Students win Google prize with polyester manhole cover

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 14 Aug 2014

THE WINNERS TAKE IT ALL: (L-R) Lutfir Rahman and Faiq Hazim ( from MRSM Kota Putra, showing off the certificates they received from Google Malaysia head of marketing Matthew Zaheen, (center), for their winning project Jute-reinforced Polyester to replace Steel Manhole Covers.

Goodbye to rusty manhole covers? Two students from Maktab Rendah Sains Mara Kota Putra, Terengganu won the inaugural country award for this year’s Google Science Fair with a jute-reinforced polyester manhole cover prototype.

16-year-olds Lutfir Rahman Mohd Izani and Faiq Hazim proposed a greener, more sustainable solution to replace steel manhole covers.

Their winning science project proposed producing composite polymer as the base and jute fibres as the reinforcement to replace current manhole covers while achieving stronger tensile strength and reducing the cost of maintenance.

According to their submission, the same combination could also be used to produce other things like steel bed frames in hostels and commercial umbrella frames while solving the problem of rust and corrosion with steel.

Their additional aim is to reduce fossil fuel production usage while achieving a superior base product using natural materials.

“This year, the Local Award category was added to the list of prizes for the first time, which celebrates projects that receive a mark of excellence during preliminary judging and that attempt to address a locally relevant issue,” said Google Malaysia head of marketing Matthew Zaheen.

“We believe that universal access to technology and information can truly make the world a better place. We also believe that the access to useful information transcends all borders.”

The winners were awarded prizes worth US$1,000 (RM3,100) and a trophy from Google.The annual Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18.

It was created to champion young scientific talent and give students across the world an opportunity to showcase ambitious ideas.

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