PETALING JAYA: A Johor student has made the nation proud after winning the Rolls-Royce Electrical Challenge in the Telegraph STEM Awards 2019.
The award gives undergraduates studying in the United Kingdom the opportunity to present ideas in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to leading companies in Britain.
Yew Jun Ying’s winning idea – the Organic Rankine cycle technology as heat management and recovery solutions – has landed him an internship with Rolls-Royce and mentorship on business and intellectual property from The Telegraph.
In an email interview with The Star, 22-year-old Jun Ying said he produced an essay where he proposed a potential solution that would accelerate the development of an air-vehicle propulsed by both conventional gas engines and electric motors that is capable of taking off and landing vertically.
“I have a passion for sustainable development and this is the reason why I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton, specialising in Sustainable Energy Systems.
“Naturally, I became intrigued by the electrification challenge put up by Rolls-Royce and decided to participate in this competition.
“I did an individual project that is related to recovering waste heat from the internal combustion engines in the university’s energy centre.
“This project has led me to learn a lot about heat recovery technologies and fortunately, I was able to apply what I learned from the university in my first entry of the competition,” he said.
Surprised with his win, Jun Ying said it felt unreal.
“I would not have come this far if it were not for the support of my peers and supervisors who gave me valuable advice and suggestions along the way,” he said, also giving credit to his family who supported him financially and emotionally.
Jun Ying is the eldest of two children of an engineer and a housewife.
As the challenge focuses on STEM, he said the field is crucial for a developing nation like Malaysia.
“But it is not everything, it should not be. In my opinion, the younger generation should be given more freedom to decide what they want to learn without pressure from their peers and society.
“Based on my own experience, many of my peers did not get to choose a course of their interest or were forced to study subjects they did not like due to the rigidity of the education system.
“Often, the outcome was a loss of interest in studying and learning,” he added.
Merely increasing the number of students in the STEM fields, he said, would not necessarily increase the quality of skills and education.
“I hope the Malaysian government would study this issue openly and involve students on a national level, for the youth should be able to shape their own future and decide on their own how they would like to contribute to this country,” he said.