Chemical Engineering Students from UCSI University Wins Award
private universities, clinching first runner-up and RM2,000 at the 9th Malaysia Chem-E-Car Competition 2014.
Themed, ‘Green cars today, blue skies tomorrow’, the competition necessitated each team to design and build a model car powered by a chemical reaction.
Interestingly, the small car must be able to carry 100 – 500ml of water, travel 15 – 25 metres in distance, and stop at the finish line within two minutes.
According to UCSI University, student Chong Jeunn Hao, the greatest challenge was building the car model. Assembled by hand, the car was mostly made of wood and parts like motors, gears, bearings and wheels.
“As it has to travel in a straight line, the model must be built in proportion and we had to recalibrate it several times to obtain the best results,” he says.
“From the competition, I learned that teamwork and planning are vital if we wish to succeed in anything. Our team members consist of close friends so we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Sharing Chong’s sentiment, team member Soh Wei Ming points out that “constant communication and delegating the right job to the right person was the key to our win.”
He explains that there are three major parts to the car; the power supply (chemical reaction-based battery), the ‘stopping mechanism’ and the body of the car.
While Chong and I managed the battery, he says, our other members handled the stopping mechanism and all of us worked on
building the body of the car.
“Our goal was 17 metres and we achieved 17.182 metres, which means an error of roughly 1%. Seeing our car stop right on top of the finish line was worth all our effort!”
To win, the students’ knowledge was put to the test in a wide range of areas – from reaction engineering, design and control to optimisation – in the competition.
Held at Universiti Putra Malaysia, the event was organised by the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (Chemical Engineering Technical Division) and officiated by YB Datuk Seri Mahdzir bin Khalid, Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water.
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