Date: 14 December 2013
UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science (FES) team achieved the highest honour for their two inventions in the respective categories of Civil Engineering and Construction at the Awards Ceremony of the 2013 World Inventor Award Festival (WIAF) held in Seoul, South Korea on 14 December 2013.
The winning team comprised Assoc Prof Ir Dr Low Kaw Sai, Assoc Prof Dr Tioh Ngee Heng, and Asst Prof Dr Ng Soon Ching. Their two winning inventions were "Lightweight Concrete Infill Buoyant System and the Method Thereof" and "Membrane Encased Lightweight Concrete or Mortar Panel and Block."
Ir Dr Low represented the team to attend the Awards ceremony where he received the Order of Merit for Civil Engineering, and the Oder of Merit for Construction. He received the awards from Soung-Mo Hong, the Chairman of WIAF Commission cum President of Korea Invention News (KINEWS) which is also the first newspaper publisher on inventions in South Korea. The two World Inventor Orders of Merit awards were presented in the form of medals and certificates.
According to the Chairman, the grand prizes are of exceptional quality and value, unlike that of the gold, silver or bronze awards normally presented at international invention exhibitions. The World Inventor Award served to bestow inventors with the high-valued Order of Merit as recognised world inventors from their respective communities.
Ir Dr Low said that the "a two-in-one" approach is probably the winning edge for the "Lightweight Concrete Infill Buoyant Platform and the Method Thereof" in the competition. The invention is an amphibious civil engineering system designed to support heavy structures safely over soft subgrade to avoid excessive 'total settlement' and intolerable 'differential settlement' (i.e. terrestrial application). It is also designed to carry load under and above water for coastal reclamation and as a floating platform (waterborne use).
The density of the overall structural system can be controlled at ease by suitable apportioning bamboo, plastic bottles and lightweight concrete etc. that formed the system. Being a green and sustainable method of construction, it not only resolves an acute contemporary engineering problem but also mitigated the environmental problem created by the strewn wastes.
For the second invention of "Membrane Encased Lightweight Concrete or Mortar Panel and Block," membrane encased aerated lightweight concrete panel and block are designed to further enhance the thermal insulation capability of aerated lightweight concrete panel and block for building wall construction. Encasing a physical membrane like leaves and/or discarded industrial wastes like plastic and polystyrene etc. in an already effective heat insulation material like lightweight concrete is the notable innovative feature of the invention and probably one of the winning considerations for the award.
Established and directed by Korea Invention News (KINEWS), the World Inventor Award Festival recognises the importance of inventors for the advancement of worldwide industries and their national competitiveness. It aims to discover the valuable and dedicated inventors who, in applying their technical, scientific and intellectual skills, have made major contributions as inventors to technological impact, economic growth and improvement in people's daily lives and society. The World Inventor Award Festival where the granted awards reflect their successes and "set sail as inventor exemplars," encouraging the future generation of inventors across the globe.