|KUALA LUMPUR: Professor Dr Nik Meriam Sulaiman is the new holder of the Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali chair at Universiti Malaya (UM).
The Sustainability Science cluster research chairman from the Department of Chemical Engineering is the second person to hold the chair after Professor Halijah Ibrahim, who held the position since Aug 26, 2003.
Siti Hasmah, the wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said the chair recognised and encouraged the involvement of women in the fields of research and publication.
"The Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali chair is an important project by Persatuan Siswazah Wanita Malaysia (PSWM) to provide opportunities to researchers, particularly women scientists, to contribute to national development," the PSWM patron said when introducing Nik Meriam at a ceremony at the university.
The chair funded her research project, "Transforming Sustainability Strategy into Action: The Case for the Malaysian Process Industry", which focused on the application of a cleaner production system.
At the ceremony, Nik Meriam thanked her research team for making her project a success.
She said more researches should be carried out on the environment.
These researches should include more engineers for a more sustainable future, she added.
Nik Meriam was also recently appointed to the National Environmental Council.
"Cleaner production includes green technology that integrates safety, health and environment to deliver better quality products, processes or services at a more competitive price."
She said her research team was educating small businessmen involved in the batik industry in Kelantan on cleaner production methods.
They neglected waste management due to its high cost, she added.
She said they threw their waste into a river behind their houses. This waste then seeped into the ground and nearby wells.
She said her team had advised the businessmen on how to reduce wastage and increase their income.
Her team is working with the Department of Environment to promote cleaner production methods to reduce pollution and health risks caused by poor waste management.
"We are planning to clean up rivers polluted by the batik industry in Kota Baru."