The Malaysian Society of Agricultural Engineers or MSAE is a learned society established in 1982. During Annual General Meeting (AGM39), all the members attend agreed to change the name of this society from ‘Malaysian Society of Agricultural Engineers’ into ‘Malaysian Society of Agricultural and Food Engineers’. It is a professional and technical organization of members who are interested in engineering knowledge and technology for food, agriculture, the associated industries and related resources. The founding members were mainly lecturers of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, University Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) who have obtained their highest degrees from US universities. Hence, they are very familiar with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers or ASABE, which is an active professional engineering organization internationally with more than 8000 members worldwide.
Agricultural engineering education in Malaysia started as far back as 1961. However, it was only in 1975 that a full bachelor degree program in agricultural engineering was introduced in the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (now Faculty of Engineering), Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM). The first batch of agricultural engineers graduated in 1979. The diploma program in agricultural engineering was introduced in the Faculty in 1980.
Since then, agricultural engineering professionals (i.e agricultural engineers and agricultural engineering technical assistants) have significantly contributed to the development of agriculture in the country. To date there are about 1500 agricultural engineers and agricultural engineering technical assistants who are involved in agricultural and non-agricultural fields in Malaysia. Today, as the food engineering field develops further downstream of agricultural processing, it is important, therefore, to emphasize that MSAE is involved in not only agricultural engineering but also in food engineering.
MSAE members are employed in government departments and agencies, universities and colleges, palm oil mills and plantations, agricultural machinery companies, irrigation companies, and agricultural and food processing plants. In government departments and agencies, they are focused either on research such as in the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Malaysian Rubber Board (LGM), Malaysian Cocoa Board (LKM), Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB), and (Forrest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) or on service fields such as in the Department of Agriculture (DOA), Department of Environment (DOE), and Farmers’ Organization Authority (LPP).
The activities of MSAE include establishing rapport and mutual cooperation with government bodies and private sectors in research and development; promoting the importance of agricultural and food engineers’ involvements in organizations whose activities are related to agriculture and food; organizing international and national conferences, workshops, seminars and short courses; publishing; establishing and maintaining working relationship with agricultural engineering societies of other countries, especially, those in the ASEAN region, eastern Asia and North America (particularly the USA and Canada); organizing technical competitions and visits; and organizing social, sports and recreational activities and technical visits especially for members of the MSAE- Student Chapter.
In 2016, in conjunction with 41 years of teaching, research, consultancy and extension in agricultural engineering in Malaysia and 34 years of the establishment of the professional engineering society in Malaysia, a prominent national landmark was erected and launched at the Faculty of Engineering, UPM to commemorate the founding of the first agricultural engineering curriculum and of the MSAE