Past Keynotes

****PAST 2015 KEYNOTE****
Official Keynote 1

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nafis Alam,
Director, Centre for Islamic Business and Finance Research (CIBFR)
Divisional Research Director for Accounting, Finance & Law,
Nottingham University Business School
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.

Use of Social Media in the Classroom Teaching

“Students are using social media in their personal lives, so it makes sense to leverage them for teaching and learning,”
As an educator we look forward for ways to get our students excited about learning. One innovative method which is very relevant in 21st century is through social media. While some teachers already use Tweets, status updates and text messages in their lessons, we may be unsure how to better employ these tools in an engaging way.
As an educational tool, social media enriches the learning experience by allowing students and teachers to connect and interact in new, exciting ways. Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide a platform where users can dialog, exchange ideas, and find answers to questions. These sites are designed to foster collaboration and discussion.
Social media is an effective way to increase student engagement and build better communication skills. Students who rarely raise a hand in class may feel more comfortable expressing themselves on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Social networking platforms enable teachers to establish “back channels” that foster discussion and surface ideas that students are too shy or intimidated to voice out loud.
Improve Communication Among Students and Teachers Facebook and Twitter can enhance communication among students and teachers. Educators can answer students’ questions via a Facebook page or Twitter feed, post homework assignments and lesson plans, send messages and updates, schedule or announce upcoming events, and share interesting Web sites and multimedia content. Students can use Twitter to get help from instructors or other students. A great way for instructors to give participation points in addition to in class participation is by having students tweet about something that was discussed in class.


Dr. Alam is an Associate Professor and Director for Centre for Islamic Business and Finance Research (CIBFR) at the Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) in the University of Nottingham – Malaysia Campus (UNMC). Prior to this, he was attached with Monash University at Sunway campus where he worked as lecturer in finance. He has published quite extensively in the area of finance and his scholarly research has featured in leading journals like Pacific Basin Finance Journal, Emerging Market Review, Journal of Asset Management, Journal of Banking Regulation, Journal of International Banking law & Regulation, Review of Islamic Economics; and Journal of Financial Services Marketing among others. He also co-authored three books in Islamic Finance among them is Encyclopedia of Islamic Finance which is first of its kind and has sold over 1000 copies worldwide. Dr. Alam is also Visiting Lecturer for Durham Islamic Finance Summer School, Durham University, UK. He is reviewer for leading finance & Islamic finance journals. He has given lectures in Harvard Islamic Finance forum at Harvard Law School and Gulf Research Meeting at Cambridge University, UK. Recently Dr. Alam was featured as Professor of the Month by Financial times.

Official Keynote 2

Ivan Djordjevic-Bio-March 2015
Djordjevic Ivan (Dr)

Email :

Keynote Speech:

Title: Development of polymeric platforms with controllable surface chemistry and morphology for dengue virus biosensors

The major aim of the research in our group is to create polymeric surface-activated detection platforms for successful and highly sensitive detection of dengue virus infection in human blood. Our immunological tests for virus detection are based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. The fundamental principle in ELISA tests (currently used in clinical practice) relies on protein-polymer surface interaction which determines the intensity of optical detection signal and efficiency of the analytical method. In that perspective, polymethacrylate macromolecules have been synthesized specifically to have controllable concentration of surface carboxyl groups for further immobilization of dengue antibody molecules. The design of virus detection platform is generally a two-step process: (1) surface activation of polymethacrylate platforms by immobilization of virus antibody/antigen proteins via surface carboxyl groups; (2) optimization of virus detection from antigen/antibody binding between infected blood and activated polymethacrylate surface (virus detection platform). So far we have developed polymethacrylate platforms in the form of coated chips, coated fibers, polymer membranes and microsphere systems with controllable sizes. All the developed substrates have been thoroughly analyzed for their morphology and physicochemical characteristics by following techniques: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), water-in-air contact angle measurements, Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and UV-Vis spectroscopic titration. All the results have shown high degree of control over surface morphology and concentration of carboxyl groups on the outermost layers of the polymer substrates. In our work we have managed to produce suitable polymeric systems which increased the dengue detection signal up to 15 times higher than conventional ELISA method. Currently we are working on integration of chips, fibers, membranes and microspheres into microfluidic devices that would enable rapid and sensitive detection of dengue virus.

Ivan Djordjevic is currently a School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Previously he is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Engineering in University of Malaya. A PhD graduate from University of South Australia and the Ian Wark Research Institute in 2010, his research and professional interests include the following: development of polymeric biomaterials; interface science and surface analysis; composite materials, tissue engineering; cell-biomaterial interaction; surface bio-functionalization; biosensors and diagnostic devices; drug delivery systems; advanced polymer coatings; university teaching and research project management. To date, Ivan Djordjevic has published more than 20 scientific papers and holds 2 patents in the area of biosensors for dengue virus detection, registered in Malaysia. He is previously supervising 4 PhD and 1 MSc projects. Ivan Djordjevic actively collaborates with Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science at UM. His major international collaborations are as follows: (i) Tecnalia Innovations (Spain) – development of topical drug delivery devices; (ii) Maastricht University (Netherlands) – synthesis and processing of polymeric platforms for biosensor applications; and (iii) Ryerson University (Canada) – tissue engineering scaffolds produced from polyester elastomer / bioglass composite for bone tissue regeneration.