Universiti Putra Malaysia was first established as the School of Agriculture in 1931. The
school was located on a 22-acre piece of land in Serdang and offered two – a three-year diploma programme and a one-year certificate course in Agriculture. In 1947, the school was declared the College of Agriculture Malaya by Sir Edward Gent, the then Governor of the Malayan Union. The establishment of Universiti Pertanian Malaysia came about when the College of Agriculture in Serdang merged with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Malaya. Dr. Mohd. Rashdan bin Haji Baba, the then principal of the College of Agriculture Malaya, was appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor by virtue of the provisions of Section 18 of the Universities and University Colleges Act, 1971. With the first intake of 1,559 students, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia had its first academic session in July 1973 in the three central faculties and one basic division: the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture, and a Division of Foundation Studies. In the early 80s, UPM extended its area of studies to include the field of Science and Technology (S&T). In 1997, the name Universiti Pertanian Malaysia was changed to Universiti Putra Malaysia by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, as a strategic gesture to portray the
status of UPM as a centre of higher education capable of providing various fields of studies, especially in science and information technology, which facilitate national development in the new millennium.
Prof. Dr. Jegatheswaran Ratnasingam earned his Ph.D. in Furniture Engineering from Brunel University, United Kingdom. He also has postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Engineering and Finance. Prior to academia, he has been in the Asian furniture industry for more than a decade, holding senior managerial positions of large multinational furniture manufacturers in several countries throughout the Asian region. Since, his return to academia, he has been teaching and researching on furniture manufacturing technology, industry development, lean manufacturing and quality systems for the wood industry at the Faculty of Forestry, UPM. He has also supervised a total of 103 students, both at the undergraduate and post graduate level at the university. He is also an Advisor to the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) and the Council for Asian Furniture Associations (CAFA). He has also been a member of the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB), Advisor to the Wood Industry Skills Development Centre (WISDEC) and the Lead Trainer on Wood industry Entrepreneurs for MARA. A prolific writer, Professor Ratnasingam is the author of more than 450 + publications, and is a recipient of 3 Honorary Professorships from universities in United Kingdom, Germany and South Africa.
Associate Professor Dr. Rasmina Halis obtained her Ph.D. from UPM and has been teaching wood composites and wood products quality for the last 10 years at the Faculty of Forestry, UPM. She also serves as students’ supervisor and research advisor, and has been supervised a total of 50 students, both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels over the years. She is also active in student development, and has been instrumental in organizing several student-centric programs, especially those related to students mobility and students co-op education. Dr. Rasmina is also active in research projects, and has been involved in several projects over the years, which focuses primarily on wood composites from non-conventional fiber resources. During her term as the Head of the Department of Forest Production, at the Faculty of Forestry at UPM for several years, Dr. Rasmina has been actively forging and promoting Wood Science Education, both at the national level and international levels. She brings useful university-networks to the benefit of this project, which would enhance the profile of the project among regional peer universities.
Dr. Amir Affan Abdul Azim obtained his Ph.D. from University of Kyoto, Japan in the field of Functional Wood Anatomy. As a young academician, Dr. Amir has been actively involved in ensuring that the curriculum offered at the Faculty of Forestry meets the accreditation requirements of the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA). As one of the leading expert in pedagogical techniques for teaching, he has wide experience in defining the course content, so as to ensure its compliance with the necessary regulations. This has been particularly important in UPM, which being a research university, has been granted the rights to self-accreditate its courses and programs. He has also supervised nearly 30 students both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels over the years. At the university level, Dr. Amir is recognized as an authority on curriculum development, and is a permanent member of the university’s curriculum development, evaluation and audit committee.
Mrs. Ida Suhaila Md Tahir is a Senior Executive at the International Centre of Universiti Putra Malaysia, and has been playing an important role in coordinating several international projects, involving the different faculties throughout Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Being at the International Centre of UPM, she has a good understanding of the multi-cultural aspects involved in international projects, which is very important to ensure the successful implementation of the projects. Mrs. Ida Suhaila has more than 10 years of experience managing several international projects, both from within the European Union as well as from other regional Asian countries. She brings excellent managerial skills to the project, particularly from the management perspective.
Mr. Mohd Muhaizi Mat Daud is a Science Officer at the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has more than 10 years of experience providing administrative, logistic and technical support to several projects, both at the university and national level. An experienced technical staff, Mr. Muhaizi will be useful in carrying out the commissioning of equipment and also the progress-chasing of activities undertaken by the team members. In this context, he plays an important role to facilitate the smooth implementation of this project and also ensuring that the key milestones are completed on time of the UPM team members.
Mr. Zulbasri Othman is presently the section Accountant at Universiti Putra Malaysia, and has been with the Bursar’s office of UPM for more than 20 years. Being experienced with all aspects of financial and supply-chain management, Mr. Zulbasri is well versed with financial management of international projects, gained over a period of more than 10 years with UPM. He has also been involved in a few internationally funded projects from the European Union, which has enriched his experience in project management. He plays an important role in this project, as he provides useful financial management inputs to ensure that the financial aspects of this project tare in accordance with the stipulated funding regulation, as well as in line with the University’s guideline for financial management.