Apart from the academic field, this environmentalist leader has vast experience in administration at UKM. He was at one time the Head of the Geography Department (1973-74); Deputy Dean of the faculty of Arts (1974); Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences dan Humanities (1978-1980); Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Research (1988-91) and Vice Chancellor of the University (1993—1998).
Dato’ Dr Mohd Sham bin Mohd Sani was born on 25th March 1943 in Dengkil, Selangor. He obtained his secondary education at Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak (SDAR), before moving on to the University of Canterbury, New Zealand from 1964 to 1969 under a Colombo Plan scholarship. In New Zealand, he pursued an arts degree. Later, at the end of 1977 under the sponsorship of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, he earned his doctorate in Geography. Dato’ Sham Sani began his academic career when he was appointed Assistant Lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1970. In 1973, he was promoted to the post of Lecturer and was later made Associate Professor in 1978. In 1983 he was appointed Professor.
Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Mohd Sham bin Mohd Sani
Chairman of Company's Panel of Scientists
From September 1991 to June 1993, Dato’ Sham Sani held the Tun Abdul Razak Chair in the field of South East Asian studies at the Centre of International Studies at the Ohio Unversity, Athens, USA. While at Ohio University, he developed several new ideas which later saw publication in several journals. His experience as Head of the Geography Department, Dean of the Facultly of Social Sciences and Humanties and later as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Afairs and Research) have helped him to excel in his job in the USA.
Dato’ Sham Sani was appointed the sixth Vice-Chancellow of UKM on 1st September 1993 and he held the position until his retirement on 25th March 1998. While heading UKM, he saw to it that the plans put in place by his predecessors executed with excellence, while at the same time he made needful changes as warranted by new shifts and developments. For the many changes that he spearheaded, Dato’ Sham Sani was constantly given favourable coverage in the media. Several visionary ideas his, which we once casually mentioned while being the dean, were later given new impetus in his Annual Address as Vice-Chancellor of the university that he headed.
In the field of writing, Dato’ Sham Sani is known for his prolific output. In the four and half years as Vice-Chancellor, Dato’ Sham Sani still managed to find time to publish 29 publications in various forms—conference papers, project reports, consultancy reports, articles and journals as well as chapters for books.
He has presented and published over 100 working papers in the field of city planning, climate and air quality in the Klang Valley. Up till 1998, he has published 13 works in Bahasa Melayu and English, four of these were published by UKM Publishing—Aspects of Air Pollution Climatology in a Tropical City: A Case of Kuala Lumpur–Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; The Climate of Kuala Lumpur Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; A Study of the Impact of Urbanization on Local Climate within the Humid Tropics; Urbanization and the Atmospheric Environment in the Low Tropics: Experience from the Klang Valley Region, Malaysia; Perbandaran dan Iklim and Implikasi Terhadap Perancangan Bandar di Rantau Tropik Rendah.
Throughout his illustrious career, Dato’ Sham Sani kept himself actively involved in societies and organisations at both national and international levels, among these are: Advisor to ISIS in prepraring reports and working papers; Advisor to the Sepang Foundation; Chairman of the Council of Environmental Quality of Malaysia; Chairman of the Asia Pacific Institute of Environmental Assessment (APIEA); Chairman of the Panel of Social Sciences IRPA; and Chairman of the Interviewing Committee for the Appointment of Officers for the Malaysian Examination Council.
After retiring from UKM in 1998, Dato’ Sham Sani shared his vast experience and expertise by becoming actively involved in 12 organisations, both in the public and private sectors. His leadership and integrity brought him even greater recognition in both the public and private sectors. He currently holds the post of chairman, director and board member of sixteen organisations. Of these, he is an Associate Senior Research Fellow of LESTARI, UKM; Chairman Scientific Panel of Luxor Network Sdn Bhd, Advisor to Imetra Green Process Sdn Bhd; Director and Chairman of the Academic Council of PJ Community College, Member of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Selangor; Chairman and Board Member of All-Elite Technologies; Chairman and Board Member of Prima Gading; Board Member of TAYABA Consultancy Sdn Bhd; Board Member of Alam Sekitar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (ASMA); Board Member of Fairview International School; Member of the Selection Committee (Science Research Grant and Award) for the Toray Science Foundation; Member of the National Selection Committee of Asia Pacific Intellectuals (API), The Nippon Foundation of Japan.
Dato’ Sham Sani is a respected environmentalist and charismatic scholar of impeccable integrity. He has earned the respect of his fellow professionals, both at home and abroad. The string of awards conferred upon him by both local and international institutions attest to his eminence as a scholar and intellectual. In 1988, he was awarded the Erskrine Fellowship by the University of Canterbury; in 1991, he was bestowed the honour as Johan Setia Mahkota (JSM); and in 1994 he was a recipient of three honours the Dato’ Paduka (DPMS); the Langkawi Award and Fellow of Science Academy of Malaysia.
At the recent 31st Convocation Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (2003), Dato’ Dr Mohd Sham bin Mohd Sani was conferred the Professor Emeritus. The title of Professor Emeritus is an honour bestowed upon eminent academicians holding the rank of professor, who have made meritous contributions to institutions of higher learning.