By Kuah Guan Oo
Serdang, 15 March (UPM) – A prestigious Indian university in Kolkata has honoured an alumni and senior professor of Universiti Putra Malaysia with the Emeritus Professorship award.
Han Chun Kwong, who is a senior professor with the Faculty of Economics and Management of UPM was conferred the Emeritus Professorship award by the Techno India University (TIU) in Kolkata on 21 December 2012.
Professor Han was in Kolkata as an invited speaker at the International Conference on Optimization, Computing and Business Analytics from 20 to 22 December, 2012. The conference was organized by the Operational Research Society of India (ORSI) in collaboration with TIU, which is the first private university in West Bengal that was established through state legislation.
While TIU has campuses in Salt Lake (USA), Joka and Bishnupur in Kolkata, TIU is part of the Techno India Group which has been running 10 business schools, 15 engineering colleges and 10 public schools, among others. The Group has been “building bridges” (linkages) with American and European universities through their Techno Global University in the State of Meghalaya.
Prof Han when asked about the award said, “It came as a pleasant surprise to me that a foreign university under the advice of the ORSI considered my contribution to the field of Operations Research and Management Sciences as SIGNIFICANT. The ORSI is twice as old as our Malaysian OR society and there have been many well-known Indian professors in the discipline who subsequently migrated to the USA and Europe”.
“TIU would be keen to work with our Faculty of Economics and Management when I told them that we are AACSB accredited and giving them my new namecard with the AACSB logo”.
Prof Han is the first staff in the 39 years of history of the Faculty of Economics and Management to be awarded the title of “Emeritus Professor”. He has been active in the field of Management Sciences from the day he obtained his B.Sc (Agribusiness) from UPM in 1979.
As a tutor, he went on to obtain his M.Sc in Agribusiness from UPM where he was also the first candidate to graduate in 1984. His thesis was on a comparative analysis of the application of Operations Research tools in Malaysia and Singapore.
Four years later, when he went for the interview for his PhD study, the then Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Nayan Ariffin informed the committee that Han was the first Serdang student to go to the University of Cambridge. Prof Han obtained his Ph.D in information management from the Cambridge Business School.
In 1984, he became the first Malaysian to present a paper at the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS)’s Triennial International Conference in Washington DC, with financial support from Dataprep (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
With the encouragement and support of several OR societies in Asia, Prof Han was the founding president of Management Science/Operations Research Society of Malaysia (MSORSM) in 1986, the youngest president in the history of operations research societies in the world.
Over a period of more than 20 years, he had have served 5 terms at different point in time as MSORSM president, totalling 9 years. During the mid-2000s, he coined an acronym “ManagementSciences@Malaysia” for the Society to reflect the Internet age.
He was also the editor-in-chief of the Malaysian Journal of Management Science that was endorsed by the International Abstracts in Operations Research (IAOR), from 1992 to 1995. In 1996, he upgraded the journal to the Asia Pacific Journal of Management Sciences. Prof Han remains an IAOR contributing editor to date.
He was elected as President of the Association of Asian Pacific Operational Research Societies from 2007 to 2009.
Among his services to the nation were his two-year secondment as senior manager of Borderless Marketing at the Multimedia Development Corporation, three years as director of the Centre for Research on Information Management and Policy Action and two years as director of Electronic University at UPM.
He was also selected for the bodies to draft the 1992-1993 National Council for Scientific Reseach and Development’s strategy for an information-rich society, and the 1997 drafting of the IT 2000 Strategic Plan for the Sabah state government.
Among his publications is his book on Government Information Technology Policies and Systems: Success Strategies and in Developed and Developing Countries.
For his industry contribution, Prof Han was the founding president of Customer Relationship Management and Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) in 1999, where he had served over the first four terms, by which time Malaysia had been ranked 3rd as an Outsourcing Hub in the world. He is presently an Advisor to the CCAM Advisory Council. – upm
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