Innovation for A Better World

As a fresh-faced high school leaver, Muhammad Khusairy was already certain what the career of his dreams would look like. When considering his options, he found that Swinburne Sarawak could give him the freedom to pursue mechanical engineering, just as he wanted. This marked the beginning of his career as an innovator driven by a mission to build a sustainable world.

Fast forward to the present day and he is now Dr Muhammad Khusairy, having obtained his PhD, Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering from Swinburne. 

Swinburne Sarawak PhD & Master of Engineering alumnus, Dr Muhammad Khusairy.

Dr Khusairy accomplished the feat of being the first Sarawak student – and one of the first Malaysian students – to graduate in the shortest time for his Masters by Research (in one year) and his Doctorate (in two years), with a total of 60 publications at the time of graduation.

These results were not without their own challenges. While working on his research, he hit a roadblock in the process due to funding issues.

  • “Rejection does not mean you will stop your work and be a failure. It is just another way to open new doors and get alternative support with determination to finish the job."

    Muhammad , PhD & Master of Engineering

Dr Khusairy eventually managed to secure funding support from Swinburne and The Sarawak Foundation, which allowed his research work to be completed on time. He credits his experience at Swinburne for building his perseverance and determination, which remain key values in his career journey.

Dr Khusairy is the first Malaysian and Sarawakian to be appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Washington State University in the industrial lab of the Composite Materials and Engineering Center and PACCAR department.

As a materials specialist in mechanical engineering, he conducts large-scale laboratory research for renowned clients, including Ford, 3M, and Amazon. He has authored over 169 publications and contributed to books on alternative materials. Two of his published books are indexed in the British Library and the Library of Congress. His books focus on bamboo as one of the green technologies in global sustainability and he considers Sarawak as the ideal place to be a worldwide source of bamboo.

In 2022, Dr. Khusairy was the sole Swinburne Sarawak finalist for the prestigious Swinburne Alumni Impact Awards in the Innovative Planet Impact category. His advocacy for bamboo as a sustainable alternative to wood and focus on developing cleaner materials led to this achievement, and his products have been commercialised by companies seeking to be more sustainable.

In addition to his work, Dr Khusairy is also the Lead of Research and Development for the Association of Professional Technicians and Technologist Sarawak, and Lead Technical Advisor for Learned Societies and TechZone Sarawak for the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT).

According to Dr Khusairy, the most crucial outcome of studying is a willingness to learn new skills and knowledge and sharing them with the community. With technology constantly evolving to new heights, he says that adaptability and a willingness to explore broad branches of knowledge would allow one to develop into a well-rounded person, regardless of their career path. 

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