Addressing the World’s Grand Challenges at Taylor's Engineering Fair

Organised by Taylor's University School of Engineering (SOE), the Taylor's Engineering Fair returned with the largest display of more than 130 innovative projects by its students. The overall theme of fair, held in December 2012, was focused on providing solutions for the world’s grand challenges in the areas of energy and environment, health, security, and learning and computation, as identified by The National Academy of Engineering (NAE), USA.

Besides inculcating creativity and innovative mindsets among the engineering students through the fair, Taylor’s University School of Engineering aims at educating their students to take their place as informed, engaged, and empowered citizens who will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the societies in Malaysia and beyond.

In conjunction with the Engineering Fair, the Taylor’s Grand Challenge Solar Boat Competition was held to provide opportunity for its first year engineering students to explore renewable solar power as an alternative energy resource to steer their self-made race boat and subsequently win the race at its scenic Lakeside Campus. 
According to Dr. Satesh, Deputy Dean (Student and Academic Affairs) of Taylor’s University School of Engineering, approximately 450 students participated in the December’s Engineering Fair, a significant growth in participation since the fair was first launched ten years ago.

“We believe that by directing the focus of our students’ projects towards addressing the world’s Grand Challenges, it will enable these young minds to come up with creative and innovative projects through this Engineering Fair to offer solutions for pertinent issues such as sustainable energy resources, access to clean water, improved cyberspace security and availability of better medicines,” he added.

This year, representatives from the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), and top employers in the engineering industry,  among them Panasonic Malaysia, Ferco Seating Systems, Scomi Engineering and AE Solutions were invited as the panel of judges to evaluate the students’ projects at the fair.

“This is my first time judging the competition, hence everything is pretty new to me. However, I am fascinated by the innovative projects done by these undergraduate students who conceive, design, operate and implement the ideas. I think the school has established a great platform to train these engineering students with project-based learning approach,” remarked by Mr. Kristian, one of the panel judges from Ferco Seating Systems (M) Sdn. Bhd.

The project on Water Purification - Nano Level by a group of Year 2 students from Chemical as well as Mechanical Engineering programmes, has won them the ‘Best Multidisciplinary Project Award’ as well as the ‘Environmental Friendly Design Project Award’ at the Engineering Fair as their project showcased a strong cross-discipline collaboration and was not harmful towards the environment. “The project is a water purification system for the purpose of providing a safe, portable and sustainable drinking water supply by utilising cheap and environmental-friendly materials for the benefits of the poor. This project uses the activated carbon, microns, and nano-silver to purify and eliminate microorganisms in the water source from the lake for drinking purpose,” explained by Jake Koh Kiew Hoong, team leader of Water Purification – Nano Level project.

“This invention is beneficial especially for the rural communities who constantly lack access to hygienic water supply,” he added.