BIODATA DR ABD LATIF MOHMOD
I was born in Johor, Malaysia, in 1960. I graduated from the National University of Malaysia with a degree in Applied Microbiology in 1984 and joined the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) as a Research Officer in 1985, becoming the Head of the Non-wood Forest Products Research Program in 1988 and have held the post since then. I obtained my Master of Science from the Agriculture University of Malaysia in 1991 and completed my Doctor of Philosophy (Non-wood Forest Products) in February 1996 (via three years part-time status) at the same university.
I have pioneered and managed research and development activities on properties and utilisation of non-timber forest products such as rattan, bamboo and palm. To date, I have published about 180 papers in various local and international journals and proceedings and invented 32 machines (11 patented) for processing rattan, bamboo, Pandanus and other palms. The majority of my inventions are currently being utilized in factories operated by indigenous peoples and rural communities. I am also actively involved in joint venture research works on non-wood forest products, either as researcher or supervisor for graduate and post-graduate students with various local and international universities. I am currently engaged with various government agencies as committee member in initiating and fostering the development of the non-wood forest-based industries.
As the Head of the FRIM-World Bank Small- and Medium-scale Industries Development Project since 1987, I have been actively involved in transferring research results into practice especially for the rural societies. Up to now, I have conducted 44 entrepreneurial training courses participated by 1110 peoples and initiated establishment of almost 40 non-timber forest-based mills regionally. Currently, I am also the Project Leader for the National Pioneer Industrial Program for the Zero Waste Utilization of Bamboo and Rattan.
I am regarded as one of the resource persons for various rattan and bamboo associations and industries such as in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Laos and the latest, Africa. I have also been appointed, amongst others, as the Coordinator for the International Forestry Group for "Bamboo and Related Species" research and developmental activities of the International Union of Forestry Research Organisation (IUFRO) P5.08 in August 1998 after being the First Deputy Coordinator since December 1995; Evaluation Committee Member for India Government Bamboo Board Project in 1992; The Expert Member for United Nation Environmental Program - Working Group on Sustainable Renewable Resources and Products Development (UNEP-WG-SPD) based at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands since June 1996.; a Visiting Fellow Scientist of International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) since January 1998; and currently appointed as Fellow for Institute of Biosciences at University Putra Malaysia (from September 1998).
Amongst the awards received throughout my career, include FRIM Award for Excellence of Work (1988, 1993, 1994), Best Publication Award (1992), FRIM Book of the Year (1993, 1996), FRIM Research Award (1995) and MINDEX/INNOTEX National Invention Award (1993 and 1994). In 1992, I received the Best Presentation Award in International Bamboo Congress held in Minamata, Japan. I am also recorded as the first forestry scientist ever honored with the Malaysian National Young Scientist Award (Industrial Sector-1993). I was also honored with the Fellowship of Korea International Cooperation Agency on R&D Management (1994) and Senior Executive Job Attachment at the University of Tsinghua, Beijing, China in 1996. In 1995, I was awarded with the International Union of Forestry Research Organization Scientific Achievement Award which instantly recognised me as the youngest recipient in the history of global forestry practice; followed by His Majesty the King Chivalry Award (Ahli Mangku Negara) in 1996 and Malaysian National Inventor Award 1997.