LKC FES academics earn gold at ITEX 2020

The winning team from UTAR LKC FES

UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering & Science (LKC FES) academics added another award to their growing list of accolades when they received a gold medal and a certificate under the Building and Construction category at the 31st International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2020.

The international exhibition was virtually organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) from 20 to 21 November 2020. ITEX 2020 featured a community of inventors and a virtual sourcing marketplace for commercialisation purposes within the fingertips. This platform provided a digital environment to cultivate innovative inventions, technologies and products, besides gathering innovators, inventors and researchers for new investments and commercialisation to stay ahead of the industry.

The winning team members consisted of LKC FES lecturers, namely Dr Lee Foo Wei, Ts Dr Yew Ming Chian, Assoc Prof Ts Dr Bernard Saw Lip Huat, Assoc Prof Ir Dr Lim Siong Kang and LAr Ts Beh Jing Han. They were led by LKC FES lecturer Dr Yew Ming Kun.

Their winning project was titled “Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands”. The project aimed to investigate the floating type of lightweight foam concrete technique combination with greening technique to construct Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands (EFTWs).

EFTWs are manmade ecosystems that mimic natural wetlands. It aims to create multiple social-ecological benefits that would restore existing pond water, regenerate microhabitat for wildlife, and revitalise the pond and nearby environment social activities of the local community. EFTWs are the innovative variant of the traditional constructed method for wetland that offers great potential for the treatment of urban stormwater and sediment ponds. It is found that lightweight foam concrete with high workability can be produced by a proper selection of local, easily available by-product which is oil palm shell (OPS). The previous results revealed that the use of OPS lightweight foam concrete gives better compressive strength and dry density in the range of 800 - 1000 kg/m3. Another technique that can be used to compensate the low mechanical properties of OPS lightweight foam concrete without increasing its density concrete is to reinforce the concrete with micro-macro polymer fibres. In addition, phytoremediation floating wetland can be used as the green bio-technology solution to naturally mitigate and gradually remove existing contaminants and organic pollutants like heavy metals, pesticides, nitrate, and etc accumulated in the pond.

The winning project titled “Ecological Floating Treatment Wetlands”

The phytoremediation floating wetland was used as a green bio-technology solution to naturally mitigate and gradually remove existing contaminants and organic pollutants accumulated in the pond (photo was taken in 2019)

ITEX 2020 presented an exciting opportunity to showcase inventions to potential business and investors both locally and internationally. It was open to all participating inventors to gain recognition for their inventions as well as to compete amongst other international inventors for local and international awards and medals.

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