Last week, more than 500 alumni and guests gathered in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to meet President Alice Gast, connect, and hear news from Imperial.
Among the attendees were alumni, corporate guests, students, offer holders, and parents. The receptions formed part of a longer trip to the region, in which President Gast also met corporate and institutional partners.
Building on a strong foundation in Malaysia
President Gast was awarded an honorary degree by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in October 2015. At the Malaysian reception she said, “It’s a real delight to be returning to Malaysia as an alumna myself. I’m confident that Imperial’s relationship with Malaysia will continue to grow because of the hard work of the Imperial College Alumni Association of Malaysia, our excellent relationships with many Malaysian corporate partners like Petronas, and because of our many academic links, for example with UTM, whose past and present leadership are here with us this evening.”
She took the opportunity to update guests on some of the latest exciting developments at Imperial, including robotics research taking place at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, and progress on the Molecular Sciences Research Hub at the College's new White City Campus. She also described the remarkable experience of viewing incredibly detailed images from the surface of Mars, thanks to the power of the Data Sciences Institute's KPMG Data Observatory.
See below for a slideshow from the reception in Kuala Lumpur, or browse the full photo gallery on Flickr or on the alumni Facebook page.
Fireside chat in Singapore
At the Singaporean reception, President Gast was joined onstage for a ‘fireside chat’ by eminent alumnus Mr Koh Boon Hwee (BEng Mechanical Engineering 1972), entrepreneur and current chair of the Nanyang Technological University Board of Trustees. Subjects discussed included the importance of risk taking, the role educators can play in creating entrepreneurial students, the challenges of collaboration and teamwork, and the importance of identifying mentors.
On the subject of ambition and risk-taking Koh Boon Hwee said, “Whatever you’ve achieved is history. My past achievements are of no interest to me. You always have to strive to do better, so don’t take challenges lightly! If there’s one thing that matters more than anything in terms of dealing with risk, it’s ensuring that you are working with the very best people you can.”
President Gast thanked the Imperial College Alumni Association of Singapore as well as other partners in Singapore, in particular staff from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
See below for a slideshow from the reception in Singapore, or browse the full photo gallery on Flickr or on the alumni Facebook page.
Alumni collaborations across Asia
President Gast spoke of alumni engagement as one of the foundation's of Imperial's strategy, with one of her high priorities being to get to know alumni in the UK and around the world, and to understand how their Imperial education has shaped their lives. She encouraged alumni to share their experiences and suggestions, and to visit the College when they are in London.
Nicola Pogson, Director of Alumni Relations said, “I’m really pleased to be heading up the alumni relations programme at a time of change and investment at Imperial. It’s been a delight to meet the alumni leadership here in Malaysia and Singapore, and we’re excited to be discussing ways in which the alumni network across Asia can collaborate more.”
She urged alumni to connect with and support their local alumni networks, and thanked the team of volunteers from the local alumni associations who ably assisted with the event organisation.
Find out more about the Imperial College Alumni Association of Malaysia and the Imperial College Alumni Association of Singapore on the alumni webpages, or follow the associations on Facebook:
Imperial College Alumni Association Malaysia (ICAAM)
Imperial College Alumni Association of Singapore (ICAAS)
Sharing Imperial experiences across generations
A number of offer holders who are considering starting their studies at Imperial this October, and their parents, attended the events. Silas Lee, Sherman Tee and Nicholas Chanan Tuan were among those who spoke with association leader Christopher Tock at the Malaysia reception.
Silas said, “I wanted to come along to get an insight into what life is like at Imperial - it’s nice to be able to find out that ‘something extra’!”
A sense of belonging
Romawati Abdul Rahman (MSc Earth Science & Engineering 2009), who attended the Malaysian reception with her husband Jasni Zain, said, “I came tonight because of the great company! I like to be able to establish connections with likeminded people here in Malaysia, and it gives me a sense of belonging."
Zhi Yang Lim (Materials Science & Engineering 2010) volunteered to assist at the Singapore event, and attended with his wife Carmen Huange (MEng Chemical Engineering 2011). He said, “As well as giving me a good education, Imperial also gave me a wife! I decided to volunteer in order to meet alumni from different generations, and it’s been a good way for me to continue the connections I began to form while I was at Imperial. It’s a great turnout tonight and we’ve really enjoyed ourselves.”
Also in attendance was Virendra Chauhan (Chemistry 2009) who recently relocated to Singapore to help build the Asian office of a start-up in the oil and gas industry, and Yunn Chua (MEng Chemical Engineering 2013), who describes her time at Imperial as “a dreamland.”
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