Dato’ Prof. Emeritus Ir. Dr. Zainai bin Mohamed
Professor Emeritus, UTM International Campus, Kuala Lumpur.
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai was born in Kelantan in 1951. His primary and secondary education were in Kelantan and Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur. From 1970-1974 he studied at Technical College (later renamed Institute Teknologi Kebangsaan, the precursor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) and graduated with a first class Diploma in Civil Engineering. He obtained both his Bachelor and Master of Science from University of Strathclyde, Scotland (1975-1979). In 1987, he obtained his PhD in Civil / Structural Engineering, from the University of Cambridge, England. He was the recipient of Commonwealth Scholarship (1978 /79), Oversea Research Students (ORS) grant (1985-1987) and the Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship(1984-1987).
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai formed his niche in Structural Mechanics / Engineering and management of higher education. He has wide experience not only in teaching but also in technical education planning and curriculum development, particularly in the area of engineering education. He has more than 30 years experience in the teaching of diploma, bachelor and master’s courses, supervising 42 bachelor degree projects, 25 master’s degree projects / thesis and 3 PhD degree theses. He has published more than 45 technical papers and 80 papers related to academic management and curriculum development. He has produced a reasonable number of notes related to organisational and leadership development.
His major experiences in higher education management are as the Head of Heavy Structural Laboratory; Coordinator of Structural Engineering Course; Head of Department (1980-1983); and Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering (1988- 1990). He was the coordinator in 1992 till 1993 and then from 1993 till 2001, he became the first Dean of School of Graduate Studies to establish the graduate education system in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). The scope and responsibilities of the position, among others, are to develop the management system, create new academic programmes and monitor the progress of graduate education in the University. The impact of his leadership could be seen from the sudden increase in the number of registered postgraduate students, requesting for research supervision and the number of courses off ered. Compared to the period in 1980’s when a graduate education system was non-existent, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai has successfully made postgraduate studies as one of the most important sectors of education in the University. He was instrumental in marketing the University’s programmes overseas and in convincing many foreign students to study at UTM. He planned, established and coordinated the Master of Engineering Management programme. He was the founder of International Business Programme / School (1998) which offered MBA programme (Techno-Entrepreneurship) at UTM with the cooperation of University of Cranfield, UK. In January 2002, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai was appointed the first Dean of International Affairs for the University. He was seconded by the Ministry of Education to serve Kolej Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein Onn (KUiTTHO) as Deputy Rector of Academic Affairs in January 2004. His main areas of responsibilities were to reengineer the academic management system, to consolidate the academic programmes offered, and to upgrade the staff capability through mentoring and training. In October 2006, he became the first Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan(UMK).
At national level, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai is actively involved with the Ministry of Education (then) and Ministry of Higher Education in the planning and improvement of quality of higher education in the country. He was involved in many policy formulation studies and planning. His great contributions are on “The Direction of National Higher Education” (1995); “New Approach to Higher Education in the Field of Technology and Applied Science” (1995); “Policy on Joint Programmes Between Private Colleges and Public Universities”; “Establishment of Technical University System (College University System)” (1999); “Quality Education for Bumiputera Students in Public Universities” (1999); “Formulation of MQF Credit System”; “Future Direction of Engineering Education” (2005); and “Transformation of Higher Education” (2006). As the first Vice-Chancellor, he is responsible for realizing the establishment and the operations of UMK as planned by July 2007. His major work, among others, include creating academic programmes, preparing the work place (physical), recruiting human resources, and designing the organisational system. His prime responsible is to ensure that the growth of the University progress as planned.
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zainai is a registered professional engineer (Civil) with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and was involved in many civil / structural engineering design and consultancy projects. For his contributions and services, he was promoted to professor in 1994 (Grade C in 1994, Grade B in year 2000 and Grade A in 2007). He was conferred the Pingat Johan Setia Mahkota (J.S.M.) by his Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong in 2000. In 2009, he was conferred Dato’ Paduka Setia Mahkota Kelantan (D.P.S.K.) which carries the title Dato’ by Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Sultan Kelantan, in conjunction with His Royal Highness’ 59th birthday.