Welcoming back alumni Datuk Abu Bakar Bin Mohamad Diah

by | Oct 5, 2017 | Campus News

Recently, we were delighted to be able to welcome one of our alumni, Datuk Abu Bakar Bin Mohamad Diah, back to campus. Datuk Abu Bakar, who studied for an MSc in Concrete Technology, Construction and Management at the University in 1991 also completed his PhD in Concrete Technology here in 1994. During his visit, Datuk Abu Bakar, who is currently Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Malaysian government, was able to tour some of the facilities on campus — including the very room he was based in when studying for his PhD!

Throughout the day, Datuk Abu Bakar was accompanied by University Alumni Relation Officer Pamela Lawrence, and Marketing Manager for ASEAN Linda O’Neill, who has met with Datuk in his home country numerous times.

Datuk Abu Bakar’s tour began with a visit to his old department within the School of Science & Engineering, where Discipline Lead for Civil Engineering, Dr Jonathan Knappett, was able to show Datuk Abu Bakar some of the University’s most impressive equipment. This included our state-of-the-art centrifuge, which was the first of its kind to be installed in Scotland and is one of just 12 across Europe.

It was here Datuk Abu Bakar was also reunited with a familiar face, Dr Michael McCarthy, who was studying for his PhD at Dundee when Datuk Abu Bakar was completing his Masters. Dr McCarthy is currently a Reader in Civil Engineering, and the pair were able to reminisce about their experiences of studying at the University in the early 90s.

Datuk Abu Bakar was then invited to tour the facilities in the School of Life Sciences’ Discovery Centre, where researchers work on interdisciplinary, translational research into some of the fundamental health issues facing society. Here Datuk Abu Bakar saw some of the world-class work our researchers are engaged with, and discussed innovation with Professor Mike Ferguson, who research focus is on molecular parasitology, glycobiology and drug discovery.


Datuk Abu Bakar’s day on campus culminated with coffee with the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Pete Downes, with whom he shared his memories of studying, the city and his pride at being an alumnus of the University.

Pam Lawrence, Alumni Relations Officer at the University said, “We are always delighted to welcome our alumni back to campus to give them the opportunity to walk down memory lane and share their memories with us. Having met Datuk Abu Bakar in Malaysia last year it was a pleasure to welcome him back to Dundee and indeed meet his wife and daughter. Datuk Abu Bakar is a great ambassador for Dundee and the University and we look forward to seeing him again soon, whether in Dundee or Malaysia!”