Re­ward for in­no­va­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

OVER two decades since the Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics (EE) sec­tor first took off, its growth is mov­ing into a new di­rec­tion; fo­cus­ing on in­no­va­tion and de­sign.

Re­cently, Ni­lai Univer­sity students Yaiesh Musthafa and Phe­shant Sri Nagesh Si­vasam­boo won a bronze medal in a com­pe­ti­tion to pitch and show­case their in­no­va­tive fi­nal-year projects. Both students are in the Bach­e­lor of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics En­gi­neer­ing with Hon­ours pro­gramme.

Yaiesh, an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent from the Mal­dives, had lec­tur­ers who sup­ported and guided him to de­velop a pro­to­type auto-park­ing car.

“There’s an em­bed­ded sys­tem in­te­grat­ing three dif­fer­ent mi­cro-con­trollers. Ba­si­cally, the sys­tem would gather sig­nals from a few sen­sors in­stalled and trans­mit the in­for­ma­tion to the main con­troller that cal­cu­lates and ad­justs the al­go­rithm for park­ing.

“This built-in sys­tem has a safety fea­ture and will ma­noeu­vre on its own to park,” said Yaeish.

Yaiesh’s un­cle, a pi­lot, heard about Ni­lai Univer­sity from his col­leagues and en­cour­aged Yaiesh to find out fur­ther about it. Yaiesh re­ceived spon­sor­ship from his em­ployer, a gov­ern­ment-linked au­thor­ity in the Mal­dives, to com­plete his Bach­e­lor of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics En­gi­neer­ing with Hon­ours at Ni­lai Univer­sity.

On the other hand, Phe­shant was just 16 years old when he en­rolled for foun­da­tion stud­ies at Ni­lai Univer­sity. He sub­mit­ted his fi­nal-year pro­ject – a so­lar-based wa­ter pump.

“This wa­ter pump runs for 24 hours even though it is pow­ered by so­lar en­ergy. I have in­stalled bat­ter­ies in this pro­to­type so that the pump can op­er­ate smoothly for 24 hours un­der rain or shine. The idea came about af­ter sev­eral brain­storm­ing ses­sions with my lec­tur­ers,” said Phe­shant.

“Liv­ing in the out­skirts and close to na­ture should never be a de­ter­ring fac­tor. For ex­am­ple, with this wa­ter pump ma­chine, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties need not travel hun­dreds of miles daily and carry heavy buck­ets of wa­ter home. This wa­ter pump sys­tem could be con­nected di­rectly to their homes or a cen­tral com­mu­nity cen­tre,” de­clared Dr Habibah Zulke­fle, a se­nior lec­turer.

Dr Nurul Shahrizan Sha­habud­din, an­other se­nior lec­turer spe­cial­is­ing in Pho­ton­ics, added that cost was an­other el­e­ment be­ing con­sid­ered adding, “Also, while de­vel­op­ing this fi­nal-year pro­ject, students learned to eval­u­ate all vari­ants such as the wa­ter flow, ve­loc­ity, vol­ume and other con­sid­er­a­tions.”

Gain­ing more than a medal

“En­gi­neers are prob­lem solvers and we train students to look at all vari­ables. They need to be pre­cise and ac­cu­rate,” said Dr Nurul.

Be­sides learn­ing and hav­ing the ad­ven­ture to ex­plore fur­ther en­gi­neer­ing con­cepts, Phe­shant and Yaeish also brushed up their pre­sen­ta­tion skills and sum­moned the courage to man­age the pres­sures of pub­lic speak­ing.

School of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy head, Zairul Amri Zakaria, high­lighted there are three dif­fer­ent fun­da­men­tal pro­grammes in En­gi­neer­ing of­fered at Ni­lai Univer­sity – Diploma In Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tronic En­gi­neer­ing, Diploma In Mecha­tronic En­gi­neer­ing and Diploma In Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing.

Students in­ter­ested in en­gi­neer­ing can spe­cialise in one of these ar­eas. Still, they should gain a sound foot­ing either by en­rolling in the Foun­da­tion in Sci­ence ora Diploma be­fore pur­su­ing a de­gree pro­gramme. Students can ex­pect to fin­ish in two and a half years and then de­cide to join the work­force or con­tinue with a de­gree.

Dr Nurul and Dr Habibah com­mented that students pas­sion­ate about en­gi­neer­ing have cu­ri­ous and in­quis­i­tive minds.

Still, like all pas­sion, it fiz­zles with­out ded­i­ca­tion, hard work and com­mit­ment.

“To move for­ward, students should de­velop the tenac­ity to solve prob­lems,” Dr Nurul pointed out.

Be pre­pared and up­scale your tal­ent in En­gi­neer­ing. The ba­sic en­try re­quire­ments for students who have just com­pleted their ter­tiary ex­ams are:

– SPM/SPMV/O-lev­els: 3Cs in Math­e­mat­ics and a Sci­ence/ tech­ni­cal/vo­ca­tional sub­ject.

– UEC: 3Bs in Math­e­mat­ics and a Sci­ence/ tech­ni­cal/vo­ca­tional sub­ject.

Ob­tain­ing a pass­ing grade in English is also a re­quire­ment.

“Students should have a good foot­ing in Maths, Add Maths and Physics,” Dr Habibah em­pha­sised.

Ease of ac­quir­ing the right ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tions

Ni­lai Univer­sity offers six types of schol­ar­ships. Un­der these awards, students will re­ceive tu­ition fee waivers up to 100%. Phe­shant, a gifted in­ter­na­tional squash player, re­ceived a schol­ar­ship un­der the Ex­tracur­ricu­lum and Sports Ex­cel­lence Award (ECSEA) to pur­sue his Foun­da­tion in Sci­ence.

Ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lors at Ni­lai Univer­sity will help to guide in the ap­pli­ca­tion of the schol­ar­ships.

■ Call 06-850 2308 for an ap­point­ment or email mar­ket­[email protected]­lai.edu.my or visit Ni­lai Univer­sity’s Face­book page at https://www. face­book.com/Ni­laiUniver­sity/ or web­site at www.ni­lai.edu.my

The next in­take will be in Jan­uary 2020. En­quire to­day to learn more about the diploma pro­grammes of­fered un­der the School of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy.

Yaiesh and Phe­shant with their fi­nal-year projects.

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