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PENANG, 5 April 2018 - Two Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) teams, comprising of second and third-year students from the School of Civil Engineering, have won first place and a consolation prize at the UTAR Structural Earthquake Stability (SES) Competition 2018.

Held at the UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 31 March, 29 teams from 16 higher education institutions from all over the country participated in the competition.

Each team was required to design and construct a tower with an observation deck within 3 1/2 hours using the materials provided.

The constructed tower would then be tested on a 'shaking table', simulating seven earthquake intensity levels generated by the table. Each team needed to build a tall and material-saving model of the tower under various constraints and which could resist the simulated earthquake tremors.

Team 'Risker' led by Lee Jian Yee and comprising of Chan Zheng Ruii, Lew Kah Wei, Ng Jiun Yuen and Richard Ng Eng Yao, built the tallest and lightest model which could endure all seven earthquake intensity levels without damage. Judged as the champion of the competition, the team won RM1,300 cash award.

Another team, 'USM Team 1', headed by Tng Kah Lok and comprising of Ho Kar Meng, Khoo Zheng Yang and Yeoh Seng Keat, won the consolation prize of RM200 cash award. Both teams were supervised by Associate Professor Dr. Lau Tze Liang.

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Though the students had limited knowledge of structural dynamics and seismic design, and which they would only learn in their final year, both teams have proposed a unique and innovative solution through practice. The design concept has impressed many fellow participants and practitioners in the field.

Both teams have put in a lot of effort and have had an enriching experience. With an active involvement in earthquake disaster risk reduction in Malaysia, the USM School of Civil Engineering is continuing the initiative to enhance the awareness of such disasters and to develop the human capital in earthquake engineering.

This competition has inspired and educated the future engineers on the importance of earthquake-proof structural designs.

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