ANI-WHERE learning platform won bronze

The “ANI-WHERE Learning Platform” which was developed by Faculty of Creative Industries Lecturer Ng Perng Jeu won him a bronze medal in the “P&P Innovation Competition 2018”. The competition was held in conjunction with Karnival Inovasi P&P 2019. It was held in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) from 23 to 24 January 2019.

“ANI-WHERE Learning Platform is an interactive multimedia learning tool for digital animation. The objective of this project is to create interesting and easy-to-use multimedia learning to increase students’ performance level and motivation. Besides that, it is also to provide an alternative learning platform to help students learn better and enhance the interactivity between students and learning materials,” explained Ng.

Ng posing with his plaque at the event

Engineering team wins all-expense trip to New York as Finalist in Keysight's IoT Innovation Challenge

From left: Au Jin Cheng, Yap Sheng Yao, Lecturer Mr Danny Ng Wee Kiat, Khor Jun Bin, Lim Wen Qing and Tan Kai Seng

Team wins an all-expenses trip to New York City to compete for up to USD $50K in cash and USD $50K of test equipment.
UTAR students, Au Jin Cheng, Yap Sheng Yao, Khor Jun Bin, Lim Wen Qing, and Tan Kai Siang, have been selected as finalists in Keysight Technologies, Inc.’s IoT Innovation Challenge. The team is the only finalist selected from the Asia-Pacific and Greater China region. The team members who are current students in the UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science is led by lecturer and advisor Mr Danny Ng Wee Kiat.

Keysight (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight recently called on graduate and undergraduate engineering students from around the world to conceptualize low-power sensor networks to tackle challenges brought on by today’s rapid urbanization.

Keysight’s IoT Innovation Challenge has two tracks: the Smart Land challenge and the Smart Water challenge. It attracted nearly 300 entries worldwide in both tracks. Each entry was evaluated and scored by a panel of 15 semi-final judges based on metrics such as innovation, manufacturability and impact. The general public also played a role in the judging by voting for their favorite design entries. These votes contributed to 10 percent of each entrants overall score.

The entry that earned the student team a place in the IoT Innovation Challenge final is titled IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability. This design idea, submitted in the Smart Water Challenge track, was inspired by the recent water pollution and contamination in the state of Johor, Malaysia where 2,500 people were affected by gas poisoning and 111 schools were closed as a result of illegally dumped chemical wastes in the river. The UTAR students in the team were then inspired to find a solution and they created a device that will help to monitor and report on the quality of water in the waterways.

The IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability is a system that consists of four major components which are monitoring of the water contents; reporting of the data using GPS, sensors and using low power wide area (LoRa) as the wireless communication network protocol; analyzing the data collected and processed by a machine learning algorithm; and the results will be converted into a user-friendly visual for eg Choropleth Map. The feature will also allow the public to report on any pollution found in waters. The system will incorporate energy harvesting using solar, water and wind energy to ensure self-sustainability. The energy will be harvested to charge the batteries.

Two students from the UTAR team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the final competition in New York City in September 2019.

First place at the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge Finals in New York

UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science students Lim Wen Qing, Au Jin Cheng, Yap Sheng Yao, Tan Kai Siang and Khor Jun Bin won first (1st) place in the Smart Water category at the finals of the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge held in New York, USA from 21 to 22 September 2019. The winning prize was USD25,000 and Keysight test equipment worth USD25,000.

Keysight Technologies Inc sponsored two students from the UTAR team, Lim Wen Qing and Au Jin Cheng for an all-expenses paid trip to New York covering the airfare, accommodation, meals and transportation, to present their invention at the finals before a team of judges.

A total of six teams from both tracks (Smart Land and Smart Water), including UTAR, advanced to the final stage. The other five finalists were student teams from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA), Stanford University (USA), Massey University (New Zealand), Institute of Engineering & Management (India), and the University of Technology of Compiègne (France).

