Medal haul for local varsities

Gold awards: MSU’s Assoc Prof Dr Mohammed N. Abdulrazaq with his “Novel Covid-19 Detection and Diagnosis System”.

TWO local varsities bagged awards at the International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2020.

Management and Science University (MSU) took home medals – five gold, two silver and a bronze – while Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) received a gold medal under the Building and Construction category at the international exhibition.

Aimed at showcasing inventions, fostering a community of inventors and providing a virtual marketplace for commercialisation, the 31st edition of the exhibition was organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) from Nov 20 to 21 last year.

MSU had clinched two gold medals under the Education category, and one each under the ICT/Telecommunications/Audio Visual, Equipment, and Beauty/Fitness/Sport categories.

Under the Medical Health and Environment categories, MSU bagged two silver medals and under the Agriculture category, a bronze.

Their winning projects included the “3D Printing of Rat Model Embedded with Augmented Reality and Musculoskeletal System as Teaching and Learning Tool”, “MSU Assessment Ruler for Orang Asli Eyesight Testing” and “MSU Mysolar Project – Solar Power and Lot Watering System for Smart Home”.

UTAR’s “Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands”.UTAR’s “Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands”.

UTAR’s winning project, the “Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands”, investigated the combination of floating lightweight foam concrete and greening techniques to construct the Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands (EFTWs).

EFTWs are manmade ecosystems that mimic natural wetlands. The project aimed to restore existing pond water, regenerate microhabitats for wildlife, as well as revitalise a pond and its nearby environment for social activities of the local community.

EFTWs are the innovative variant of the traditional construction method for wetlands that offers great potential for the treatment of urban stormwater and sediment ponds.

It is found that lightweight foam concrete with high workability can be produced with a proper selection of local, easily availabl by-product – oil palm shell (OPS).

Previous results revealed that the use of OPS lightweight foam concrete gives better compressive strength and dry density in the range of 800-1,000 kg/m3. Another technique that can be used to compensate the low mechanical properties of OPS lightweight foam concrete without increasing its density is to reinforce the concrete with micro-macro polymer fibres.

In addition, the phytoremediation floating wetland can be used as a green biotechnology solution to naturally mitigate and gradually remove existing contaminants and organic pollutants – such as heavy metals, pesticides and nitrate – accumulated in water.

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