Feng Ying Xing, a PhD candidate at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) Centre for Intelligent Signal and Imaging Research (CISIR), has been awarded the 2019 Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment.
He was one of the five exceptional young Malaysians to receive the award from the Sultan of Perak and Royal Patron of the Merdeka Award Trust, His Royal Highness (HRH) Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at a ceremony recently.
Also present at the event was PETRONAS President and Group CEO, UTP Pro Chancellor and Founding Member of the Merdeka Award Trust, YBhg Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin. Launched by PETRONAS, ExxonMobil and Shell Malaysia in 2007, the Merdeka Award is a Malaysian award that recognises and celebrates the achievements and significant contributions of individuals to Malaysia and her people, within their respective fields.
Feng was granted the award for his outstanding research proposal that focused on how to predict cognitive performance at work, under the influence of workload and situational stress through fNIRS (a non-invasive neuroimaging modality) haemodynamic measurements and physiological body signals. With the results of his research, he hopes to develop a deep-learning model that could help to identify the nature of stress, as an early preventive measure for costly mental illnesses, and subsequently improve cognitive performance.
"It is truly a great honour for me to be receiving this award from HRH Sultan of Perak. My gratitude goes to the Merdeka Award Board of Trustees, Merdeka Award Trust Founding Members - PETRONAS, ExxonMobil Malaysia and Shell Malaysia, Merdeka Award Secretariat and Selection Committee for selecting me as one of the recipients of this prestigious award grant.
This achievement would not have been possible without the support from UTP, my supervisors and Yayasan UTP for awarding me the scholarship," he said.
Feng is also thrilled and looking forward to doing his attachment at one of the top universities in the world.
"With this kind of exposure, it will boost my confidence as a PhD student as it will enhance and enrich my research and learning experiences which complement what I have obtained in UTP," he says.
He also hopes that his achievement will encourage more students in science roles to make scientific innovations and more importantly, address global challenges and gear up for Industry 4.0.
Feng is the second recipient from UTP to have won the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment. In 2018, Aisyah Ismail, also a PhD student at CISIR, won the award for her research on the application of Deep Learning approach in identifying the stroke biomarker. Through examining the eyes, a biomarker is detected for an early sign of stroke which will allow for early prevention measures and treatment.