Two Malaysians bag three awards at Intel ISEF

  • 1,600 chosen to compete from 433 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories
  • Most number of awards and highest prize money awarded to Malaysians since 1999

Two Malaysians bag three awards at Intel ISEFTWO Malaysians bagged a total of three awards at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a programme of the Society for Science & the Public, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona from May 12 to 17.
The Society for Science & the Public is a non-profit membership organisation dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, Intel Corp said in a statement.

It has owned and administered the ISEF since its inception in 1950. Via Intel, Malaysia has participated in ISEF since 1999 and has produced 23 winners in both individual and team projects as of 2013.
The Malaysian representatives this year garnered the most number of awards (three) than any other year. Their total award prize of US$7,000 was also the highest amount won since 1999.
“We support the ISEF because we believe that science and math are the foundation of innovation, which is imperative for global economic growth and advancing society,” said Prakash Mallya, country manager, Intel Singapore and Malaysia.
“This competition encourages millions of students worldwide every year to explore their passion for math and science while developing solutions for global challenges,” he added.
This year, approximately 1,600 young scientists were chosen to compete from 433 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories.
Two Malaysians bag three awards at Intel ISEFNur Liyana Johari (pic, right) from Tuanku Syed Putra Secondary Science School, won the second award from the United Airlines Foundation and the third award in the environmental management: recycling and waste management category; and was awarded US$5,000 and US$1,000 respectively for her project entitled ‘BIO-OIL: The use of specially made catalyst’.
Sarah Wong Jia Xin (pic, left) from SMK Batu Lintang won the third award in the engineering: electrical and mechanical category and was awarded US$1,000.00 for her project entitled ‘Use of biosorbent for removal of colour and heavy metal from dyed waste water’.
The overall winner was Ionut Budisteanu, 19, of Romania, who was awarded first place for using artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car.
Ionut said his research addresses a major global issue. In 2004, car accidents caused 2.5 million deaths worldwide, and 87% of crashes resulted from driver error.

With 3D radar and mounted cameras, he created a feasible design for an autonomously controlled car that could detect traffic lanes and curbs, along with the real-time position of the car. Furthermore, it would only cost US$4,000.

Ionut received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $75,000, named in honour of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.
In addition to the winners mentioned above, more than 500 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research. Awards included 17 "Best of Category" winners who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.
Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by more than 1,200 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a PhD or the equivalent of six years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.
Intel and the Intel Foundation -- with additional awards and support from dozens of corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organisations worldwide -- jointly fund the ISEF. This year, more than US$4 million was awarded.
To see the full list of finalists, click here.

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