It was a race against time as 50 UTP students competed intensely to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems in just 48 hours at the Invent for the Planet (IFTP) 2023.
Organised by UTP Centre of Student Development Student Affairs in collaboration with Texas A&M University USA (TAMU), the IFTP is a three-day intensive design experience (IDE) where students solve high-impact, global problems such as food waste, temporary housing, 3D mapping and textile waste management.
The competition saw 10 teams participating, each comprising five students from various programmes and year of study. They went through three levels of hackathon process, i.e., the ideation, prototyping and Demo Day (pitching to a panel of judges).
During the event, participants also had the opportunity to network and collaborate with more than 400 students from 15 participating universities around the globe who took part in the IFTP2023 in their own countries at various time zones.
Ultimately, Elnur Shahbalayev, Ali Yusifov, Thi Han Soe, Chaw Su Maung and Dominic Ohisa Ronaldo of Petroleum Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes, were declared the champion for their innovation that provided solution to reduce textile waste and increase textile recycling through technology. Their innovation helps the sorting of textile waste at warehouses at highly optimised operation which are time and cost saving.
The winning team will represent UTP to pitch at the IFTP2023 international level, where the Top 5 will be selected to compete in the IFTP2023 Grand Final in Texas.
First runner-up went to Mechanical Engineering students - Muhammad Affendy Mohamed Shafarudin, Ariff Iman Asmadi Yusri, Asyraf Razali, Muhammad Harris Hashim and Muhammad Danial Imran Zamri. Meanwhile Ang Yi Herng, Kuik Pei Yin, Tharshen Subramaniam, Yeap Wei Shen and Ummi Sufiyah Adawiah from Electrical and Electronics Engineering were the second runner up.
According to IFTP UTP Project Manager Zamri Abdullah, the IFTP, returning for its third year, aims to develop entrepreneurial-minded students who are innovative and creative in their design approaches, foster teamwork in a concentrated period to practice leadership and work through interpersonal relationships and create transformative learning experience through short and intense programmes, where students can practice design process as well as enhance technical competence and soft skills.