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University of Southampton Malaysia

University of Southampton Malaysia Student Wins the Silver Medal in International Competition.

Published: 11 October 2019
Josiah Yang Kai

Despite being the youngest presenter in the competition, Josiah Yang Kai bagged the silver medal in recognition of his outstanding project during the International Conference and Exposition on Inventions by Institutions of Higher Learning 2019 (PECIPTA).

Johor Bahru, Johor – 4 October 2019 – The recent International Conference and Exposition on Inventions by Institutions of Higher Learning (PECIPTA) saw some of the brightest minds around the world come together to showcase their projects in the spirit of innovation. The event was held at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) Batu Pahat from the 22nd till the 23rd of September 2019 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia.

Josiah’s project harnesses palm oil as a resource for the production of biodiesel using a microtubular reactor. This is the fifth iteration of the reactor led by Associate Professor Dr Ng Jo-Han, who is also Head of Academic Quality and Innovation at the University of Southampton Malaysia. Josiah was inspired to work on the project due to his concerns on the environmental and economic issues revolving around fuel production. The compact design also made his invention not only a brave novelty but also a mobile biodiesel reactor. The invention has the potential to utilise the abundance of palm oil resources in Malaysia.

Josiah Yang Kai at the awards ceremony

When asked how his design works, Josiah explained that in the reactor, the production of biodiesel is reduced to just 2 minutes due to the microfluidics effect. This is significantly faster than the current industry practice of hours for large quantities of biodiesel. With the rising concern for the environment on a global scale, the project which is supported by MOE’s Fundamental Research Grant Scheme and the university’s Research Seed Fund and Global Partnership Award, contributes immensely to the search for alternative energy.

When asked how he felt being the youngest presenter at PECIPTA’19, Josiah said,

“Being the youngest presenter at the competition actually felt frightening at first, people started asking how old I was… It felt daunting and also intimidating competing with people who have much more experience. After a while of explaining my topic and presenting… I started gaining more confidence."


Medal winners

Josiah is currently in the second year of his MEng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton Malaysia located in Iskandar Puteri, Johor. He will, however, soon be making his transition to the United Kingdom for years three and four at the University of Southampton campus. Josiah attributes his success to his project leader and lecturer, Dr. Ng Jo-Han. Also collaborating on the project with him are Wong Kang Yao, William Chong Woei Fong and Chong Cheng Tung.

The University of Southampton Malaysia was established in 2012 and offers world-class engineering programmes which include the Engineering Foundation Year and undergraduate MEng programmes in Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Offering a unique student experience, students spend their first two years in Malaysia and their final two years in the UK. The University of Southampton is also ranked as a Global Top 100 University according to the QS World University Rankings 2020 and its engineering programmes are raned among the Top 10 in the United Kingdom.

To learn more about the University of Southampton Malaysia, visit the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus site or call 07 560 2560.

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