Mechanical Engineering students win bronze medal at International Design and Optimization Competition 2021

Mechanical Engineering students win bronze medal at International Design and Optimization Competition 2021

The UTAR Team Hercules members (from left): Jong Jian Guang, Low Chee Siong, Lim Zi Mo, Sum Weng Fai and Leow Jian Xiong

UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Mechanical Engineering (ME) students won a bronze medal in the International Design and Optimization Competition 2021. The team was named Hercules and it consisted of five ME students, namely Sum Weng Fai, Low Chee Siong, Leow Jian Xiong, Jong Jian Guang and Lim Zi Mo. The team walked away with USD300 and a one-year ALTAIR License.

The competition was jointly organised by ALTAIR in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) along with the UTP-American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Malaysia students’ chapter (SC). It was open to all undergraduate students. However, it was made compulsory that each group (maximum five students) should have at least one engineering student from any field. The engineering student can also choose to join the competition individually.

Team Hercules from UTAR won bronze medal at the International Design and Optimization Competition 2021

In order to join the competition, the participants need to design an offshore basket transfer with Altair® Inspire™. The offshore personal transfer basket is designed to support a load of 530kg. With the structural analysis conducted via Altair Inspire, the preliminary model of offshore personal transfer basket has a FOS of 17. Likewise, the structure was simulated according to the environment similar to eastern peninsular Malaysia, whereby the average windspeed of 3.3m/s to 4.1m/s was taken into consideration.

According to the team leader, Jong, they were expected to design a personal transfer basket that could be used in the oil and gas industry. He said, “The passenger’s personal transfer basket is used to protect and transport them from the ship to the platform. Following that, we had to perform calculations, sketches, 3D modelling, simulation, and material selections for this competition. The competition consisted of two stages. In the initial stage, we were required to submit a report and a three-dimensional drawing. Following the announcement of the winning team, top ten teams were selected to proceed to the final presentation session where the team members were asked to introduce the design concept and materials used.”

Jong explained their design model, “This model of offshore basket aims to transport six standing crews safely and swiftly from one location to another, along with some equipment and tools. This basket design has taken several important factors into consideration with the objective of having high efficiency and safe transport. It can be transferred by connecting the supporting hooks on the basket to a crane so that the basket can be lifted and transferred to a new location. The overall shape of the basket is hexagon when viewed from the top, each corner of the hexagon is made of the mainframe, which acts as a standing spot for passengers.”

Lim added, “The main frame has several safety features (as shown in picture), such as buoyancy capsule, safety belt, rope stabilizer and bar handle to prevent passengers from falling. Moreover, the design of the buoyancy capsule provides overhead and side-impact protection and self-righting in case of immersion. There is also an absorber installed on each buoyancy capsule to reduce impulsive force when the basket has an impact on a hard surface. Besides, there is a secure space at the centre of the basket which is surrounded by four metal poles, for placement of tools and luggage, so that they can be transported with passengers.”

The winning design of offshore basket by Team Hercules

Sum described their design and said, “Our dimensions of personnel transfer basket are three metres long, three metres wide, and 2.5 metres high. We created a personnel transfer basket that has a load capacity of 530 kilogrammes and was it was made of corrosion-resistant material. The aluminium alloy personnel transfer basket has improved the safety of the employees. The hardness of the material protects the workers from collisions with nearby goods. In case of immersion or emergency, the transfer basket has a buoyancy capsule. The vertical stiff structure with shock-absorbing material protects the travelling crews from accidents caused by sudden force. It is very water-resistant and does not degrade. Our personal transfer basket may be protected from vertical, side, and immersion impacts.”

The design features of the personal transfer basket created by Team Hercules

Low, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude for the win. He said, “This award is valuable to us because it allowed us to gain practical experience while applying our technical knowledge and enabled us to collaborate with teammates in a motivated manner.”

Leow mentioned that they have gained more hands-on experience in this competition, especially in the practical application of their engineering skills. “Thanks to the competition, we were able to put our technical knowledge to the test while simultaneously honing other aspects of our personalities and communication skills. Furthermore, participating in the competition provided us with an opportunity to learn and improve our skills as future engineers,” said Leow.

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