Director's Message 2015

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 Minister’s 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 recently approved by DID for use in Malaysia. The guideline was produced after an intensive field work and river modeling for three rivers namely Sungai Muda, Sungai Langat and Sungai Kerian.  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 affecting several states especially Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu and Johor resulting in the collapse of bridges supports the on-going research on of bridge scour at abutments and piers with the aim of producing scour protection predictions suitable for rivers in Malaysia. 

REDAC recently completed the Long Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) 2011 by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) on Water Security. 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 curtain niche areas.

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).

A triennial international conference was organised by REDAC on Managing Rivers in the 21st Century, starting with Rivers’04 from 21st – 23rd September 2004 at Penang and Rivers’07 at Kuching, Sarawak from 6th – 8th June 2007. Rivers 2011 was organised in December 2011 in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of REDAC.  The International Journal of River Basin Management (JRBM) published special issues on Rivers’04 and Rivers 2011. Another special issue for Rivers’07 was published in Water Management Journal. With an active role in promoting sustainable river management, REDAC has been chosen to co-organize the largest event for the hydraulic community i.e. the 37th IAHR World Congress in 2017 to be held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with an expected number of participants around 2000 from throughout the world.

REDAC offers postgraduate studies via research (M.Sc., Ph.D) in specialised 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: