Ang briefing judges on the team’s project at their project showcase booth.
MIRI: A team comprising three students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) emerged winners of the Google Track in the grand finale of the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition (IMDC) 2019 held in Penang recently.
Fourth-year electronic and communication student Ivan Ang Jie Xiong, third-year electrical power engineering student Hu Ho Yee and third-year electronic and communication engineering student Kavin Chelvan Sylvestyne Kathiravan walked away with a cash prize of RM5,000 for their project entitled ‘Enhancing STEM Education using Augmented Reality and Machine Learning’.
Concurrently, their project was first runner-up for the MDEC Digital Tech Award, which won them an additional RM2,000. The team also won the Innovate Sarawak Open Design Challenge in May this year.
All three students are active members of the Curtin Malaysia Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch, Ang being its former Technical Head, and Hu and Kavin being its current Technical Head and Website Head, respectively.
Supervising the team was electrical and computer engineering lecturer Associate Professor Garenth Lim King Hann, who is also advisor to the IEEE Student Branch.
The project involves the development of a mobile application called AUREL (Augmented Reality Learning) to enhance the learning experience by projecting Augmented Reality (AR) objects onto 2D images. Such innovative AR visualisation makes it more engaging and fun for students when learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.
Ang, the team leader, said that the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition allowed the students to be creative and innovative, applying their technical knowledge to help solve real world problems using practical engineering solutions.
“We were able to observe the projects of other teams from universities across Malaysia as well as demonstrations by the industry partners. This gave us interesting insights into how different technologies can be used to tackle different problems,” he said.
Kavin said that participating in the competition was an amazing experience for him. He and his teammates were impressed with the many innovative solutions presented by the participating teams. The competition also provided opportunities for students to connect with each other and with various technology companies with the possibility of future collaboration.
Hu said that he is eager to join next year’s competition as he finds it very interesting. He also enjoys the opportunity to network with other students and the industry partners.
Hu is currently involved in a joint project between students and Curtin Malaysia’s campus services department to design and install solar-powered floodlights at the university’s football field and believes the technical knowledge he has gained from the competition will benefit this and future projects.
Meanwhile, Associate Professor Lim said student learning should not be restricted to classrooms. Students at Curtin Malaysia are encouraged to involve themselves in learning opportunities outside the classroom, such as joining competitions or IEEE activities, to expose themselves to the outside world and industry, and to prove their capabilities.
The Innovate Malaysia Design Competition is the largest and most prestigious engineering design competition in Malaysia, open to all final-year undergraduate engineering, computer science, information technology and science/mathematics students. It aims to promote an innovative culture in engineering design work, tackle real-world problems with practical engineering solutions, and churn out bright talents for product development, research and commercialisation.
Technology companies, including Dassault Systémes SolidWorks, Google, Intel, Keysight, MathWorks, Microsoft, SAS and SilTerra, work together to co-organise the competition with the support of Sarawak’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, CADVision Systems, TechSource Systems, IEEE Malaysia Section, The Institution of Engineers Malaysia, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, OpenLearning and Sarawak Multimedia Authority.