At the finals in New York, the students demonstrated their design and systems device at a live-streamed event before a panel of esteemed judges. These judges include United Nations Public Information Officer Ariel Alexovich, Founder & CEO of LunaSonde-cum-Student Innovator Jeremiah Pate, Electrical Engineer and YouTube star a.k.a. “ElectroBOOM” Mehdi Sadaghdar, Senior Technical Editor for Aspencore Media Martin Rowe, Keysight Corporate and Portfolio Marketing Vice President Jeff Harris, General Manager of Keysight Electronic Industrial Products Christopher Cain, and Keysight Education & General Electronics Measurement Solutions Vice President Ee Huei Sin.

The IoT Innovation Challenge 2019 Award trophy

Keysight Technologies Chief Marketing Officer Marie Hattar (left) and Keysight Technologies Portfolio Marketing Senior Director Joel Conover presenting the winning prize of USD25,000 to Au Jin Cheng and Lim Wen Qing (second and third from left)

The UTAR team inventors of the IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device (From left): Ir Danny Ng, Khor Jun Bin, Au Jin Cheng, Lim Wen Qing, Yap Sheng Yao and Tan Kai Siang

Wen Qing presenting the team’s IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring systems to the panel of judges

Double medals won at ITEX 2019

From left: Dr Bernard Saw, Dr Yew, Dr Tan and FEGT master’s student-cum-assistant Yvonne Oon Li Voon ITEX 2019

From left: Dr Yew Ming Chian, Dr Bernard Saw, MINDS Vice President Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May, Honorary Secretary Myocho Kan and Dr Yew Ming Kun during the award presentation ceremony

Two teams, involving five researchers from UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) and Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) won one gold and one silver medal at the 30th International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2019. The event was held from 2 to 4 May 2019 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). It was organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS).

The three-day exhibition showcased the region’s best inventions from Asia and Europe. It also saw participation from more than 20 countries. The exhibition was one of the largest invention exhibitions in the world and it featured 23 invention categories related to innovation and technology. One of the most prominent features at ITEX is the invention and design.

The first winning team consists of LKC FES Centre for Vehicular Technology Chairperson-cum-Principal Researcher Dr Bernard Saw Lip Huat, Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering Dr Yew Ming Chian and Department of Civil Engineering Dr Yew Ming Kun. The team won a gold medal for their invention called the “Novel Tear-shaped Cooling Fin”. It provides an improvement in heat transfer performance and reduced the non-uniformity of downstream temperature which is commonly found in the conventional long cooling fin.

Meanwhile, FEGT Department of Industrial Engineering-cum-Principal Researcher Dr Tan Ming Hui and his student Fon Chun Yin won a silver medal for their invention called the “Multi-Facet Trough Concentrator”. The invention was related to the field of harnessing solar energy, specifically the collection of solar energy to be used in a solar thermal system such as solar water heating system and solar desalination system.

A journey to promote STEM education

The Engineering and Science Fiesta 2019 (ESF 2019) was held from 24 to 26 June 2019 and 28 to 29 June 2019 at UTAR Sungai Long Campus. The theme of the fiesta this year was ‘A Journey to STEM Education’. It aimed to promote a culture of interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among the public and school students and provide them with a platform for creativity, innovation and hands-on experience.

Present at the opening ceremony were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Dean Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min, UTAR Engineering Society Advisor Dr Tham Mau Luen, Event Chairperson Yew Sze Yen, sponsors, exhibitors, UTAR staff, students and the public.

This year’s fiesta featured an exhibition, competition, workshops and an Engineering and Science Internship (ESi) Fair. Held on 26 June 2019, the ESi saw the participation of more than 30 companies which included MaxMoney, Top Glove, I-Chem Solution Sdn Bhd, Blue Ocean IT Sdn Bhd, Malayan Flour Mills Berhad, EVOL Consultancy and many more. The objective of the fair was to encourage networking between engineering students, alumni and recruiting professionals as well as opening doors for them to gain access to co-op and internship opportunities.

MoA signed to develop joint research on TCM

From left: Lau, Prof Ewe, Tan Kai Hee, Dr Lee, Tan Keng Kang and Tan Sri Dato’ Khoo at the signing ceremony

A tripartite memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed between UTAR, Hai-O Enterprise Berhad and Tung Shin Hospital on 8 July at Menara Hai-O.

