Gold and silver medals at ITEX 2023

Left photo: Dr Tey (far right) receiving the gold medal on behalf of his team
Right photo: Dr Yapp (centre) receiving the silver medal on behalf of his team

The team consisting of Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) academics, namely Ir Dr Tey Jing Yuen, Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yeo Wei Hong, Dr Sim Jia Huey, ChM Ts Dr Tee Shiau Foon, and Solid Lab Sdn Bhd representatives Bryan Cheong Chee Yuen, Ang Xiang, Sean Fong Wei Zen and Lim Jeng Jit, won a gold medal at the 34th International Invention, Innovation, & Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2023, held from 11 to 12 May 2023 at KLCC Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Tey commented, “Winning the gold medal is certainly a recognition of our hard work and creativity, which is also a testament to the power of innovation and technology to solve global challenges. We are honoured and humbled to receive the gold medal.”

On a personal note, he also added, “This award has also motivated me to continue pursuing my passion for creating a positive impact through innovation and technology. It is a dream come true for me to win this medal with my team, and I am grate for the opportunity to share my invention with the world. I am also grateful for the support and guidance provided by my mentors, peers, and family, as well as UTAR for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with talented and passionate researchers who share similar interests in innovation and technology. This achievement is truly inspiring and I hope to be able to improve myself as an inventor and researcher.”

The award-winning research was titled “Development of a cost-effective unified 3D printing system for metal/ceramic/silicone (SolidLab Me+)”. It aimed to resolve or help lower the entry barrier for local industries to adopt 3D metal printing technology in the rapid prototyping/ customised part fabrication/ manufacturing industry. The team also hopes to provide a cost-effective 3D printing system for local industrial players and promote Industry 4.0.

They also explained that the research is able to provide an affordable 3D metal printing system designed to significantly improve cost-effectiveness by lowering it by 30%. It is a greener and safer solution that minimises the wastage of build materials and handling hazards, while enhancing Malaysia’s competitiveness in advanced engineering and manufacturing. It is also expected to minimize rejections or reworking and energy consumption. The research is related to Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as it is able to contribute to industrial development by providing a cost-effective industrial-grade 3D printing solution, more conducive to accelerated industrial development.

The gold medallist team

From left: Dr Avneet, Dr Thaw, Dr Yapp and Lim displaying their silver medal and certificate

Meanwhile, another team won the silver medal. The team consisted of Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) academics, namely Centre for Immersive Technology and Creativity Chairperson Dr Aloysius Yapp and Lim Chai Kim; and M. Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (MK FMHS) academics Clinical Assoc Prof Dr Thaw Zin and Dr Avneet Kaur.

The FCI academics commented, “In the competition, our team emerged as the silver medal winner, distinguishing ourselves by engaging with a niche area and transforming serious games into an edutainment experience. By gamifying the study of medical sciences, we successfully created a digital interactive learning environment that stood out among the rest. Our team felt immensely honoured to receive recognition at the event, particularly in the field of invention and innovation. This acknowledgement further validated the value and impact of our project in revolutionising medical education. Our gamified approach not only made learning more engaging but also demonstrated the potential of gamification in transforming traditional study methods.”

Dr Yapp and Lim added, “Looking ahead, our team seeks greater support to advance our project to the commercialisation stage after the award and IP and provide more users with the opportunity to experience the benefits of gamified medical science study. Collaborating with investors, educational institutions, and healthcare organisations will be instrumental in securing the necessary resources and expertise for scaling our projects and making them accessible to a wider audience. Our team is also committed to gathering user feedback and continuously refining and enhancing our gamified learning platform. With our unique and captivating approach to medical education, our project has the potential to make a meaningful impact on a global scale. Our unwavering dedication to gamification as a tool for enhancing learning experiences will undoubtedly contribute to future advancements in the field. As we embark on the journey of commercialising our project, we are poised to receive ongoing support and recognition for our innovative contributions to medical science education.”

Dr Thaw commented, “Frankly speaking, we, from the medical education did not expect to be here since ITEX 23 is more about engineering and technology. The main difference we found is that those related to education are more towards problem-solving to reach a pre-defined answer, whereas ours is interactive, real-time, and intended for critical thinking and case-solving; something the medical professions encounter in real life. It can be played alone, in pairs or groups, and can be customised, scaled up or down depending on the person’s competency, which itself is unique. Winning silver in this competition made us realise that with teamwork, and good collaboration, diverse subjects like medicine and engineering can become effective partners in the AI-enhanced education system.”

Dr Avneet also enthused, “Our mission while attending this competition was to change the tough world of bioethics into a fun and easy-to-understand digital game. After our win, we are now full of new and exciting ideas for our upcoming projects. This victory wasn’t the end, but just the beginning. With each win, we are driven to keep going and make our mark on the world of bioethics learning and the games.”

The team also said, “Our team’s invention achievement is closely tied to our experience as academicians and researchers at UTAR, an esteemed higher education provider known for its research-oriented approach. UTAR’s commitment to fostering innovation and supporting its faculty members played a vital role in our journey toward winning the award. By leveraging UTAR’s research-oriented culture, internal funding, and support from relevant departments, our team was able to develop and showcase our innovative invention, ultimately leading to our recognition and success in the competition. UTAR’s contributions as a higher education provider and research-oriented university have played an instrumental role in our journey toward winning the award.”

The award-winning project was titled “Digital interactive technology in medical science education: Gamification Level 1-MECHAT”. The team explained, “Cross-disciplinary collaboration between a creative content design and development team and a medical science team can lead to innovative and effective gamification strategies in the field of medical science study. By leveraging the expertise of both teams, we can create engaging and educational experiences that enhance the learning process for students. By combining the creative expertise of the content design and development team with the domain knowledge of the medical science team, you can create gamified experiences that are not only visually appealing but also academically rigorous, effective, and enjoyable for students. This cross-disciplinary approach can lead to innovative solutions that enhance the study of medical science and foster a love for learning in aspiring medical professionals.”

The research could transform traditional study materials, such as textbooks and lectures, into interactive and gamified formats. This could include incorporating multimedia elements and branching scenarios that challenge students to apply their knowledge. By making the learning experience more engaging and interactive, students are likely to retain information better and stay motivated throughout their studies. It is related to the use of digital interactive technology in medical science education, hence it contributes to multiple SDGs, primarily Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and Goal 4 (Quality Education).

The research is also expected to improve healthcare delivery, whereby gamified approaches in medical education can enhance the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals, leading to improved healthcare delivery. By engaging medical students and professionals in interactive and realistic scenarios, gamification helps them develop critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. This ultimately benefits society by ensuring that healthcare providers are competent and well-equipped to provide quality care. It also brings awareness of environmental sustainability, through the adoption of digital gamified platforms and mobile applications that can contribute to environmental sustainability. By reducing the need for physical resources like textbooks, printed materials, and travel, digital gamified solutions can help minimise the carbon footprint associated with traditional educational methods. This aligns with efforts to promote eco-friendly practices in various industries, including healthcare.

The team also sees potential in technological advancements, whereby gamification in medical science studies can drive technological advancements in the healthcare industry. The need to create engaging and interactive experiences may spur the development of innovative technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies have the potential to revolutionise medical training, patient care, and research, leading to improved diagnostics, treatments, and overall healthcare outcomes. Additionally, the research can facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among medical professionals. By incorporating social and competitive elements into gamified platforms, medical students and professionals can engage in discussions, share experiences, and exchange best practices. This collaborative environment promotes the exchange of knowledge and ideas, leading to advancements in medical science and the development of innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

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