The 1st Innovation Challenge which was held on July 23rd, 2019 was organised by UCSI University’s Logistics Management department and supported by the Faculty of Business and Information Science.
The theme was “Building an Inventive Future Logistician” and the event saw 18 groups of students participating with a variety of innovations that would be useful in the field of logistics as a whole.
One of the innovations included a vest which was designed to provide easy access to water in a safe and convenient way. The vest is ideal for hot weather and makes it possible for the worker to drink water anytime, anywhere.
According to Low Ewe Shen, one of the group members taking the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Supply Chain Operations Management programme, not only is the vest practical, it is environmentally-friendly and increases the performance of the worker.
Another project by the Diploma in Logistics Management students was called “Racking Nets”. This unique creation is mostly to prevent warehouse injuries. It protects the workers from getting hit by objects falling from the racks.
“We got the idea for this project from our course on Warehouse Management. It is a realistic concept which enhances the safety of workers,” said Lee Cheng Foong, eagerly demonstrating the group’s creation.
Daniyal Khan, also a Diploma in Logistics student, showed how the Medic Watch essentially can save the lives of workers who use it. It is a smart watch which beeps and signals others when one is hurt.
The creativity of the students was further exemplified in other projects such as the two-in- one concept of the Ferris wheel and a forklift. This facilitates the movement of the goods in the warehouse.
Others included the Smart Glove, which is used for transportation purposes in carrying cargo complete with a magnet. Generally used in small warehouses, the concept is in line with the Warehouse and Inventory Management course.
Another unique project was a special bag used to stabilise and keep cargo in place while in the container. This prevents damage and comes in different sizes, filled with air.
Bhuven Raj, leader of the EZ Cube project, explained how customers can save on holding costs when receiving a parcel. Simply by providing an alternate contact and scanning a QR code, customers don’t have to wait to collect parcels when they are not at home.
“The EZ Cube provides the consumer with a digital solution that is efficient and relevant to today’s technologically-advanced world,” he said.
Also present at the event were the selected judges, namely, Faiz Lajis from Air Asia X, Intan Isa from German-Malaysia Institute (GMI), Dr Muhammad Iskandar Hamzah from UiTM and UCSI University’s Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment lecturer, Dr Yeap Swee Pin.
“This event is relevant to the industry when it comes to safety in aviation. Essentially, it is how a product or innovation can contribute to the safety of the society. I am pleased to see so many young and excited faces here today,” said Faiz.
Intan Isa from GMI commented that as a judge at the event, she was looking for high-tech gadgets or products that were innovative as well as creative.
Dr Iskandar from UiTM gave some sound advice to the students: “You have to believe in yourself and not just depend on grades. Make sure you are well-prepared; be productive and take the opportunity to sharpen your skills through assignments.”
For Dr Yeap, it is all about creating a simple prototype where feedback is essential and then modifying the prototype into something that can be useful.
Salini Devi Rajendran, UCSI’s Logistics Management lecturer, said that the event aimed at bringing out new skills from the students and for them to get exposure in the future of logistics.
“Eventually, they should be able to sell these products in the market where the concept can be implemented in warehouses and in other processes of logistics,” she said.
Also, UCSI’s Assistant Professor Siti Norida Wahab said that the event was the first of its kind in the Faculty and encourages the students to be creative.
“The event is also related to SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being in terms of safety. Although small, the initiative is a good one which will help to produce industry-ready students,” she said.
The winners for the competition for the Diploma programme were “Racking Nets” the champion, followed by “Medic Watch” the first runner up and “Automated Vigilance System” (AVS in Warehouse) the second runner up.
For the degree programme, the “Safety Sensor Helmet” emerged as champion while EZ Cube was the first runner up followed by the “C &G Safety Vest” as second runner up.
Overall the event not only highlighted the skills of the students in terms of creativity and novelty but also brought out their skills of perseverance, team work and communication giving them hands-on experience in the practical uses of their innovations.