Through the signing of the agreement, the three parties are set to collaborate on a joint research project to determine the syndrome differentiation of breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant traditional Chinese medicine. The research focuses on the field of Chinese herbal medicine, cancer biology and omic technologies.

Hai-O Enterprise would provide funding to UTAR whereas Tung Shin Hospital would assist UTAR to collect and analyse the patients’ data for the research. Under this agreement, UTAR would provide the expertise in undertaking collaborative research on Chinese herbal medicine, cancer biology and omic technologies for the joint project.

MoU for international research collaboration

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between UTAR and Linyi University, China on 22 July 2019 at Sungai Long Campus.

The MoU was signed by UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik and Linyi University, China Chair of Linyi University Board Prof Li Zhe. Witnessing the signing ceremony were UTAR Vice President for Internationalisation and Academic Development Prof Ir Dr Ewe Hong Tat and Linyi University, China School of Law Dean Prof Yao Jiantao.

The MoU aimed to initiate joint projects involving international collaborative research, share expertise and joint development of research, and facilitate academic development exchanges between both parties in the aspect of teaching, seminar, conferences and workshops. Aside from that, both parties have agreed to facilitate study visits and student exchanges to enhance students learning experience and to facilitate industrial placement for both UTAR and Linyi University, China’s students.

Prof Ewe (left) and Prof Li Zhe with the signed document

UTAR wins Gold Award at PECIPTA 2019

From left: Dr Wong, Prof Lim and Alvey Hau after the award ceremony

Certificate of the award

Three academics and a PhD student from the UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), namely Prof Ir Dr Lim Yun Seng, Dr Ir Wong Jianhui, Dr Chua Kein Huat and Alvey Hau Lee Cheun won Gold Award at the International Conference and Exposition on Inventions by Institutions of Higher Learning 2019 (PECIPTA 2019). The event was organised by the Ministry of Education Malaysia together with its partner institution Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) from 22 to 23 September 2019 at Dewan Sultan Ibrahim of UTHM.

The award was presented by Director General Ministry of Education Malaysia (Higher Education) YBhg Datin Paduka Ir Dr Siti Hamisah binti Tapsir. The team brought home a certificate and a medal.

The team’s winning entry was titled “Novel Controller for Grid-Integrated Energy Storage for Maximum Demand Reductions and Frequency Control on Power Grid under High Photovoltaic Systems”. There were four categories altogether, namely Fundamental, Innovation, Commercialisation and STEM Young Inventor. The team participated under the Innovation category. The event saw over 500 research products and innovation from public and private institutions of higher learning, industry, government and private agencies.

Themed ‘Innovation Beyond Imagination’, PECIPTA 2019 aimed to bring various types of technologies, inventions and innovations beyond expectation for the benefit of mankind locally and globally. It also aimed to enhance networking and collaboration among participants, industries, agencies and other potential players to further explore, improvise and ensure the technologies developed can be transferred to industries and communities.

Merit winners of MSC Malaysia APICTA 2019

A team of Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Electronic and Communications Engineering students from UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), namely Chea Jing Hui, Koe Jia Chi, Liew Wei Hong, Wong Jun Yong, and Yen Pei Ting won the Merit Award at the MSC Malaysia Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (MSC Malaysia APICTA Awards). The award ceremony was jointly organised by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) on 19 September 2019 at PIKOM, Selangor. LKC FES lecturer Dr Chua Kein Huat attended the ceremony to receive the award on behalf of the team.

The competition aimed to identify and recognise innovative ICT applications, promote the development and market deployment of ICT products, and contribute to the development of ICT talents in the Asia Pacific region. It has also become a local platform for young and upcoming innovators and technopreneurs to launch their ideas, as well as for them to gain recognition for their innovations, creativity, and ability to transform ideas into solutions and services of remarkable quality.

