We are proud to announce that students from the International School of Advanced Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, bagged 1 Gold Medal at the 2021 ITEX Competition, with the invention title of “Eco-Friendly DIY Mini Refrigerator Teaching Kit”. Congratulations to ISAM and SMSE!
ITEX 2021 is the 32nd international Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition, which took place from 13 to 14 December 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Held from 1989, ITEX is the longest running and most prestigious competition in Malaysia. One of its supporting organization is IET, The Institution of Engineering and Technology that is formed in 2006 and has more than 160,000 members worldwide.
This year, ITEX adopted a hybrid model of an online and physical exhibition, continuing to widen borders, and maximising potential reach between inventors, innovators and venture capitalists and other stakeholders. It has attracted participants across 15 countries and regions, and received around 500 invention works.
The ISAM Novel Teaching Team from ISAM, SMSE consists of seven team members, among whom, Xiaolong Gan is the team leader and responsible for excavating market pain points and providing innovation ideas; Sijing Zhong and Zhengliang Lin improve the product; Qiaoyang Tang, Yuejia Dou, and Jiaji Yang make the promotional videos; Mingle He makes presentation slides and demonstrates the product.
Under the guidance and support from Associate Professor Yap Boon Kar, Associate Professor Tan Chou Yong and Ms. Yang Liu, the team won praises from judges and got the gold medal based on five evaluation standards: “originality; usefulness; presentation and demonstration; market and commercial potential; and environmental friendliness”. Dr. Normy, one of the judges, was impressed by their work and their young age, and showered non-stop compliments.
The team’s invention idea came from the course of “Frontier of Advanced Materials” by Professor Yuguang Ma, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Ma introduced the principle of thermoelectric conversion, which is the basis of organic semiconductor materials, and inspired the team members to think about the conversion between heat and electricity. After that, in another course of “Physical Properties of Materials” given by Professor Yap Boon Kar, students were taught about semiconductor materials and were encouraged to turn what they learned from class into practices. The team members came up with the idea of self-made thermoelectric refrigerator, and designed and produced the invention work, which was highly recognized by Professor Yap Boon Kar, who recommended them to participate in the ITEX 2021.
During the preparation, the team members explored the use of different materials and their structures to redesign the product, making the refrigerator smaller and lighter, to meet the needs of a small teaching kit. To improve the cooling effect, they made several attempts and tests in the selection of heat insulation materials, and at the same time selected thermal grease with different performances and at reasonable price for optimization, constantly breaking the record of minimum refrigeration temperature, and finally achieved an ideal refrigeration effect. In order to make the product applied in different situations, the team members made continuous attempts in the power supply module and proposed diversified power supply solutions.
In order to promote the product in the market, the team members communicated with ISAM and got the permission to commercialize their self-made refrigerator as graduation gifts for 63 year-four students. Later, the team members contacted an ISAM alumnus’ design company to discuss the decorations of the fridge and the design of a packaging gift box for the graduation gifts. In the process of market promotion, the team also obtained cooperation intents with primary schools, middle schools and enterprises, demonstrating strong market potential and competitiveness of their product.
Winning a gold medal in an international competition has shown that, ISAM students are capable of convincing the international judges with their well-honed presentation skills, well-mastered English skills and impressive products of huge market potentials - fulfilling the visions and mission of establishing an Innovation Class in ISAM, SMSE. It is also a great team work where every team member works tirelessly and selflessly to achieve the gold medal. Congratulations to all team members!