Nurturing Future Engineers and Scientists

Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) has step into another new milestone today by opening the new Eco Marathon Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Lab, unveiling the Pahlawan III race vehicle, and adopting the first school under the UTB’s Bridging for the Hopes of Tomorrow (BRIGHT): Adoption of School Programme.

The opening of the Eco Marathon STI Lab was officiated by the Guest of Honour, Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman, the Vice-Chancellor of UTB. The Lab is aimed at providing a physical base for UTB’s Shell Eco Marathon team to work on their prototype vehicles. The UTB Team Manager for Shell Eco Marathon Asia 2017, Ak Md Hakimmuddin bin Pg Hj Hassanuddin gave a welcoming remarks prior to the unveiling of Pahlawan III by the Guest of Honour.

Pahlawan III will compete in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia (SEMA) 2017 competition that will take place in Singapore from 16 to 19 March 2017. Pahlawan III is an improved and refined version of the Pahlawan II that competed in SEMA 2016 in Manila last year. The two vehicles were designed, developed and fabricated by the students themselves. This year, the UTB team comprises of five HND in Mechanical Engineering final year students and two third year BEng (Hons) in Mechatronic Engineering students. Participation in the competition provides an opportunity for them to apply the engineering knowledge and skills that they have acquired during their studies and develop valuable lifeskills such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication and applying creativity and innovation.

Shell Eco-Marathon is a unique competition that challenges students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. There are annual events in Asia, Americas and Europe. The competition is divided into two categories, the Prototype and the Urban Concept. The Prototype is for maximum efficiency vehicle with minimal size restrictions whereas for the Urban Concept is for hydrogen-electric vehicles made from low environmental impact materials with zero emission daily transportation. UTB will compete in the Prototype category.

At the same ceremony, UTB for the first time formally adopted the Sufri Bolkiah Secondary School under UTB’s Bridging for the Hopes of Tomorrow (BRIGHT): Adoption of School Programme for a period of two years. The Vice-Chancellor presented the certificate to the Principal of Sufri Bolkiah Secondary School, Cikgu Dayangku Hajah Norahizan binti Pengiran Haji Bungsu.

The BRIGHT programme was introduced as a community engagement strategic initiative to help build a strong science capital amongst secondary, and tertiary level teachers and students, and to develop a deeper understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in Brunei Darussalam.

Dr Sharina Yunus, Professional Advancement Coordinator at UTB as Coordinator of the BRIGHT programme explained that BRIGHT offers a structured pathway for UTB to work closely with students, and teachers from the selected schools. BRIGHT consists of five programmes: ‘Student Alumni Career Day’, where students will get the opportunity to meet graduates, and working professionals to attract the students and to expose them of career opportunities in the science and engineering field; ‘Masterclasses’, students will attend lectures, and participate in hands-on laboratory activities to test their problem-solving and working skills; ‘Student Mentors’, UTB students will assist and organise various related activities; ‘Science and Technology Club Support’, to support teachers in establishing Science and Technology Clubs, to inspire students to continue with science subjects and careers; and ‘Professional Workshop for Teachers’, science-based teachers will have the opportunity to work alongside leading scientists and engineers from academia and industry, and also to collaborate, plan, and share best practices in education with one another.