Headshot of Edzwan Redza Anwar

Proud international Brighton Effect family member celebrates diversity at the university

Civil Engineering alum Edzwan Redza Anwar shares his views on the importance of diversity and tells us more about his work in sustainability with the Islamic Development Bank.

Edzwan, an Operations Team Leader (Energy) for the Islamic Development Bank, recalls how his time at Brighton as an international student helped bring out his confidence and meet people from different backgrounds.

He shared with us the importance of being open-minded, respecting and valuing diversity and how his time at Brighton helped hone his skills communicating ideas and collaborating with others.
Being an international student at Brighton

“My time as an international student at the University of Brighton fundamentally impacted where I am today. It continues to do so especially with memories of student life, as well as preparing me to be part of bigger and learned community. The quality of education and recognition both back in Malaysia and globally makes me proud to be a Brightonian, and that I was educated at University of Brighton.

“I was an introvert by nature but during my time at university, we were taught to question and engage. I learned that everyone was given a platform to present, argue and defend their conclusion. Coming from a Malaysian academic background into a British academic system posed a challenge to me as I was not trained to argue, but rather just to find the correct answer, literally from the book. My university days in Brighton gave me the opportunity to build my confidence during presentations and meeting deadlines during assignments.

“As a city, I always enjoyed spring and summer in Brighton, a quick fix of seafood at a nearby restaurant and a walk along the beach always cleared my thoughts.”

Brighton as a diverse place to study
“There was amazing recognition from the University of Brighton to provide a place for the Muslim students to pray and gather.

“Personally, I believe that the more you know the less you are going to be scared, especially things that might be new to you. Being in an international community and even an international organisation allows me to gain empathy, sympathy, tolerance, and open-mindedness which gave me more sense to be grateful and thankful for who I am and what I believe in.

“During my time at the University of Brighton, I listened to the student Jewish society personnel, sat and discussed with an Islamic student society, cooperated and completed group assignments with various international students in my class.

“I remember during my first 6 months, that one weekend my housemates and I decided to cook and eat together. When I told them that I have to use ‘halal’ meat as I am a Muslim, some weren’t sure about the term or had only heard of it.

“I explained more about it and offered that I would go and get the meat and come back and cook together. During the cooking, we also swapped the white wine with thick broth, and everyone still enjoyed the food.

“As a result, I had the opportunity to share my background with my dorm mates and the same in return. If I had not been tolerant towards others, I would not have gained any benefit from being an overseas student or even learned anything from the students in the host country.

“One shouldn’t be shy or ashamed of one’s background and roots as that remains the foundation and principal of each person. Scale-up the same understanding into the business environment, broader diversity amongst board or colleagues bring different views of creativity and innovation, empowers positivity and openness, and thus eliminates biasedness and stereotyping.”

How experiencing different cultures at university prepared him for an international career
“Based on my experiences at the University of Brighton, I continue to build my understanding of being part of the international community through relations and engagement thereon.

“Nowadays, I am being given several international platforms to share ideas and knowledge and even to be part of a participating group in delivering the Islamic Development Bank project and energy sector agenda across member countries.

“Having been living and working overseas for 10 years now, it would not have been easy if I had not been given the opportunity to live and study at the University of Brighton, especially to stand on my own two feet. It was an eye-opener of what life awaits me in the future.”

His role at the Islamic Development Bank
“I am proud to be a Professional Engineer with an MBA qualification. I started as a Graduate Engineer and currently work as Operations Team Leader (Energy) with Islamic Development Bank to help member countries achieve sustainable development goals and to meet 2050 net zero carbon emissions.

“As a Professional Engineer in the energy sector, I always look for challenges to meet the best outcome in the project environment landscape. This ranges from the need to plan for a quality at the entry a project to an actionable and implementable construction activities until it achieves its sustainability in its operation and maintenance cycle.

“My work comprises organizing project evaluation, detailed reviews, and engineering and construction of power generation projects for financing and operational enforcement. I have also spoken at several conferences on the subjects of ‘Energy Transition’ and ‘Renewables in Energy Systems’.”

Career Achievements to date
“Recently, I was awarded Professional Technologist (Ts.) by the Malaysia Board of Technologists in April 2023, and ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer (ACPE) by the ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer Coordinating Committee (ACPECC) July 2023. I continue to strive and pursue my personal agenda in addition to my career progression.”

Defining Success and advice
“Success is when goals and objectives are met through small wins be it spiritually, financially, and the opportunity to be loved by your family while achieving them.”

“Enjoy every moment at the University of Brighton as diversity is endless, use your time to get to know all sorts of people from different backgrounds and countries. Don’t skip the student gatherings as ‘fun’ is the key word.”

Importance of family and touching tribute to his late father
“Above all, I cannot achieve these wonderful milestones (from being a student to becoming a family man) without the support and sacrifices of both of my parents. Especially my late father who continuously instilled great teachings, morals, and values, in me, to be a responsible and ethical person.

“I dearly miss him for the guidance and love he gave endlessly and tirelessly to me and our family. I love you Papa.”

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