The Founding Fathers & Leaderships


Tenaga Nasional Berhad, or in the early days known as the Central Electricity Board (CEB), has always been committed to the betterment of education in Malaysia. Excellent students were sponsored to pursue their degrees in overseas universities who then serve the company upon the completion of their studies.

1976 - 1993

Under the leadership of Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Ir. Abu Zarim Omar, the National Electricity Board’s (NEB), vision of establishing an institution of higher learning to train future corporate leaders was translated into reality. In 1976, the Institut Latihan Sultan Ahmad Shah (ILSAS) was set up for the development of the staff potential and intellectual capital. The main purpose of ILSAS was to be the in-house training centre for NEB and to provide manpower training to fulfil the nation’s industrial needs.

1994 - 2000

In 1994, Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Ani Arope, envisioned something greater for ILSAS. He was the driving force behind the upgrading of ILSAS to Institut Kejuruteraan Teknologi Tenaga Nasional (IKATAN). He was instrumental in establishing twinning degree programmes between IKATAN, Lincoln University, New Zealand, IUPUI and Ohio University, USA and University Malaya.

The Asian financial crisis in the late 1990’s forced the government to reduce the number of scholarships for students to be sent overseas. The three government-linked companies namely TNB, Telekom and Petronas, were invited by the Minister of Education Malaysia in 1996 to set up their own private universities. Tan Sri Dr. Ir. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali who then was the Executive Chairman of TNB played an important role in accepting the invitation and coming up with a plan to face the challenge. He was also instrumental in coming up with the name Universiti Tenaga Nasional or UNITEN and the infrastructure development of the campus.

On 1 September 1997, Universiti Tenaga Nasional Sdn Bhd began its operation in Putrajaya Campus.

2001 - 2006

In 2001, Dato’ Prof. Ir. Dr. Zainul Abidin Md. Shariff took over the duties of running the university from Dr. Tajul Arus bin Noh. The new Vice Chancellor served the university with distinction until his retirement in 2006.

Another significant occasion took place in 2005 when His Excellency Tun Dato’ Seri Utama (Dr.) Abdul Rahman Abbas, Yang Dipertua Pulau Pinang was proclaimed as UNITEN’s Chancellor. In addition, Tan Sri Leo Moggie and Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr.) Ir. Abu Zarim Omar were appointed as UNITEN’s Pro Chancellors.

2007 - 2014

Dato’ Seri Prof. Mashkuri Yaacob took over the helm as Vice Chancellor on 1 January 2007 and continued where his predecessor had left off. One of his goals was to further strengthen the unity among the staff of UNITEN and he achieved it through the use of the term “sahabat” (companion) when staff address one another, regardless of position or designation.

2015 - 2022

The incumbent Vice Chancellor, Dato’ Prof. Ir. Dr. Kamal Nasharuddin Mustapha took office on 5 May 2015 and immediately set out to take UNITEN to greater heights. He initiated the drive to transform the campus into a vibrant hive of scholarly and social activities while being “green” at the same time. In the same year, Tan Sri Dr. Ahmad Tajuddin Ali was appointed as UNITEN’s Pro Chancellor.

Rector & Vice Chancellors of UNITEN (1997 - Present)

Dr. Tajul Arus bin Noh
UNITEN First Rector, 1997-2000

Dato’ Prof. Ir. Dr. Zainul Abidin Md. Shariff
UNITEN Vice Chancellor, 2001 - 2006

Prof. Dato' Seri Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan Abu Osman
UNITEN Vice Chancellor, 2022 – 2023

Dato’ Seri Prof. Mashkuri Yaacob
UNITEN Vice Chancellor, 2007 - 2014

Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Kamal Nasharuddin Mustapha
UNITEN Vice Chancellor, 2015 – 2022

Prof. Ir. Dr. Khairul Salleh Mohamed Sahari
1 April 2024 - current