In light of the current circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19, it is difficult bringing together participants from all over the world to academic conferences and events. In response to this situation, JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net has offered Member Institutions a maximum of USD 14,000 to organize Regional Conferences (RC) on 10 supported engineering fields via an online platform in the Japanese fiscal year 2021.

The School of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), one of the awarded Member Institutions, successfully held the first online Regional Conference of the Japanese fiscal year 2021 namely the 14th AUN/SEED-Net Regional Conference on Environmental Engineering 2021 (RCEnvE2021) in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on Environment 2021 (ICENV2021) on October 6–7, 2021.

RCEnvE2021 and ICENV 2021 presented a large technical event under the theme: Sustainable Development Goals: Embedding Green Technology and Industry 4.0 for a Greener Future. The conference provided a stimulating forum for scientists, engineers, educators, environmentalists, and students from all over the world to disseminate their new research findings and exchange information on areas of research in emerging environmental fields. Despite the COVID-19 situation, the conference connected 19 countries and attracted more than 120 participants, including students, researchers, and individuals from the private sector. This is about the same number of participants as the previous face-to-face forum.

Prior to the day of the conference, a Pre-Conference Webinar Series was organized on September 22, 27, and 29, 2021 focusing on applying for research grants and submitting high-quality journal articles. On the day of the conference, the Chairman, Professor Ir. Zainal Ahmad, welcomed the participants and received a warm reception from all those involved. The sponsor, Mr. Takizawa Masahiko, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Professor Emeritus Dr. Ueda Tamon, Chief Advisor, AUN/SEED-Net then opened the conference, followed by a video presentation delivered by Professor Dato’ Ir. Abdul Rahman Mohamed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Professor Ir. Zainal Ahmad, Chairman

Mr. Takizawa Masahiko, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Professor Emeritus Ueda Tamon, Chief Advisor, AUN/SEED-Net

Professor Dato’ Ir. Abdul Rahman Mohamed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Universiti Sains Malaysia

During the two-day event, both keynote and plenary speakers gave very interesting presentations. In addition, the participants explained their research findings, and innovative ideas were actively exchanged through both verbal and written communication via chatbox.

The RCEnvE2021 and ICENV 2021 specifically addressed the sustainability agenda for future generations. USM is taking the lead in distributing the sustainability agenda among the global community since the university has been recognized as the best sustainable university in Malaysia through the latest ranking of the TOP 50 Times Higher Education (THE) University Global Impact Rankings 2021. These rankings take into account the social and economic impacts led by universities around the world, based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), initiatives outlined by the United Nations (UN).

Last but not least, JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net would like to thank everyone for making the RCEnvE2021 and ICENV2021 so successful!

The opening and closing videos of the conference can be accessed through the following links.

Information of the upcoming conferences for this year can be found at
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19hsWfnKJE8pTUpqkzjkK_gKfi28LOBngirvbE9FUXBI/edit#slide=id.ge9e88a9b10_0_0

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