Reward for Innovation

Over two decades since the 1970s, the Electrical and Electronics (EE) sector has taken off in a spin. Today, the EE sector employs over 2.5Million people nationwide, so stated in The Edge Malaysia, Sept 2019 issue. Like all industries, growth has taken a new direction upstream focusing on innovation and design.

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

Yaiesh, an international student from the Maldives, raved about his entry. His lecturers supported and guided him to develop a prototype auto-parking car. “Imagine parking your car by just pressing a button! Anyone can do that with an auto-parking feature. There’s an embedded system which integrates three different micro-controllers. Basically, the system would gather signals from a few sensors installed, and transmit the information to the main controller that calculate and adjust the algorithm for parking. This built-in system has a safety feature and will manoeuvre on its own to park, turning the wheels forward and reversing,” explained Yaeish.

Yaiesh’s uncle, a pilot, heard about Nilai University from his colleagues and encouraged Yaiesh to find out further about Nilai University. “When researching online, images of the green environment and spaciousness on campus awed me,” said Yaiesh. He 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 the foundation studies at Nilai University. He submitted his final year project-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 could operate smoothly for 24-hours under rain or shine. The idea came about after several brainstorming sessions with my lecturers,” mentioned Pheshant.

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

Dr Nurul Shahrizan Shahabuddin, another senior lecturer specialising in Photonics added that cost was another element being considered. “We harvested the sun’s energy to churn the pumps. This will reduce the cost of living in rural communities. Also, while developing this final year project, students learned to evaluate all variants such as the water flow, velocity, volume and other considerations,” clarified Dr Nurul.

 

Gaining more than a medal

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

“Not even 0.2mm off the mark is acceptable,” Pershant interjected with mischief. Besides learning and having the adventure to explore further engineering concepts, Pershant and Yaeish also brushed up their presentation skills and summoned the courage to manage the pressures of public speaking.

Zairul Amri Bin Zakaria, Head of the School of Engineering and Technology, highlighted that there are three different fundamental programmes in Engineering offered at Nilai University.

  1. Diploma In Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  2. Diploma In Mechatronic Engineering
  3. Diploma In Mechanical Engineering

Students who are interested in engineering could specialise in one of these areas. Still, they should gain a sound footing either by enrolling in the Foundation in Science or a Diploma before pursuing a degree programme. Students could expect to complete in 2 ½ years and then decide if they would like to join the workforce or continue with a degree.

 

Would studying an Engineering Diploma be your cup of tea?

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

“As a kid, I would always take my toys apart and then fix it back again,” confessed Yaiesh, whose father was an engineer before retiring. Yaiesh clearly states that he inherited his passion for engineering from his dad.

“For me, I think it was the movie Transformer. The storyline of heroic robots made me wondered how do machines come to live,” laughed Pershant as he shared his discovery about his passion for engineering.

Still, like all passion, it frizzles without the 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/ vocation subject.
  • UEC – 3Bs in Mathematics and a Science/ Technical/ vocation 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.

“I recalled pouring hours burning the midnight candle to grasp the concepts of Add Maths when I was a freshman. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to overcome all the hurdles by working hard. My course mates were always eager to help too,” confessed Pershant.

 

Ease of acquiring the right tertiary qualifications

Nilai University offers six types of scholarships for students from all walks of life. Under these awards, students will receive tuition fees waiver up to 100%. Pheshant, a gifted international squash player, received a scholarship under the Extra-curriculum and Sports Excellence Award (ECSEA) to pursue his Foundation in Science.

The education counsellors at Nilai University will help to access and guide in the application of the scholarships. Call 06-850 2308 for an appointment or send an e-mail message to marketing@nilai.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.

 

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