26 August 2021 / 12:08

Miri(24 August 2021): 80 undergraduate engineering and science students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently attended a virtual site visit to the processing plant of Top Glove Corporation Berhad, the world’s largest producer of rubber gloves, in Meru, Klang.

Joining them for the visit, the second virtual visit organised by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Student Chapter of Curtin Malaysia, were students from Monash University Malaysia and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. 100 students in total took part in the visit.

Accompanying them were lecturers Dr. Bridgid Chin Lai Fui and Dr. Angnes Tiong Ngieng Tze from Curtin Malaysia’s Department of Chemical and Energy Engineering, and Dr. Tan Yie Hua from the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering.

Hosting them was Benjamin Fan Jia Chern, a researcher in the human resources section of Top Glove Corporation Berhad. After giving a welcoming speech, Fan briefed the students and lecturers on the background of the company and its production processes. He also introduced the company’s work culture and internship opportunities it offers to students. This was followed by a Kahoot quiz and a question-and-answer session.

Top Glove Corporation Berhad was established in 1991 and is headquartered in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. Starting off as a local business enterprise with only one factory and one glove production line, the company has progressed to become the world’s largest glove manufacturer, dominating 26 per cent of the world market share for rubber gloves.

The company operates in over 40 locations, including manufacturing operations in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China and marketing offices in the United States, Germany and Brazil, and exports to over 2,000 customers in 195 countries worldwide.

Third-year-chemical engineering student and organising chairperson for the virtual visit, Ang Wei How, found the visit very informative and he discovered a great deal about how the global organisation is managed, how it encourages its employees to practice good working ethics and self-care practices, and how it manufactures different types of gloves.

Meanwhile, fellow final-year chemical engineering student and vice-president of the Curtin Malaysia IChemE Student Chapter, Lim Zi Xian, said the visit was a great opportunity to learn about the world’s largest glove manufacturer.

A former intern with Top Glove, Lim said he was very impressed by Top Glove’s corporate values, which focus on good work ethics and employee wellbeing. He quoted company founder Tan Sri Dr. Lim Wee Chai who said “Work is my hobby, exercise is my duty, health is wealth”.

Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Curtin Malaysia, expressed his appreciation of the efforts of the lecturers and industry partners like Top Glove Corporation Berhad to provide students an enriching learning experience beyond their online studies during the current pandemic.

“As our courses are very practical and immersive, exposure to industry practices is an important part of the curriculum. This ensures that our students are equipped with the practical experience and industry knowledge needed to be career-ready upon graduation,” said Professor Vu.

“Even though we are in the midst of a pandemic, we are still able to give our students valuable exposure to industry by conducting virtual site visits in collaboration with our industry partners,” he added.

Dr. Chin, who is an adviser to the IChemE Student Chapter and chair of the student and alumni relations committee for the Faculty of Engineering and Science, said participating in activities organised by student academic clubs is also crucial in enhancing the student learning experience.

“They can be just as enriching as classroom learning and I am very glad the student chapter continues to organise events for students during this pandemic. They benefit not only the participants but also the organisers, who are learning a whole new way of organising events given the current situation,” she said.

Dr. Tiong, meanwhile, said industry site visits, whether in person or virtual, allow students to learn not only the history, management and operations of companies, but also their work ethics and the internship and placement opportunities they offer.

“Indeed, through our engagement with industry, many of our students have managed to secure jobs with companies immediately after graduation, or even before,” she said.

The Curtin Malaysia IChemE Student Chapter serves to promote the latest developments and advances in the field of chemical engineering among Curtin Malaysia students as well as create networking opportunities between students and industrial representatives. These allow the students to expand their professional networks and learn beyond the classroom.

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