Biomedical engineering student awarded BESA 2022

Tan with her award certificate

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Biomedical Engineering student Tan Chia Wen from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) was recently awarded the Best Engineering Student Award (BESA) 2022 by IEEE Electronics Packaging Society (EPS), Malaysian Chapter.

She received RM3,000 cash prize, which will be used to secure a two-year IEEE EPS membership and purchase a book valued at approximately RM1,000. The book will be donated to UTAR’s library under the names of Tan and IEEE EPS Malaysian Chapter. The balance of the amount will be credited to her bank account. Additionally, she also received a digital certificate.

She enthused, “I am ecstatic to win this competition because I hope that it would encourage more students to incorporate origami theory into technical designs. I also believe that it was the incorporation of my love for the art of paper folding (origami) into designing a novel hand rehabilitation system that gave me an edge in this competition. I was nominated to participate in the competition. I am incredibly grateful to my supervisor, Mr Chong Yu Zheng and co-supervisor, Dr Chan Siow Cheng for their guidance throughout the development of this project. I would also like to give a special thanks to Mr Kenneth, the founding president of Malaysia Origami Academy, who has inspired me to utilise my knowledge in origami for engineering designs.”

She added, “Throughout these four years of studying in UTAR, the lecturers have skilfully structured the courses and curated assignments that actively encouraged me to hone my problem-solving skills, resilience, presentation skills, and the ability to learn technical topics independently. These were the attributes that aided me in my final year project.”

Tan demonstrating the mechanisms of the wearable rehabilitation device

The award-winning research is titled “Development of Wearable Rehabilitation Device for Wrist-Finger Mobility Rehabilitation”. She explained, “I chose this research because I saw an opportunity for me to attempt to design a novel transmission mechanism inspired by origami for the hand rehabilitation system. Hand rehabilitation devices are commonly used for patients with stroke as a substitute for the repetitive task practice performed by physiotherapists. By incorporating origami string and Miura vertex theory into the design of the transmission mechanism, it allows the maximum joint angular displacements that could be generated by the transmission mechanism to be integrated into the structural design itself thus ensuring that the device respects the static constraints of the hand. Moreover, studies show that the act of folding origami models contributes to greater improvement of hand functions and dexterity of the patients. Therefore, the Android mobile application developed for this rehabilitation system has additional functionality that allows users to play video tutorials that teach them how to fold origami paper models.”

The research is able to develop a hand rehabilitation system that only costs RM231, which makes the device more accessible and affordable to the communities. The incorporation of origami string and Miura vertex theory provided insights into designing novel transmission mechanisms.

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