APU PhD Graduates Strive In Excellence Towards Research & Innovation

Current trends show that many professionals want to address areas of advancing knowledge, personal ambition, change of career direction, future career prospects and job market requirements.

The Malaysian government has a goal to produce 60,000 PhD holders within 3 years to meet the nation’s drive to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy. In this sense, Malaysian PhD holders can convey that required expertise as they will be the people to have a breadth of specialized knowledge to discover gaps and develop ideate transformations within their fields.

Pursuing a PhD is always based on the basic desire to accomplish something big and make an original contribution to a certain discipline, gaining transferrable skills with one’s research passion and subsequently triggering deeper thinking and innovation.

Work with APU’s senior academicians to further your research and achieve the highest formal degree in the field.
Dr. Murugappan Subramanian Chettiar, the Head of Human Capital Division at the Malaysian Communication Multimedia Commission (MCMC), has proved how he managed to strategize human capital development shifts in digital upskilling at MCMC as an outcome of his research experience via completing a PhD in Management.

Dr. Murugappan Subramanian Chettiar
His research was on the Digital Transformation Leadership Black Box (DTLBB), where he validated the previously asserted presuppositions of different types of digital transformations via a new introduction to Process Transformation, Domain Transformation, Business Model Transformation and Organizational Transformations.

By merging the empirical findings for digital leadership, his findings thus provided an opportunity for businesses to put the prerequisite conditions into perspective to better prepare for the digital transformation journeys for the leadership to see through the beginning and sustainable journey towards Digital Transformation.

“I am solid proof that digital learning and leadership in APU can hypercharge capability building. Furthermore, fellow APU researchers online chat group helped a lot in keeping us connected with the University with real-time info and facilities,” enthused Dr Murugappan.

Since its inception in 2013 by welcoming the first batch PhD students into the campus, APU’s PhD postgraduate programme has been striving in strength. Its enrolment saw many candidates from various industries embarking on the PhD journey and completing it timely, which has enriched their overall research capabilities.

What is more, APU’s PhD graduates attained their PhDs by addressing different pressing issues inclusive of sustainability, community, market trends or digital concerns. These findings and outcomes have been published in the international recognised indexed journals and presented at many prominent international conferences, some of which are being used by their sponsors as the frameworks or implementation models for organizational growth.

By completing a PhD in Technology in 2019, Dr. Stella Mbau Nyambura saw her research outcomes bring an impact to localized climate action, regeneration, community-based solutions and climate justice within a global context. She managed to investigate the use of existing early warning systems in enabling global awareness and then she developed a framework that helps in the identification of this gap in sub-Sahara Africa. She had also analysed existing knowledge transfer frameworks for syntropic agroforestry.

Dr. Stella Mbau Nyambura
As the Founder & CEO of LOABOWA, a brand she built that is based in Nairobi, Kenya, which aims to enable a “low impact” footprint, climate resilience and awareness, Dr. Stella continues to carry out scientific works on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), the scenarios of projected socioeconomic global changes up to 2100, typically in SSP2 - Middle of the Road; and SSP3 - A Rocky Road.

“I met an understanding and encouraging supervisor during my PhD study, our relationship became ties of collaboration and a friendship. He encouraged me to think independently but guide me along the process which allowed me to complete my paper sooner than I expected. I have learned a lot from my coursemates, we challenged each other to be better, we keep each other accompanied beyond our studies. After all, these experiences had very much enriched my life experiences,” recalled Dr. Stella.

Candidates for APU’s PhD programme come from around the world, and Dr. Rawan Madarmeh arrived from Jordan. She completed her PhD in Technology in 2020, by studying system and process architecture, for the development of an environmentally friendly cheque system, followed by the existence of Fintech in the financial world.

Dr. Rawan Madarmeh
With the theme “Green Cheque System (GCS)”, Dr. Rawan utilized software mimicking the Waterfall Methodology to construct GCS operations, providing 14 electronic services cheque users via Internet Banking (IB), Mobile Banking (MB) and ATM banking channels.

Dr. Rawan moved on to financial consultancy upon completing her PhD and is currently utilizing her research experience to predict the intention, acceptance and adoption of “Green Banking Technology” usage, especially during the pandemic of Covid-19 between 2020 to 2021.

This has been done by studying Performance Expectancy, Hedonic Motivation, Social Influence, and Users’ Attitude Towards Green IT, Perceived Risk, Legislation and Privacy on the clients’ intention and usage behaviours in the banking industry.

''Conducting research is like creating your own masterpiece of knowledge. It must be done patiently with belief, hope, and a lot of care. It is more than seeking knowledge; it is about your own special insights contributing uniquely to the art of science,'' shared Dr. Rawan.

Dr. Afriza Hani Mohd Sinon who is currently attached to Malaysia’s Public Service Department has completed in-depth research for her PhD study on the influence of theory-based digital interventions in reducing non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors.

Dr. Afriza Hani Mohd Sinon
Besides a resourceful online database, students will also be provided with various resources of research workshops, colloquium and seminars facilitated by local and international academicians and professionals. To complete a PhD Research Paper, a potential student could refer to the list of PhD Titles available at APU’s PhD Title Bank, in which students will be guided and mentored by senior academicians.Dr. Afriza’s research at the point in time where she was attached to the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development & Cooperatives (MEDAC) aimed to address public health service optimization via digital means in the country. This extensive research examined the influences of elements of health behavioural change on the usage optimization to utilize public health services among female users of the Ministry of Health Facebook (MOH FB) platform in Malaysia to curb NCD risk factors.

Her findings were a potential gateway to the intervention efforts of MOH Malaysia in raising awareness and reducing NCD risk factors amongst Malaysian women.

“Being a doctoral student at APU provided me with significant personal and professional growth that is both rewarding and challenging. The university provides immense support that allows students to grow from self-doubt to self-acceptance. Apart from that, the PhD programme also allowed me to work with international, top-level professors and colleagues,” said Dr Afriza.

“Knowing that the PhD candidates are coming from different professional backgrounds and countries with fast-growing economies, one of the key objectives was to ensure that their research had a key application onto digital means serving multiple magnitudes of change or transformation processes,” opined Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), who supervised the above PhD graduates.

The efficiency of APU’s administration, with effective time management and constant engagement with PhD students, not only allows for seamless completion of their doctoral dissertation but also led to a continuous working relationship in the post-completion research ventures.

Once signing up for a PhD study at APU, the student will be assigned to a group of highly qualified supervisors. They will be exposed to a wide range of the latest research areas in the fields of computing and business administration.

Served with the Open & Distance Learning (ODL), PhD students at APU can learn anytime, anywhere at their own pace, which ultimately ignited more interest and excitement in learning. For Distance Learning PhD students in APU, they will be undertaking two components - Research Methods Module and Dissertation.

Besides a resourceful online database, students will also be provided with various resources of research workshops, colloquium and seminars facilitated by local and international academicians and professionals. To complete a PhD Research Paper, a potential student could refer to the list of PhD Titles available at APU’s PhD Title Bank, in which students will be guided and mentored by senior academicians.

With role models as above – Dr. Murugappan Subramanian Chettiar, Dr. Stella Mbau Nyambura, Dr. Rawan Madarmeh and Dr. Afriza Hani Mohd Sinon, if you think you still have an unfulfilled goal or personal dream akin to theirs, just make up your mind to embark on a PhD journey which will certainly help you to reach your full potential and broaden your career opportunities.