UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) added yet another three awards to its growing list of accolades when it received two silver and one bronze medals at the National Innovation and Invention Competition through Exhibition 2020 (iCompEx’2020). The competition was organised by Politeknik Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on 21 July 2020 via online.
The competition saw three teams participating from UTAR. This is the fifth participation by students of FEGT in this competition. The iCompEx’2020 is a competition and exhibition of innovation for new discovery. It also served as a platform for participants to highlight their research findings to the public.
The winning teams were comprised of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Petrochemical Engineering students Loo Gaik Eng, Ang Chin Wei and Master of Engineering Science student Tan Kor Yin in a team; Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Petrochemical Engineering students Vanessa Ng Wen Yi and Loo Diing Khang in a team; and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Petrochemical Engineering students D. Krishnaah and N. Patmashini Saii in a team.
The winning teams participated in two categories, namely Category B: Construction and Material, and Category G: Agriculture, Environment and Renewable Energy.
Supervised by FEGT lecturer Dr Toh Pey Yi, Gaik Eng, Ang and Tan won a silver medal and a certificate each for their project titled “Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) Post-treatment by Using Microalgae”. The project aimed to study the waste quality of POME after getting treated by microalgae through different cultivation methods. Dr Toh enthused, “I would like to thank UTAR for supporting the students to join in this competition. The students indeed learned a lot from the competition. Our research project is supported by Research Fund from KenEp Resources (Asia) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia. I would like to express my gratitude to KenEp Resources (Asia) Sdn Bhd for their instrumental contributions in the field of academic. This is a great role play by the industry to support the academic sector in training future engineers.”
One of Dr Toh’s students Gaik Eng said, “The competition encouraged me to think out-of-the-box and come up with several creative and innovative solutions which could be helpful in my continued involvement in research. I am feeling proud and happy to be able to participate in this research and development project, which has enabled me and the rest of the members to showcase our successful inventions in the field of sustainable green technology.”
Meanwhile, when asked why she chose to join the competition, Tan added, “Our research project, which researched on how to use microalgae to treat the palm oil waste is a brand new research, worth sharing with other young researchers, academics and the public. We hope this research project could give a significant outcome and knowledge on how to treat the palm oil waste innovatively.”
Supervised and co-supervised by Ts Dr Teoh Yi Peng @ Teng Yi Peng and Dr M. Mathialagan respectively, Ng and Diing Khang took home a silver medal and a certificate each for their winning project titled “Cellulose-Plast – Plastic for Tomorrow”. The main procedures of this research project were to extract, isolate and characterise the cellulose from empty fruit bunch (EFB) of oil palm and treat the EFB waste and apply them in polymer composite to produce an efficient and desirable product. Dr Teoh enthused, “This work was financially supported by UTAR Research Fund. We would also like to thank for the raw material supplied by United Oil Palm Industries Sdn Bhd. Lastly, we would like to thank UTAR for providing financial support for this student activity, so that students have a good exposure at the exhibition.”
Dr Teoh’s student Ng said, “My main objective of joining this competition was not to win in the first place. It was to enjoy the journey of presenting my work, however, winning this competition feels like a bonus. Having experience presenting my work and obtaining approval helped me to gain more confidence in what I do. Being more confident allows me to aim for the greater and better, not only academically but also in everyday life.” She added, “It has been a great opportunity to be able to share my work and progress with experienced individuals and to know where I stand among others so that I can look out for any further improvements needed for my work. This is a good chance to get people to notice my work that I strongly have faith in. You never know if your work could be of great help to the society and the environment.”
On the other hand, Diing Khang said, “I joined this competition because I have a great interest in this field of research. It did not only help me in gaining more experience in my co-curricular activity, but it also improved my insight for the final year project. It was an honour for me to win this competition together with UTAR, I’m pleased with that. The whole team had worked relentlessly to achieve our target and our hard work has paid off. From this competition, I gained some valuable laboratory skills and presentation skills.”
Last but not the least, the third team which was supervised and co-supervised by Dr Assoc Prof Dr M. Yamuna and Dr Mathialagan respectively, earned Krishnaah and Patmashini Saii a bronze medal and a certificate each for their project titled “DeCrosslinked ProNBR”. The objectives of the project were to reclaim gum stock rubber from waste tires using the industrial applicable method, to produce new rubber products from the reclaimed gum stock rubber and to change “cradle to grave” life cycle of the tire to “cradle to cradle” lifecycle.
Krishnaah said, “Recycling is one of the main keys to unlocking the path to a more sustainable future. My project was one of the kind relating to recycling the unrecyclable which made me feel like it was worth the competition. I was exhilarated honestly because the hard work done by me and my team didn’t go to waste. The competition actually opens up the possibility of innovation available around the world. It helps the students to observe other possible ways to innovate in the engineering field.”
On the other note, Patmashini Saii enthused, “It was a golden opportunity to do something new compared to what I have always been doing. I saw it as an opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge. I feel happy and proud to be able to join a competition this big and win a medal. It is definitely an achievement unlocked and it has motivated me to achieve more in the future. I got to learn more about this topic and it helped me as it is related to my final year project. The competition was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding of this topic.”
The iCompEx’2020 is an annual competition designed specially to provide a platform for young researchers to present their innovations. The iCompEx’2020 was the eighth in the series since it was first launched in 2013.
Online Education Fair 线上教育展
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) 拉曼大学