Virtual research unit known as River Engineering and Urban Drainage Unit (UKSSB) led by Prof. Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria and Prof. Dr. Aminuddin Ab. Ghani has been active in research and consultancy works in River Basin Management (RBM) in particular urban flooding. UKSSB has received several grants from the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) Malaysia and Seberang Perai Municipal Council, Penang towards resolving Urban Drainage and River Engineering related problems since 1997.

With the expected launching of a new urban drainage manual (Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia or MSMA) effective by 1st January 2001, DID Malaysia has approached Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in March 1999 to consider its new engineering campus at Transkrian as the pilot project in implementing a Bio-Ecological Drainage System (BIOECODS), one of alternatives listed in MSMA to create an environmentally friendly urban developments. UKSSB has since been awarded a new research grant (RM 2,900,000) to study the effectiveness of using BIOECODS under a close cooperation with Stormwater Unit, River Engineering Section of DID.

UKSSB is also active in postgraduate research funded by IRPA Long-Term Grants and scholarships from government agencies. The students come from different backgrounds including engineers, lecturers and consultants.

Due to its active role in research and consultancy, The University felt that UKSSB should be operating as a Research Centre leading to Centre of Excellence, the first in Engineering Campus. The University Senate formed a Study Committee in their 145th meeting on 22nd April 2000 under Clause 22[b], Constitution of USM to consider the proposal to form River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC). The committee met on June 9, 2000 and was chaired by Y.Bhg. Dato’ Prof. Jamjan Rajikan representing Y.Bhg. Dato’ Prof. Vice Chancellor. The committee agreed and fully supported the establishment of REDAC to fulfill the need of the present and future research in River Engineering and Urban Drainage.

In the 146th Senate Meeting on June 22, 2000, the resolution to form REDAC was presented and agreed. The University Board of Directors (LPU)’s meeting on July 26, 2000 affirmed the establishment of REDAC. Subsequently a report on the proposal to form REDAC was forwarded to the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education for evaluation. On April 17,2001, the Ministry of Education confirmed the resolution by the Higher Education Committee dated May 13, 2001 for the establishment of REDAC commencing on 2001/2002 Academic Year. Consequently Prof. Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria and Prof. Dr. Aminuddin Ab. Ghani were appointed as the Director and Deputy Director of REDAC respectively.

REDAC is the first research centre at the USM Engineering Campus which was accorded the 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). REDAC has received more than RM 20 million for the last ten years to conduct research and innovation.

REDAC recently completed the Long Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) 2011 by Ministry of Education (MoE) 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. Recent completed studies include River Sand Mining Capacity in Malaysia, Design Options of the Flood Mitigation Plan of River Muda, River Inventory and Monitoring Program (RIMP), Erosion and Sediment Control in Malaysia, Stormwater Management and Drainage Masterplan Study (Tanjung Malim, Kulim Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Tanah Merah, Bukit Kayu Hitam). 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 2ed, River Sand Mining Management Guideline and the Preparation of Design Guides for Erosion and Sediment Control in Malaysia.

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. The national pilot project on sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) namely Bio-Ecological Drainage System (BIOECODS) has continuously received visitors
from national and also international.

Last Updated : 26th January 2015