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Building surveying in Malaysia
Article Type: Editorial From: Structural Survey, Volume 29, Issue 3
I have just returned from Kuala Lumpur where I was visiting the University of Malaya in my role as an external examiner of the Bachelor of Building Surveying. The University is the leading higher education institution in Malaysia and has high research aspirations including an ambition to be a top 100 global university. This was my first visit to Malaysia and once I adjusted myself to the humidity I enjoyed the trip, even managing to fit in a couple of hours of sight-seeing! I was able to meet with many of the undergraduate students and was particularly impressed by the quality of their academic work and their motivation to study. The level of structural analysis and design they undertake on their course would put many UK civil engineering students to shame and some of their research projects are of a particularly high standard. One of the personal highlights of my visit was to meet the only other Professor of Building Surveying in the World – Professor Ahmad Bin Ramly who is based in the Department of Building Surveying at the University. I know that there are other building surveyors who are professors but according to my web searches, Ahmad and I are the only two who share that particular title. My visit had a delayed return to the UK due to the aircraft bursting a tyre on take-off. We flew around dumping fuel before returning to KL some four hours after take-off. Our second attempt was successful, even if it resulted in a 25 hour delay in returning.
Table I Top countries by downloads
There are two building surveying degree courses in Malaysia and this may perhaps explain the popularity of this journal in the country. Table I shows a breakdown of the top seven counties by the number of papers recently downloaded by customers in those countries:
It is not of course surprising to see that the UK accounts for nearly half of all downloads but the high ranking of Malaysia is very interesting. Clearly there is some significant research underway in the building surveying arena in that country.
Papers in this issue
I am particularly pleased that of the eight authors contributing to this issue, exactly half of them are industry based. Alan Scott, who wrote several papers for this journal while an academic at the University of Northumbria, has recently returned to practice. Alan was a student with me on the building surveying course at Liverpool Polytechnic in the 1970s and has written a particularly informative paper on Church of England quinquennial inspections. It really is surprising that more building surveyors do not undertake such work and I know that part of Alan’s motivation in writing this paper is to encourage a greater uptake of church inspections by building surveyors. Philip Antino has written an interesting paper on the use of the Party Wall Act to gain access to neighbouring property. Social networks are all around us these days but Mahtab Akhavan Farshchi and Mark Brown have approached the subject from a different perspective to investigate knowledge creation in the built environment by using social network analysis. Alison Cotgrave and Noora Kokkarinen have written a second paper stemming from Alison’s PhD research into promoting sustainability literacy in construction students. Finally McGrath and Horton present their findings of a post occupancy evaluation study of student accommodation in a modern method of construction modular building. Ironically (bearing in mind the subject matter with which I commenced this editorial) this issue of Structural Survey is the first for some time in which all contributing authors are UK based.