Curtin students to face grand finals of Innovate Malaysia Design competition

The team of Bong Chu Jun, Desmond Ting Zhong Xuan and Kong Sheng How conduct lab tests in preparation for the competition.

MIRI: Inspired by the success of their seniors in the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition 2016, two teams of students from Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) are set to compete in the Keysight and Fusionex tracks in this year’s competition grand finals to be held in Cyberjaya on July 17 and 18.

Last year, a Curtin Malaysia team comprising Jason Ha Heng Teck, David Ha Heng Lee and Jonathan Phang Then Sien won first prize in the ViTrox Track at the grand finals held in Penang.

This year’s teams comprise Kong Sheng How, Bong Chu Jun and Desmond Ting Zhong Xuan competing in the Keysight Track, and Chiam Dar Hung, Ng Kay Li and Li Zhen Er competing in the Fusionex Track. They are electrical and electronic engineering students supported by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Science.

The teams are being supervised by electrical and computer engineering lecturer Dr Law Kah Haw and senior lecturer Dr Garenth Lim King Hann.

The former team will showcase their project entitled ‘Development of XLPE Cable Diagnosis Platform’ while the latter will field their ‘Wireless Modular Sensory System for Smart Home Applications (Wi-MSS)’ project.

Innovate Malaysia Design Competition, the most prestigious undergraduate engineering design competition in Malaysia, is open to all final year undergraduate engineering, computer science and science/mathematics students.

The goal of the competition is to promote an innovative culture in engineering design work, tackle real world problems with practical engineering solutions, and nurture talent for product development, research and commercialisation.

Technology companies including Fusionex, Intel, Keysight, MathWorks, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, National Instruments, SilTerra and ViTrox co-organise the competition with support of Ministry of Higher Education, TalentCorp Malaysia, Dream Catcher, MDeC and others.

The ‘Development of XLPE Cable Diagnosis Platform’ involves developing a low-cost, lightweight and space-saving method to detect a pre-fault phenomenon within underground XLPE cables known as Partial Discharge (PD), manifested as cable breakdown, instrument failure or power outage.

According to the project team, such challenges prompt them to innovate an alternative high-voltage alternating current testing method to ensure reliability and prolong the lifespan of underground cables. The method can be enhanced to determine PD fault locations and detect and localise PD faults for cable manufacturers and power transmission and distribution companies, as well as end-users of electric power.

According to electrical and computer engineering senior lecturer Dr Hendra Gunawan Harno, the students have been sufficiently trained and exposed to industrial technologies to join the competition. They have gained crucial research skills, hands-on technical skills and scientific communication skills.

He said with the excellent track record of Curtin Malaysia students in the competition, more are expected to join next year.