid awareness.

Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan, Global Coordinator of International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA) and executive director of Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center (MABIC). Mahaletchumy is a Malaysian scientist. She is a recipient of 2010 TWAS Regional Prize for Public Understanding of Science for East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Region, and has been listed as one of the prominent women in biotechnology law and regulations by Biotechnology Law Report. She was recognized as one of the Great Women of Our Time by the Malaysian Women's Weekly in their December 2015 issue. Mahaletchumy studied her PhD at University of Malaya in 2003. She was recommended to us by British Council as a women panellist.

Dr. Chockalingam Aravind, Taylor’s University. Dr Aravind is an associate professor from the School of Computer Science & Engineering, Faculty of Innovation & Technology. His areas of expertise is in power engineering (Verticals for Energy and Sustainability Living). Dr Aravind sits in the Board of Engineers Malaysia, and Malaysian Board of Technologists. He studied his BEng and MEng from Bharathidasan University India, and his PhD in Electrical power engineering at University Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Dr Rob Deaves is a Senior Principal Engineer at Dyson and was the Product Technical Lead for the 360Heurist, an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner developed by engineers in the UK and Malaysia!  He has supported teaching across the UK and Internationally through a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professors award based at Imperial College London. Rob has chaired a number of Advisory Boards for publicly funded projects (~£15M) resulting in innovative start-up companies. He is also a member of the Innovation Advisory Council for the Welsh government and has recently joined their Innovation for Sustainability working group.

Michael Curthoys, Country Manager, Malaysia Mott MacDonald, Malaysia


09.55-10.00 GMT/17.55-18.00 MYT

Closing remarks and next stepsProfessor Stephen Jarvis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham





Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities