USM Engineering Campus, Nibong Tebal, located at the south of Seberang Perai, is close to two other small bordering towns, Parit Buntar, Perak and Bandar Baharu, Kedah. The futuristic and modern concept of the landscape and layouts of buildings add to its uniqueness and distinctiveness. This campus is very prominent because it is the only higher learning institution in the suburb.
The campus covers about 320 acres of land which was formerly a palm-oil plantation. It was developed based on a futuristic but environmentally-friendly concept. The layout of the buildings was inspired by the shape of a horse shoe. Currently, the campus has an enrollment of about 4000 students.
The initiation of this campus is aligned with USM’s specific aspiration and the government’s general expectations to develop studies in the engineering field in order to produce an all-round human capital necessary for the development and progress of the nation. It was started at the School of Applied Sciences, Main Campus in 1972. The era of engineering studies began at the university in 1984 when the school was restructured into two disciplines of studies and was named the School of Engineering Science and Industrial Technology. In accordance to the need to develop these fields of studies, USM was encouraged to separate the fields physically. Hence, the branch campus was developed to specifically cater to the field of engineering studies.
Originally, the branch campus was located at Seri Iskandar, a town situated about 28 km from Ipoh, Perak. Therefore, the campus was aptly named Perak Branch Campus (KCP). Nevertheless, after operating at the state for 15 years (1986-2001), the campus was moved back to Penang, and renamed as Engineering Campus.
The campus offers the opportunity for Malaysians and foreigners to study in a variety of engineering fields. To date, there are 6 schools of engineering including the School of Aerospace Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, School of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, School of Materials & Mineral Resources Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and School of Mechanical Engineering. The school offers study opportunities at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Other than that, there are two research centres, namely River Engineering & Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC) and Collaborative µElectronic Design Excellence Centre (CEDEC).
The campus also comprises School of Languages, Literacies & Translation and several service centres such as Centre for Knowledge, Communication & Technology, Registry Department, Bursary, Library, Health Centre, Development Department and Security Department.
The campus is strategically located in the midst of three small towns of three neighbouring states. Being the sole IPT(Institut Pengajian Tinggi) in the vicinity, it is anticipated that it would be an agent to quicken the development for the three areas. The presence of this campus will boost the economic growth of Nibong Tebal, Parit Buntar and Bandar Baharu as well as surrounding towns. Therefore, the role played by this campus is in tandem with the government’s plan to develop the suburbs and small towns.
It is the responsibility of the staff and students of USM and the hope of members of the public that the Engineering Campus continues to thrive and contribute to the community and uphold the nation’s aspirations.