USM Students Win 7 Awards in London BIS

Penang, October 19: Three students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) did the country proud by winning awards in the British Invention Show (BIS), held on October 13 to 16. The winning work were on sago gel electrolyte batteries, application of used tires to prevent erosion of rivers and hills and biodegradable plastics made from starch.

Penang, October 19: Three students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) did the country proud by winning awards in the British Invention Show (BIS), held on October 13 to 16 at London's Alexandra Palace. According to the USM head of delegation to the BIS, Professor Abdul Latiff Ahmad, this year’s success is far greater than the previous year’s, when three research findings of USM students also won four special prizes in addition to each obtaining the gold medal recognition.

The gold medal winner and recipient of special "diamond" award, Yohanes Saimi, 23, said the victory was beyond his expectations. "I'm very grateful and very proud of this achievement," said the former undergraduate of the USM School of Civil Engineering. Yohanes who hails from Beaufort, Sabah, the eighth child of nine siblings, who recently graduated from USM, is now working in Sabah and aspires to further his studies at Master’s level one day. The winning research which was done in his final year of studies revolves around the application of used tires to prevent erosion of rivers and hills.

Meanwhile Nor Fasihah Zaaba, 23, is proud to represent USM and win three gold medals, namely, "double-gold" and the Special Prize for Innovations from Russia. "It’s a great experience to participate in this exhibition as this is my first exposure on the world stage," said Nor Fasihah, daughter of an ex-military officer from Manjung, Perak. Nor Fasihah’s research is related to the use of starch to produce bio-degradable plastic. Nor Fasihah is currently pursuing her degree in polymer engineering in USM with an aim to become a professor one day.

For Muhammad Ghaddafy Affendy, 24, the success of obtaining a gold medal and a special prize for "platinum" was not expected, but he is grateful that he did the country and USM proud in London, when competing with so many products of research from around the world. Ghaddafy, the second child of a human resource manager in Miri, Sarawak is currently waiting to pursue his Master’s degree at the university. He aims to be an academician in the future.

Ghadaffy’s research focuses on using sago in zinc polymer batteries to solve the problem of leakage in normal batteries. According to Prof. Abdul Latiff, USM has always tried to provide exposure to students to explore opportunities on the world stage by encouraging them to participate in research exhibitions and competitions.

"We do not only involve them in research, but also guide and educate them to be bold and competitive in finding the best techniques to participate in academic competitions and researches around the world because it is vital to produce creative and innovative researchers for the country," said Abdul Latiff.

More details on the award winning research

Muhammad Ghaddafy Affendy, 24 - Gold Award and special Platinum award
(–Zinc-air (Zn-air) batteries were prepared with a new material i.e sago gel electrolyte. During Discharge, the battery was sustained for 249 minutes at 1.3 V. Linear polarization scans show that Zn Gives the lowest corrosion potential, Ector value at -1.421V, and the highest corrosion current density.

Yohanes Saimi, 23, - Gold and special Diamond Award
8R-Mat is an innovative product for ground improvement technique which is made of recycled tyre. Uniquely design to suit its function for construction of retaining wall, embankment, slope protection and soil erosion control. By the use of the recycle tyre, it will assist in sustainable environment and protect the earth.

Nor Fasihah Zaaba, 23 - Gold, Double Gold and Special Innovation Award from Russia
Petrochemical based plastics have been used as packaging materials, due to their unique characteristics: low cost and exhibiting favorable properties. In contrast they are totally non-biodegradable. In this research, for the purpose to protect the global environment, a new biodegradable plastic film from waste tapioca starch was developed

Published: 20 Oct 2010

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