Director's Message

River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC) is the first research centre at the USM Engineering Campus which was accorded the status of Higher Institution Centre of Excellence or HICoE for service on 9th October 2014 with a niche area on Sustainable Urban Stormwater Management.  REDAC has been active in research and consultancy projects on Sustainable Urban Stormwater Management since 1997. Among the project sponsors are Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MoA), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS), Prime Ministerís Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) and Public Works Department (JKR).

A green sustainable urban stormwater management system known as Bio-Ecological Drainage Systems (BIOECODS) was designed by REDAC and subsequently constructed at the USM Engineering Campus, Penang in 2002. BIOECODS attempts to solve three major problems commonly encountered in Malaysia namely flash floods, river pollution, and water scarcity. By implementing BIOECODS, it will help preserve the natural characteristics of the existing river ecosystem. A presentation on BIOECODS was made at the 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK) in September 2008.  REDAC was also involved in several DID-related projects such as the preparation of Urban Stormwater Management Planning and Design Standard for Malaysia and Second Edition Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia or MSMA, and the Preparation of Design Guides for Erosion and Sediment Control in Malaysia. 

REDAC has also been very active in promoting sustainable river management through applied research on sediment transport in rivers. River models such as FLUVIAL-12, HEC-RAS, and INFOWORK-RS are used to study river morphology and the consequences for river equilibrium to be attained. A guideline titled "River Sand Mining Management" was approved by DID for use in Malaysia. The guideline was produced after an intensive fieldwork and river modeling for three rivers namely Sungai Muda, Sungai Langat and Sungai Kurau.  Flood hazard and risk assessment study is also conducted involving Sungai Muda and Sungai Pahang, taking into account recent major floods in 2003 and 2007. Recent massive flood in December 2014 affects several states especially Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, and Johor.  A river modelling on Sungai Pahang based on the December 2014 flood was carried out using a special grant by the Ministry of Education (MOE).  The modelling results indicate sedimentation between 1 m and 2 m along the river reach of Sungai Pahang.  The increase in river bed level should be accounted for in the design of a flood mitigation project by providing at least 1 m of freeboard for the design water level.

REDAC completed a Long-Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) 2011) on Water Security provided by MOE.  LRGS is the fundamental nature of research, involving the scope of a more extensive and longer period of time and requires commitment. With LRGS, peer collaboration (multi-institutional) across multiple institutions and multiple disciplines can be built, placing Malaysia on the world map in terms of fundamental research in certain niche areas.  A number of postgraduate students were produced from this grant.

Several articles based on the conducted research in urban drainage and river engineering were published in acclaimed international journals such as Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE), Water Management Journal (Institution of Civil Engineers or ICE UK), International Journal of River Basin Management (International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research or IAHR), Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Science of the Total Environment or STOTEN, Urban Water Journal (IAHR), and Journal of Hydro-Environment Research (IAHR).

REDAC co-organized with DID and NAHRIM the largest event for the hydraulic community i.e. the 37th IAHR World Congress in August 2017 held at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).  It was the most successful IAHR congress with over 1200 participants from 61 countries and 800 papers presented.  Most recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between REDAC and Hydro environment Research Centre (HRC), Cardiff University, UK to collaborate on research and consultancy in river engineering and urban drainage.

REDAC offers postgraduate studies via research (M.Sc., Ph.D.) in specialized areas of Urban Drainage Management, River Management, Hydro Informatics and Environmental Hydraulics Management. Further information on research activities of REDAC can be obtained from the following website: http://redac.eng.usm.my

 Prof. Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria

 

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