Solving bandwidth and food shortage with fibre … optical, that is

  • Optical fibres allow faster Internet speeds, and can also reduce food shortage
  • Examples include chemical-free food preservation using a special optical fibre
Solving bandwidth and food shortage with fibre … optical, that is

TWO seemingly unrelated problems, famine and bandwidth shortage, could be solved by using a optical fibres, according to Professor Dr Hairul Azhar Abdul Rashid (pic above), attached to the Faculty of Engineering at Multimedia University (MMU).
In his inaugural MMU lecture on The World of Optical Fibre, he said optical fibre could be used not only to allow people to enjoy faster Internet speeds, but also to increase food production, MMU said in a statement.
Prof. Hairul, who currently leads a team of researchers designing and fabricating specialty optical fibres for communications and sensors, argued that linking optical fibres to bandwidth and Internet connections issues is only natural, since communications was one of the first applications to use the synthetic material.
However, a growing number of applications have since emerged, including chemical-free food preservation using a special type of optical fibre, he added.
Prof. Hairul, also the director of MMU’s Research Management Centre, said that in order to make significant progress, research should be collaborative, and researchers should support and learn from each other.
Considering the increasingly complex nature and higher costs of research, scientists who are unwilling to share or help would most likely find themselves severely limited, he added.
Furthermore, meaningful R&D outcome will progressively come from multi-disciplinary research, he said, thanks to the convergence of more and more technologies, and as companies compete with each other in trying to add better value to their products and services.
Prof. Hairul, who has been named a ‘Top Research Scientist’ in Malaysia by Academy of Sciences Malaysia, has attracted considerable attention with his work.
To date, it has attracted grants close to RM7.2 million (US$2.2 million) from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and telco giant Telekom Malaysia (TM), MMU said.
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