The award-winning project titled “IoT Motor Monitoring and Control System for Industrial Application” stemmed from the team’s visit to Sabah IOI Edible Oil Sdn Bhd factory, after learning that the factory regularly experienced a motor breakdown. During these breakdowns, the repairs for the motor will take at least two weeks and the long repairing duration has caused late delivery to customers. With the motors having been operating for more than 10 years, the team’s solution was meant to tackle problems such as vibration, overheating and overcurrent. The team has also designed an alert mechanism to alert users when abnormal operation of the motor is detected to prevent further damage. The project is also designed to allow the factory operators to use the mobile application to turn on or shut down the motor remotely. With this system, the normal operation of motor can be ensured while reducing maintenance cost, and increasing productivity of the factory.

From left: Yen, Koe, Wong, Liew, and Chea

Dr Chua posing with the Merit Award, on behalf of the team

Remarkable win at Intel Industry-University Challenge 2019

From left: CREST Research Management Senior Vice President Dr Nor Azmi Alias, Dr Tham, Teoh and Intel Corporation Senior Director Tan Teng Wang at the prize-giving ceremony

UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) student Teoh Han Wei wrapped up a remarkable victory by winning the first place at the Intel Industry-University Challenge 2019. The challenge was held on 23 September 2019 at G Hotel Gurney, Penang. Teoh took home two laptops with backpacks. He also received an invitation to participate in the “CREST The Great Lab (TGL) Design Challenge 2019” with project seed fund of RM1,500, sponsored by Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST).

Themed ‘Smart Transportation— Aspiring to smarter and safer traffic’, the challenge was organised by Intel and CREST. The challenge had two categories, namely Smart Traffic Light and Smart Street Light. It was open to all Malaysian-based university students and staff, and Intel Malaysia employees.

Teoh’s winning entry was titled “Violation Detection System for Illegal Pedestrian Crossing (ViSion)”. The solution was to develop video analytics with machine learning capability that performs human recognition and tracking of individual pedestrian in real time. It is able to detect the status of the traffic light signal and create a cloud-based system for the visualisation of real-time violation evidence.

Winning Merit Award at APICTA 2019 in Vietnam

A team of UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) students, consisting of Lim Wen Qing, Yap Sheng Yao, Khor Jun Bin, Au Jin Cheng, and Tan Kai Siang, was awarded Merit Award at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards, held from 18 to 23 November 2019, at Halong, Vietnam.

The international awards programme, organised by APICTA, aimed to increase ICT awareness in the community and assist in bridging the digital divide. It also served as a platform that provides networking and product benchmarking opportunities to ICT innovators and entrepreneurs in the region. The programme was also designed to stimulate ICT innovation and creativity, promote economic and trade relations, facilitate technology transfer, as well as business matching opportunities via exposure to venture capitalists and investors.

Their award-winning device, titled “IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability” uses natural energy sources from the sun, wind and water. “The device is able to be deployed in major waterways around the globe. It also provides real-time monitoring result to the cloud. This allows the relevant party to be informed of the water pollution occurring before the problem becomes irreversible. If we consider the water pollution issue that occurred in Sungai Kim Kim in March 2019, we know that 6,000 individuals were affected, and 111 schools were closed. Imagine if our device was deployed in that river, we would have been able to identify the problem and inform relevant parties to carry out relevant action immediately to solve the problem,” explained the team.

The team, with their device, also won first place at the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge Finals in New York.

The team (holding the Malaysia and UTAR flag), from left: Au, Lim, Yap, Tan, Khor and Ir Danny Ng

MTSF 2019: Three researchers gain recognition for advancement in scientific knowledge

Prof Ngeow (middle) with the mock cheque of RM30,000 during the prize-giving ceremony

From left: Dr Ng, Tan and Prof Ewe at the MTSF prize presentation ceremony

UTAR Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Centre for Research on Communicable Diseases Prof Dr Ngeow Yun Fong won the Science and Technology award based on her lifetime achievement in the field of scientific research at 2019 Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) 26th Prize Presentation Ceremony which took place at Intercontinental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 25 November 2019.

With her were Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) lecturer Tan Yin Qing and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Ng Hien Fuh. They were awarded the MTSF Science and Technology Research Grant.

