UTM team bags prize with solution to keep taps flowing
JOHOR BARU: Taps in neighbourhoods have been known to run dry because of burst water pipes during excavations but a new 3D modelling procedure developed by two Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students may solve the problem.
Uznir Ujang, 29, and his wife Suhaibah Azri, 27, bagged the top prize in the "unique ways of solving a problem with geographic information system (GIS) technology" category in the annual Bentley Student Design Competition, the first time a Malaysian team has won.
"There have been complaints from utility and telecommunications companies that construction companies do not know the position of an underground water pipe.
"So, we gathered the data from these companies and with the aid of mapping software, we came up with a modelling procedure that will present a 3D visual showing the linear distances of the pipelines as well as their axis, depth and intersections.
"This will give the contractors an idea of where to dig and where not to dig," said Uznir, adding that a scanning device was used to scan the pipes and cables below the ground.
The competition saw more than 100 entries from various countries in the university and trade schools categories.
The project, which took about three months to complete, was monitored by 3D GIS professor Dr Alias Abdul Rahman.
Uznir, who is pursuing a Phd in geo-information and Suhaibah, who is doing her masters, were awarded unlimited access to online training courses and US$2,000 (RM6,374), among other prizes.
Presenting the award to the husband and wife team were Bentley Systems Pty Ltd Industry Solutions Director (government/defence/GIS) John Taylor, Bentley System (Singapore) academic director Ivy Branson and industry sales manager (building) Sheik Dawood.
Branson said the 3D modelling procedure was very innovative among the entries that came from other countries such as China, Russia and India,
"It has certainly put Malaysia on the map as this is the first time a university from Malaysia has clinched the top prize in one of the five categories of the annual competition," she added.