SES Inter-University Competition 2019

Models being secured on the shaking table before they are tested

Structural Earthquake Stability Inter-University Competition (SES-V) came back for the fifth time in five consecutive years with the most number of participations yet.

Thirty-two teams from 18 higher learning institutions including from Perlis and Johor made their way to UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 17 March 2019 to showcase their skills and talent in constructing a "High-Rise Mixed Commercial and Residential Building" model that will withstand the test of earthquake simulation.

SES-V is a build and break competition where participants are required to construct an earthquake resisting structure by only using the provided materials, namely balsa wood, mounting board and superglue. The structure has to be completed within 210 minutes and it has to comply with the assigned theme and feature, which include balconies as an extra challenge for this year. This year the teams were challenged to build a residential building with two levels of commercial floor at the bottom and six levels of residential floor on the top. The constructed structure will then be loaded and tested on an earthquake simulation shaking table and the winner will be judged based on stability of structure, cost & time efficiency and presentation.

The three-and-a-half-hour competition saw participants coming up with various strategies and ideas

Committee members checking models for any breach of rules which will cost them a load penalty during the second assessment

“Majority of deaths that happen during earthquakes can actually be prevented through engineering knowledge. By knowing this fact, we understand how important seismic engineering is. SES-V is never just about preventing buildings from collapsing during natural disasters; it also plays an important role in increasing the awareness of the public on seismic engineering in Malaysia. This is why we treat this competition as an educational event rather than just a competition,” said SES-V Chairman Lim Xin Chern at the opening ceremony.

Agreeing with the thoughts was Prof Faidz who reminded the participants, “Seismic design plays an important role in preventing tragedies during earthquakes. Other than the achievement and prizes, I believe all participants gained a very valuable hands-on experience to build and test your very own seismic design building model.” In his speech, Prof Faidz also expressed his gratitude to the founder of SES Competition Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Adjunct Prof Dr Yasuo Tanaka, who also donated to UTAR the shaking table that replicates earthquakes and used to put the models to test.

With Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd as the sole sponsor of the competition this year, a total of RM5,400 cash prizes were up for grab among the participants. The competing teams were from UTAR, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), UCSI University, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), University of Malaya (UM), Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, University of Nottingham Malaysia, INTI International University, SEGI University, Manipal International University (MIU), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and three polytechnics, namely Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah and Politeknik Sultan Idris Shah.

(From top left, clockwise) Participants from Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah, INTI International University, UM and UniMAP

Girl power”: the two teams with all female members from UiTM (left) and UPM

Ghayathiry Ravindran (left pic) from UPM presenting her team’s idea to judges, namely (from right) The Institutions of Engineers Malaysia Ir Tu Yong Eng, Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd Yap Wei Len and Institution of Civil Engineers Ir Dr Tony Chan Tuck Leong

Structural Shaking Table Test: With the increasing shaking frequency, some models resisted while others crashed down

The hall was filled with mixed emotion as team members watch the live feed of their models being put to test

The results of the competition are as follow:

Main Category

Champion (RM1,500 cash prize + certificate): Team Tizzy 1 (UTAR)

1st Runner Up (RM1,200 cash prize + certificate): Team Beam Civil (UTAR)

2nd Runner Up (RM1,000 cash prize + certificate): Team JJ Skr (UM)

Consolation Prize (RM400 cash prize + certificates): Team Mr. Glass (Heriot-Watt University Malaysia)

Consolation Prize (RM400 cash prize + certificates): Team Super Junior UNM (University of Nottingham Malaysia)


Special Awards:

Most Efficient Team (RM300 cash prize): Team Skrrt (Heriot-Watt University Malaysia)

Most Cost-Effective Team (RM300 cash prize): Innovative PSIS (Politeknik Sultan Idris Shah)

Best Presentation and Poster Team (RM300 cash prize): CV UM (UM)


Yap (third from right) presenting a mock cheque to the champion team Tizzy 1 from UTAR; their winning model (right photo)


Ir Tu (second from right) presenting a mock cheque to the 1st runner up team Beam Civil from UTAR; their winning model (right photo)

Prof Tanaka (second from left) presenting a mock cheque to the 2nd runner up team JJ Skr from UM; their winning model (right photo)

“We made three prototypes and tested them by ourselves prior to the competition. We tried different shapes, including diamond, hexagon and pentagon to see which is the best structure to withstand the earthquake test,” said Bryan Yap Seng Haw, the leader of the champion team for SES-V. According to Yap, the cash prize that they won will be used to do preparation for the competitions in the future as well as a nice dinner to celebrate their victory.

Lim (middle, in blue) and his committee that made SES-V another success

Wholly owned by UTAR Education Foundation Co. No. 578227-M        LEGAL STATEMENT   TERM OF USAGE   PRIVACY NOTICE