Curtin Sarawak students win two prizes in Sarawak Open Source Competition

Miri – 14 June 2010 – Students of Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) walked away with two prizes in the recent 4th Sarawak Open Source Competition organised by Sarawak Information Systems Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS), one of Malaysia’s leading ICT system integrators and solutions providers.

A team from Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students comprising Li Peng and Shaun Tan Mun Weng won the second prize of RM1,500 for their project entitled ‘Green Flow’, while Low Jia Wei took home the third prize of RM500 for his Open Source Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Aerial Photography project.

The first prize was won by a team from Swinburne Sarawak for their ‘Sub Surface Profiling System’.

The students were presented their prizes by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who is also the Minister of Industrial Development and chairman of the Curtin Sarawak Campus Council, at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on 9 June 2010. Also present was the chief executive officer of SAINS, Teo Tien Hiong.

Addressing the winners, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said students must be exposed to the Open Source movement so that they can produce their own software instead of relying entirely on the work of others. Furthermore, Open Source technology could help budding Sarawakian software developers to transform themselves into players the global software business.

Over last few years, propelled by the ubiquitous reach of the Internet and the increasing popularity of mobile applications, the Open Source movement has grown rapidly, said Dr Chan, who is also chairman of SAINS as well as the Sarawak Information Technology and Resources Council.

Not only has it changed the IT industry landscape but, more importantly, it has been shown to lower the cost of producing and using IT. Open Source software and technologies have become mainstream and have become too strategic for any serious IT player to ignore,” he said.

Students from Institutions of higher learning in Sarawak are invited to participate in the competition which aims to promote ICT utilisation and an awareness of, participation in, and contribution to Open Source among students of institutions of higher learning.

Participants are given approximately three months to implement systems using Open Source technology, and the implementation should include analysis, design, development and deployment. They may use certain components from the Open Source Community provided deployment of the components are not dependent on any commercial products, and they must make use of Open Source software, either ready-made or created by the participants, to produce workable solutions. Submissions are evaluated based on practicality, creativity, innovativeness and effort.

According to the head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr Ashutosh Kumar Singh, Curtin Sarawak ECE students have always put up a good showing in the Open Source Competition, placing first in 2006 for a File Injection and Retrieval Application project and second for a ‘RIBAC Reprogrammable Intelligent Battery Charger’. In 2007, they won first prize for an improved and optimised version of the RIBAC charger.

“These recent wins in the Sarawak Open Source Competition are yet another milestone in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s track record in competitions. They are testimony of the very high standard of teaching and learning, as well as research that are carried out in our department and in the School of Engineering and Science as a whole,” said Dr Ashutosh.

He commended the students for their efforts and said due credit must also be given to ECE lecturer Terence Tan who has done a great job supervising the university’s teams in the competition through the years.

For information on Curtin Sarawak’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, log on towww.curtin.edu.my/sch_dept/SOEngineering/Department/ece_btech/index.htm. Information on the ‘Green Flow’ project can be downloaded from http://shauntmw.youbloog.com/greenflow.


Dr Ashutosh receiving prize on behalf of Curtin Sarawak students.

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