Master of Science students win bronze medal at IBCEX 2023
Three Master of Science students from UTAR Faculty of Science (FSc) S. Shivitraloshini, Widanalage Don Rumali Chamathka and Cheah Shi Yan won the bronze medal at the recently concluded 9th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition (IBCEX) 2023. Organised by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru from 5 to 6 May 2023, the team was supervised and mentored by FSc’s Department of Chemical Science lecturer Dr Anto Cordelia Tanislaus Antony Dhanapal.
The competition consisted of undergraduate and postgraduate categories, themed Biotechnology/waste treatment and green technology respectively. The overall theme of the competition was ‘Youth Awakening: Ways to Sustainable World’.
UTAR team contested under the green technology category with the title “Green waste to Circular Green Economy: Development of an Eco-friendly Nano-Food Packaging Using Waste Banana Leaves (Musa acuminata)”. The team was one among the ten teams shortlisted from many entries, both at national and international levels to present and exhibit their innovative nano food packaging product. The competition had two rounds and they emerged as one of the top five teams to qualify for the finals.
The team defended their innovative product in front of elite juries from academia and industry and won the bronze medal under the innovation category. They received certificates, a plaque and a cash prize of RM500.
Shivitraloshini, the team leader said that the competition gave them a good platform to exhibit their innovative product and compete against their counterparts from various public and private universities.
Meanwhile, Rumali commented that the competition helped them to learn from their peers and keep track of the latest research in the field of green technology.
Last but not least, Cheah added that the win has motivated them to explore this emerging field more.
The supervisor and mentor of the team, Dr Anto Cordelia said that the green circular economy concept is being supported by the government. It is also one of the efforts under UTAR’s green campus policy and its mission towards Net Zero by 2050. The team used the waste banana leaves collected from UTAR’s Agricultural Park and tried to make an alternative method to remove the landfill as well as reuse and generate income.
This project is funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) parked under the Malaysian Science and Technology Information Centre (MASTIC). The winning team includes UTAR FSc academics Dr Tey Lai Hock and Dr Ali Yassoralipour, UTAR FSc former academic Dr Sinouvassane Djearamane; Prof Wong Ling Shing, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer of INTI International University and Assoc Prof Dr Nor Khaizura Mahmud @ Ab Rashid from Universiti Putra Malaysia.