IUPUI delegation visits UNITEN, a long-time educational partner

Post by Becky Wood, Assistant to the Chancellor for Communications:

Monday, Jan. 16, 2016

Picture this: traffic at a standstill in one direction, and barely tapping the brakes going the other. This was the road to Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) this morning, and the IUPUI delegation was traveling the right direction, barely needing the brakes on the way to UNITEN. When Chancellor Paydar first visited the campus in the mid 1990s, it had only one building. It appeared little changed on this visit. But the rest of the campus has unfolded like a beautiful flower. In fact, one colleague there mentioned that they had modeled the architecture on buildings at IUPUI

Dr. Kumaran Palanisamy laughs with IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Payday and delegation.

Dr. Kumaran Palanisamy, a former student of Chancellor Paydar, shares a laugh with the IUPUI delegation during the visit to UNITEN.

A surprise to some, this statement finds its roots in the partnership between UNITEN and IUPUI that dates back to UNITEN’s earliest days as a campus. IUPUI helped shape curriculum there, has hosted hundreds of UNITEN students over the years, and has advised on information technology infrastructure. In fact, Dr. Ali Jafari, who helped build the UNITEN’s first network infrastructure, said he knows where everything is hidden on their campus.

One of the highlights of the visit was an impromptu reunion between Chancellor Paydar and his former student Kumaran Palanisamy, who is now an associate professor and Director of the Institute of Sustainable Energy at UNITEN, similar to the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy at IUPUI. The chancellor joked that he had brought some of Kumaran’s old tests to share and discuss.

In all seriousness, Dr. Palanisamy was very interested in the possibility of partnering with IUPUI on renewable energy research. In addition, graduate education, study abroad programs and something else very interesting were discussed as ways of extending and strengthening the partnership between our universities.

Malaysian student Izmir Radzi and Chancellor Nasser Paydar

Izmir Radzi, an electrical power engineering major, sported IU Gear for Chancellor Paydar’s talk with students. We just need to get him some jag swag!

Just before lunch, Chancellor Paydar spoke to a lecture hall full of students about the importance of education. For their part, the students brought serious question to the discussion about transfer credit, this, that and the other. They also brought great enthusiasm for IUPUI and Indiana University.

This evening’s alumni event for both IUPUI and IU Bloomington promises to be a powerful combination of Jaguar and Hoosier spirit, both right at home here in Malaysia.

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