Curtin Malaysia team champion of Keysight Track in Innovate Malaysia Design Competition

Miri – 30 August 2017 – Three final-year electrical and electronic engineering students of Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) emerged winners of the Keysight Track in the grand finale of the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition (IMDC) 2017 held at the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) in Cyberjaya recently.

Kong Sheng How, Desmond Ting Zhong Xuan and Bong Chu Jun received a cash prize of RM5,000 for their project entitled ‘Development of XLPE Cable Diagnosis Platform for Offline Partial Discharge Detection’.

Kong is president of Curtin Malaysia’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch while Bong and Ting are vice-presidents.

They were supervised by electrical and computer engineering lecturer Dr. Law Kah Haw and supported by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science.

The project involves development of a low-cost, lightweight and space-saving method to detect a pre-fault phenomenon within underground XLPE cables known as Partial Discharge (PD), which manifests itself as an early symptom of cable breakdown, instrument failure or eventual power outage. PD is often a major root cause of power outages and conventional methods of detection usually involve using very costly and bulky devices.

The trio have devised an innovative method using a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) source converted from a 9-volt battery via a blocking oscillator to detect online and offline PD activity.

According to them, the method can be further enhanced to determine PD fault locations. The ability to detect and localise PD faults would be advantageous to cable manufacturers and power transmission and distribution companies, as well as end-users of electric power.

An elated Dr. Law commented that, as the team’s supervisor, he was very delighted that it has emerged among the champions in the prestigious national competition.

“Curtin Malaysia has a very good track record in this competition and this outstanding win, as well as that of another team of ours in the Fusionex Track, will definitely encourage other students to compete in future competitions,” said Dr. Law.

He added that a Curtin Malaysia team won first prize in the ViTrox Track at last year’s grand finale held in Penang and that encouraging students to participate in competitions such as the IMDC is very effective in enhancing their learning experience and capabilities.

Meanwhile, Kong, who was the team leader, said the competition was an unforgettable experience and that it was good exposure to the team members to the latest industrial technologies through the training and instruments provided by Keysight. He encourages more electrical and electronic engineering students to take part and score big wins for the university in upcoming competitions.

Teammate Bong said it was the first time she had participated in a prestigious competition and was also glad for the experience, particularly the exposure to the companies involved in the competition. In addition, she was pleased to have had the opportunity to undergo an interview for industrial training with Innovate Malaysia.

Ting, too, was appreciative for the chance to participate in the competition, saying it helped him enhance his technical, presentation and communication skills. He was also thrilled to meet other aspiring innovators during the competition. He said feedback from the judges and visitors to the team’s project showcase booth will prove invaluable as the team continues to perfect its project.

The IMDC is the largest and most prestigious undergraduate engineering design competition in Malaysia, open to all final-year undergraduate engineering, computer science and science/mathematics students. It aims to promote an innovative culture in engineering design work, tackle real-world problems with practical engineering solutions, and churn out bright talents for product development, research and commercialisation.

Technology companies, including Fusionex, Intel, Keysight, MathWorks, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, National Instruments, SilTerra and ViTrox, work together co-organise the competition with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education, TalentCorp Malaysia, Dream Catcher, MDeC and others.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (, its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).

The team demonstrating their project to judges at their project showcase booth.

Kong briefing judges on the project.

The team receiving their prize from the organisers.

The team proudly sharing their prize with the Faculty Dean and lecturers.

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