Curtin Malaysia students showcase their projects, bag top three prizes in Tech Master Challenge

Miri – 6 December 2023 – Three student teams from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) showcased their engineering and science projects and bagged the top three prizes at the Tech Master Challenge held in conjunction with the recent 2-day STEM Playground 2023 event held at Miri City Hall.

The STEM Playground, which is held annually to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) knowledge among youth and the wider community in Northern Sarawak, was held as part of the Sarawak Career Training (SCAT) Fair in Miri.

The Tech Master Challenge, meanwhile, is an annual competition for university students organised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Curtin Malaysia Student Branch with support from the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) Sarawak, Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS), IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (IEEE EMBS), and IEEE Industry Applications Society (IEEE IAS).

The Challenge allows university students to use their technological knowledge, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to innovate and create projects that address real-world issues.

In the preliminary rounds, nine teams were picked to enter the finale where they had to pitch their projects to a panel of judges comprising academic and industry experts.

Emerging champions in the Challenge was Team SportMou comprising Alan Tiong Ka Wei, Sia Chun Wan, and James Tai Chun Ket. The team’s project, SportMou, is an artificial intelligence-based smart sports monitoring system that provides professional cardio sports guidance in real-time. The system is designed to be an affordable alternative to engaging a professional gym trainer for cardio exercise coaching, where only a depth camera and mobile device is required.

In second place was Team QuestUp comprising Lai Jia Yi, Hedges Yeu Zhi Chao, Lee Wei Hang, and Chong Kai Siang. Team QuestUp’s project aims to address the challenge of enhancing student engagement and motivation on online learning platforms. From the online learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was learned that such platforms need to be more interactive and engaging. The team’s solution uses a gamification approach to online learning, which resonates a lot better with young learners.

Following in third place was Team PathPal comprising Malcolm Chan Pei Zhing, Kam Siew Hui, Emily Kok Mei Jing, and Ling Chong Hong. The team’s innovation is an affordable and user-friendly device that seamlessly integrates Arduino technology, ultrasonic sensors, and vibration motors to detect obstacles and help the visually-impaired navigate their surroundings safely. This not only enhances their mobility but also improves their quality of life and gives them the self-assurance to explore the world around them.

Professor Garenth Lim, academic advisor to the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch, said: “This Tech Master Challenge is a very good platform for university students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a competitive setting. They also learn to address pertinent community issues, and how to effectively pitch their ideas to stakeholders, which would be a very useful skill in their future careers.”

The prize giving for the Challenge was officiated by Deputy Minister II for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak Datuk Snowdan Lawan. Also present were Head of TEGAS Digital Village Manzoor Hayat Khan, and Dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Tuong-Thuy Vu.

In addition to the Tech Master Challenge, the STEM Playground 2023 also featured a STEM Challenge for secondary school students, a Junior Innovate programme for primary school students, TVET Battlefield, Talent Stage, Borneo Maker Festival, Planetarium Sultan Iskandar mobile dome, and a variety of  interactive STEM project showcases by students and lecturers of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science.

The event partners included AAYLC-Chumbaka Miri; , Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, Miri; RealFun Learning Centre; AI3D PLT, and student volunteers from SMK St Columba.

Over 10,000 people attended the STEM Playground over the two days. The successful conclusion of the event highlights the importance of promoting STEM education and its practical applications in solving real-world problems.

Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok.

The Tech Master Challenge winners with Datuk Snowdan (centre), Manzoor (5th left) and Prof Vu (7th left)