GEORGE TOWN, April 21 -- Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Angkasa X Innovation Sdn Bhd (AXI) today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to offer a professional course in satellite engineering.

The Professional Course in Satellite Engineering will be the first in Malaysia to offer mixed-mode courses consisting of lectures and practical work in the laboratories for satellite development and testing, and is targeting students and technical professionals in Asia to upscale their skills and talents.

AXI executive chairman Datuk Dr Sean Seah said the collaboration in Penang was divided into three phases, namely to focus on talent development, technology transfer and building satellite ecosystem.

"In terms of talent development, we have chosen to work with USM to train lecturers and students from the School of Aerospace Engineering to prepare them for satellite engineering.

"Our plan is to launch a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite in Penang as part of our mission to set up the ASEAN-LINK constellation to address the problem of internet connectivity in the rural areas of Southeast Asia,” he told reporters after the signing ceremony here.

Seah said the third phase which involves the construction of satellite ecosystems such as the construction of ground stations is to support the expansion of applications that will be developed.

Meanwhile, USM deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed said the collaboration would involve the Schools of Aerospace Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

"USM lecturers will undergo courses with AXI beginning this July under the eight-year agreement period,” he said.