MSSA/CIDB 11th Open Ideas Competition 2018 Prize Award Ceremony
“USM, huh! USM, huh! USM, huh!”
Three cheers for Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as they won big, making the hall erupt in triumphant cheers applauding not one, not two, but three deserving teams from USM who had managed to snatch all three top prizes in this year’s prestigious Open Ideas Competition (OIC)! Tirelessly organised by none other than the Malaysian Structural Steel Association (MSSA) supported by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, this 11th instalment of the OIC 2018 event created history as the first time ever that contenders from a single university had managed to dominate the entire competition, putting the other six participating universities in the backseat.
With the theme entitled, ‘REIMAGINE: MRT Stations’, or ReMS for short, university students of architectural and civil engineering disciplines from across the country went head to head in their attempt to impress the MSSA-appointed judges with their reimagined designs of existing elevated MRT stations. The task included the student participants to REVISIT an existing MRT station on the Kajang – Sungai Buloh line, to REIMAGINE the design of the chosen station without amending its base superstructure, and finally, to find a RESOLUTION that fitted the bill of having the structure to be made at least 50% out of structural steel whilst incorporating eco-friendly elements in its architectural design. “The idea was to simplify the tasks for the students by having them recreate only the top part of their chosen sites whilst working around their existing foundations,” stated the person responsible in coming up with the competition brief, Ar. Embong Mohamad from UiTM Puncak Alam, believing that this strategy would encourage more undergraduate students to partake in this esteemed competition.
Bagging the main prize of the highly sought-after MSSA Challenge Trophy and a cash prize of RM10, 000 courtesy of CIDB Malaysia, the overall champion of the OIC 2018 ReMS went to the ever-so-humble team with the code 30013 from USM. Showing off their reimagined brainchild of the Damansara MRT station, the champions managed to impress the judges with their use of parabolic-shaped truss made of steel structure meant to increase the exposure of sunlight and air to their chosen station. What was interesting was that this team had taken into account the importance of being eco-friendly by going beyond the expectable solar panels whilst developing their ideas surrounding the theme of Recharge. Their team leader, Kelvin Ah Kian, explained that the idea of recharge here spanned both physical as well as spiritual strengths with potential users of the MRT station at the forefront of their grand plan. This combination of aesthetics as well sustainability goes to show what strong collaboration and cooperation between the fields of architecture and civil engineering can do. When asked what the team plans to do with their winning cash prize, all of them chorused, “Makan besar!” You very well deserved it, Team 30013.
Having said that, the other two finalists also from USM did not disappoint with their ambitious designs inspired by traditional Malay cultures. Taking home the cash prize of RM7, 000 courtesy of AME Engineering Sdn. Bhd. as well as a commemorative plaque, the second prize winner went to Team 30020, whereas Team 30017 grabbed the third prize comprising of another plaque and RM5, 000 in cash courtesy of Bina Puri Holdings Bhd. The incorporation of the traditional papan cantik design into the Mutiara Damansara MRT station structure proved to be fruitful for the second prize winners as they integrated their design with the use of electricity-generating turbines oscillated by the wind produced by the moving trains. For third year student participant whose team it was to score themselves the runner-up position, Sharvin a/l M. Poovaneshvaran stated that this was his third time taking part in this OIC event and this win meant the world to him. “It is the drive to win and the cooperation from the entire team that led us to where we are now. I am happy to say that we finally did it!” As for the third prize winners, the typology of the Bandar Utama MRT station as well as their tenun-inspired interlacing design of the steel structured truss secured them their second runner-up position, beating other strong contending teams. Meanwhile, two consolation prizes with equal merit sponsored by Ann Yak Seong (AYS) Sdn. Bhd. and MSSA were awarded to Team 30023 from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) and Team 30002 from Universiti Malaya (UM) respectively. Suffice to say, all student participants left the hall with happy hearts and smiling faces.
The Prize Award Ceremony commemorating the success of the deserving team was held on the 29th of March 2018 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. As the current President of the MSSA, Dato’ Sri Ir. Dr. Roslan bin Md Taha had officiated the prestigious event in the presence of Mr. Vincent Lim Khai Wen as the Director of AME Engineering Sdn. Bhd., Mr. David Lee as Chief Financial Officer of Bina Puri Holdings Bhd., deans of the participating universities’ architectural and engineering departments, members of the Education Committee of MSSA, judges, supervisors of the OIC, as well as undergraduate student contenders of the competition. In his welcoming speech, the esteemed President of MSSA showered the floor with his utmost gratitude, aimed especially towards the sponsors and supporters of the competition without which the event would not have been a success. These celebrated sponsors included CIDB Malaysia, AME Engineering Industries Sdn. Bhd., Bina Puri Holdings Bhd., as well as AYS Hardware Sdn. Bhd. Before concluding that the MSSA, with the support from CIDB, will continue to work hand-in-hand to make next year’s OIC event even better, the President also expressed his confidence in the future generation of architects and civil engineers of the industry. “Nak kerja dengan saya, boleh. Tapi kena dapat 1st class dulu. Kalau dapat, tak payah interview pun tak apa,” the President added, hopefully not in jest. So guys, get working!