Engage Monash 2016

The week-long event provided a platform for student and staff to showcase their capabilities, as well as to engage with the industry and the wider community.

Industry engagement, innovative research, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities - these were some of the core themes surrounding ‘Engage Monash 2016’. The week-long event provided a platform for student and staff to showcase their capabilities, as well as to engage with the industry  and the wider community.

An Engage Monash feature event was the inaugural Innovation and Collaboration Open Day, which showcased an impressive display of the university’s research strengths.

“The Innovation and Collaboration Open Day is part of Monash Malaysia’s wider engagement strategy which aims to work with the community, identify potential partnerships, and explore ways to work together to solve key issues and problems encountered by the industry,” shared Professor  Helen Bartlett, President and Pro-Vice Chancellor.

“While Monash Malaysia currently has approximately 1000 different industry engagements, we are keen to deepen many of these relationships for greater strategic and long term impact, and to forge new partnerships capable of having even greater impact,” she continued.

Open to the public, the event featured 19 inventions and 44 research projects by academics and students. In the last 17 years, Monash Malaysia researchers have made important breakthroughs and discoveries in various fields, such as advanced engineering, public health, tropical medicine and biology,  halal ecosystems and economic policy modelling.

The event also played host to Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Jeffrey Cheah, AO, Chairman of the Board of Monash University Malaysia, who were given a tour and short demonstrations  of each invention. The Minister also spoke to students on “Uncovering the Hidden Gems of Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Innovation and STEM”, addressing the bridging opportunities in connecting entrepreneurship and the evolution of science for youths.

Notable projects on display included 4 projects which have been submitted for patenting.

UV LED Mask Aligner System by Dr Narayanan Ramakrishnan, together with PhD student Lee Neam Heng, School of Engineering

The lithography technique is the driving force in patterning technique where electronic chips as small as 22 nm are produced. Out of the many lithography techniques used in IC fabrication among others, UV Lithography is one of the most common methods. A mask aligner is generally used for carrying lithography  process and the investment on these types of setup can be quite expensive. In Malaysia, the IC fabrication industries, R&D institutions, Government research centers and universities import these machines at a relatively high cost in the order of RM400,000 to RM500,000 for a basic bench-top system.  With this invention of the UV LED Lithography mask aligner system based on solid state lighting devices, production cost can be as low as RM15,000 to RM20,000, with operational functions equivalent to that in state-of-art bench top mask aligner system.

World First pH-Sensitive Inorganic Nano-Crystals by Associate Professor Md Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences

To serve as super-efficient drug-transporters, this product is designed based on pH-sensitive and bio-degradable inorganic nanoparticles that have fascinating properties of electrostatic binding to DNA, siRNA, proteins and small molecule drugs. It can deliver capacity across the blood stream and cell  membrane efficiently to exert a therapeutic effect.

Aquatic Animal Growth Enhancement by Professor Ishwar Parhar, Dr Satoshi Ogawa and Dr Shogo Moriya, Brain Research Institute Monash Sunway (BRIMS)

Aquaculture is one of the solutions for meeting the growing global demand for food. Growth-rate enhancement is a key approach in aquaculture. This project develops a new method for growth enhancement of aquatic animals with a combination of two proteins - kisspeptin and ghrelin.

Engaging Next Generation Medical students in Active Learning through an Ecosystem of Multi-Touch Tabletop Computers in an Innovative Smart Lab by Assoc Prof Dr Arkendu Sen and Assoc Prof Dr Lakshmi Selvaratnam, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Practical teaching of foundational medical science within a packed medical curriculum with escalating student enrolments and acute shortage of medical teachers, prompted A/Prof Dr Sen and A/Prof Dr Lakshmi to design and develop a novel high-tech collaborative learning ecosystem of Lecturer and Student  Multi-touch Tabletop computers (MTCs). This was aimed to promote the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and attitude in learning anatomy to promote needed medical graduate attributes.

The array of activities within Engage Monash 2016 included: Telemedicine Conference 2016 Themed ‘Shaping tomorrow’s healthcare today’, the 3-day conference attracted 300 delegates from across the health, government and research sectors; Career and Internships Fair 2016 which provided  students the opportunity to speak with and gain an understanding about the career and internships opportunities within the 32 companies at the fair; as well as the inaugural South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) Science Forum. Themed ‘Research for a Healthy Community’, it was attended  by delegates from the Ministry of Health, public and private institutions, and community based NGOs among others. The forum which featured talks and panel discussions provided attendees with insights into the successes, pitfalls and challenges of collaborative public health research.