Prof Ngeow who won RM30,000 gained recognition for her advancement of scientific knowledge in microbial pathogens and their impact on human health. She was the World Health Organisation (WHO) consultant to Asia-Pacific countries for reproductive health and tuberculosis projects and was a member of Scientific and Ethical Review Group (SERG) in the WHO Department of Reproductive Health Research.

Tan and Dr Ng were selected as the recipients of the MTSF Science and Technology Research Grant which carries a grant of RM20,000 funded by Toray Science Foundation, Japan. The grant is to be used for payment of goods or services relating to their research projects titled “Association between Dopaminergic Pathways Genes and Cognitive Performance: A Case-control Study” and “Elucidation of linezolid-resistance determinants in Mycobacterium abscessus”.

Tan’s research was designed as a case-control study to associate the cognition level with the genetic variance of dopaminergic pathway genes, in the Malaysia population. Although various studies of SLC18A1 (vesicular monoamine transporter in dopaminergic pathway) have been found abroad, there was no study found in Malaysia to correlate the performance of cognitive test and genetic variance with schizophrenic patients.

Dr Ng’s research aimed to identify the molecular determinants associated with linezolid resistance in this bacterium by comparing the genomes of both linezolid-resistant and susceptible strains. Complementation is performed to confirm the involvement of target genes in linezolid-resistance. The findings of this study may contribute to the knowledge of potential linezolid-resistance mechanism in M. abscessus, which is crucial for the global struggle to combat multi-drug resistance in bacterial pathogens.

Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong elected as ASM Fellow 2019

Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong from UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science was elected as the ASM Fellow 2019 by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM). Held at the 2019 Conferment of Fellowship of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, the event took place on 13 December 2019.

Prof Chong is a pioneer in connecting the non-imaging optics with solar energy materials. He has strong representation by making significant world scientific impact in the field of concentrating solar power and dense-array concentrator photovoltaic system, which is a unique expertise in our country. As a scholar, he has performed exceptionally well in academic publications. He also has a special talent in the practical implementation of solar power technologies to benefit mankind via efficient and cost-effective inventions. Under his leadership, his team has produced various creative and innovative research outputs including cost-effective sun-tracking mechanisms, optical geometries capable of harnessing concentrated sunlight, novel solar cell materials and new computational method for concentrating solar power system.

ASM honours the contribution of Malaysian research scientists to the nation’s economic growth via generation and dissemination of knowledge, wealth and productive pursuit of scientific excellence for the benefit of humanity. Hence, the election of new Fellows is crucial to ensure the sustainability of ASM. ASM taps the expertise, knowledge, wisdom and network of its Fellows to provide Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) inputs to the government and stakeholders.

Only 50 individuals are appointed from among the country’s eminent scientists, engineers and technologists as Foundation Fellows. Their expertise is harnessed for policy inputs, tapping of international support and collaborations, enriching excellence and engagement activities of ASM.

From left: Prof Chong with UTAR President Prof Ewe

Prof. Chong

Prof Chong (back row, second from right) with YB Isnaraissah Munirah (front row, fourth from right) and other ASM Fellows

Promoting collaborative research beyond borders

From left: Dr Huang, Dr Gong, Prof Zhao, Dr Chong, Prof Yow, Prof Wang, Dr Lai, Prof Cheng, Dr Chin and Dr Ho

A group of delegates from Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences (YASS) paid a visit to Sungai Long Campus on 18 December 2019. The delegates were comprised of YASS China (Kunming) Institute of South Asian and Southeast Asian Studies Vice President Prof Wang Wencheng, International Collaboration Office of China (Kunming) Deputy Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies of China (Kunming) Assistant Professor Dr Gong Jue and Human Resources Department of China (Kunming) Dr Huang Haitao.

Travelling to Malaysia and UTAR for the first time, Prof Wang expressed his pleasure of the visit. He gave an introduction to YASS and explained the key focus areas of the Institute. Suggesting some possible areas of collaboration, he shared his optimism about future collaboration between the two. In-depth discussions were then carried out at the meeting, and both sides agreed to take initial steps to explore potential cooperation particularly in the area of joint research in topics such as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and culture between the two countries.