UTAR Bags Top Prize at Nehemiah Design Competition 2010

The Top Consultant team from the Faculty of Engineering and Science (FES) of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) emerged as champion and clinched the top prize of RM5,000 cash and a plaque at the inaugural Nehemiah Design Competition 2010 held at UTAR Kuala Lumpur campus in Setapak on 20 August 2010 .

The team, made up of mainly final-year Civil Engineering students, comprised Lee Kok Sheng, Lee Lian Wei, Chiew Yi Zhong, Cheong Wei Hao, Richard Chai Chen Foon and Peter Soo Chin Yee.

Lee Kok Sheng, the team leader, said several days of hard work, including having to burn midnight oil, was worth all the efforts. "My team members and I took the competition very seriously," he said during the presentation of the prize by Senior General Manager of Nehemiah Reinforced Soil Sdn Bhd, Ir. Tan Cheng Chong. 

"We had to think of a practical solution, while making sure our costs are well within control. It's like tendering for a project," added Lee.  

The cash prize of RM3,000 for first runner-up was won by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 's Quad team.

UTAR, which played host to the event, also fielded another winning team, Gephyrophobia. The team was led by Tan Meng Yue, a final-year Civil Engineering student, who was assisted by fellow team members: Chew Sin Tat, Chong Jia Hoe, Foo Chee Liang, Lim Yong Kiat, Hwong Shih Siong, Chan Wei Siang and Peh Shuo Yan. 

Twelve finalists were selected from a number of universities and colleges from across the country to submit their engineering and architectural designs, which included a built-up model, for evaluation based on a number of criteria.

Ir. Dr. Nehemiah Lee Chee Hai, Managing Director of Nehemiah Reinforced Soil Sdn Bhd, was the lead judge of the competition while the other judges were members of professional bodies like the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), Road Engineering Association of Malaysia (REAM) and The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation Malaysian Branch (CIHTMB).

According to Dr. Lee, the judging process was very thorough. "Each judge was given 15 minutes each to assess each team," he said. "This is to make sure that we have a fair judging scheme in place, where no one judge is influenced by the other during the judging process." 

For the inaugural engineering design competition this year, students have been asked to provide a solution to a real life situation involving the construction of a highway through steep mountainous terrain in a remote part of Sabah, where a section of this highway passes through a valley of 20 metres in depth spanning a length of 200 metres. 

Nehemiah Design Competition 2010 is an engineering/architectural design competition open to all engineering, construction management and architectural design students from both public and private institutions of higher learning.

The competition was organised by Nehemiah Reinforced Soil Sdn Bhd, a specialist contractor with its core expertise in the design and construction of reinforced soil retaining.

The Champion team with their advisor Associate Professor Dr. Ir. Low Kaw Sai

Members of UTAR winning teams: Top Consultant (Champion) and Gephyrophobia (2 nd Runner-up)


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