Prepared by: Lim Zhan Hong, Chair for IEEE Universiti Sains Malaysia Student Branch
IEEE Universiti Sains Malaysia Student Branch (IEEE USM SB) was established at Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2009. This Student Branch was initiated at the Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Engineering Campus, offering engineering courses. Since its establishment, IEEE USM SB has hosted activities in these four categories: technical workshops and competitions, industrial visits and webinars, volunteering activities, and bonding events. To raise students’ interest in the current technological trend, IEEE USM SB has conducted technical workshops and competitions. Makerthon and VR Hackathon were hosted to give students hands-on experience with the technical skills learned. USM SB has also arranged industrial visits to companies such as Hoya, Motorola, and National Instruments. Representatives from these companies have also presented in webinars discussing their technology and work culture. This has allowed students to understand companies’ work ethics and practices. This industrial exposure allows students to have a picture of their future careers. It also allows them to narrow their focus to their field of interest in the industrial job field. Apart from technical exposure, the SB has encouraged volunteerism among students. USM SB initiated activities with local schools and orphanages where the committees conducted basic courses on programming and Arduino.
From 2019 to 2021, all activities were conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizing online events has been a challenge initially and indirectly caused low engagement of participants. Nevertheless, several online activities have been conducted with encouraging participation. They included the Photography Contest, Internship Experience Sharing Session, Solidworks workshop, and the Adobe Premiere Pro Workshop, to name a few. Despite the challenges and a reduced number of committee members at the beginning of 2019, we managed to recruit our targeted number of rookies through a series of recruitment activities, such as the Engagement Day Roadshow and the Welcoming Night event.
In alignment with the mission of IEEE, USM SB’s activities aim to encourage innovative thinking and implementation of projects among USM students. A sharing session on Sports Engineering was held in collaboration with IEEE UTMKL Student Branch and supported by IEEE Malaysia to introduce students to the revolution in sports engineering. This session was held on the 19th November 2021. In this event, two speakers were invited to discuss sports engineering from different perspectives. The first speaker Ts. Dr. Hadifi Fitri Mohd Latip is a researcher in health sciences. He shared his experience and study in sports science, health science, and sports technology. The second speaker Ts. Dr. Mohd Najeb Jamaludin shared the implementation of sensors and electronic systems in biomedical devices and wearables. These devices have advanced applications in sports technology. This is a new area for many participants, and the exposure was valuable to them.
Another event hosted by IEEE USM SB was a webinar on Farbeat Technology. This ‘Technology Behind a Beat’ webinar was conducted in collaboration with IEEE Monash University Malaysia SB, IEEE UCSI University SB, and IEEE Curtin Malaysia SB on 7th August 2021. In this webinar, Mr. Prassant Mahendran, a final-year student studying Computer and Communications System Engineering at Universiti Putra Malaysia, was invited to share his real-world hardware electronics maintenance experience during his internship with Farbeat Technology Sdn. Bhd. This event aimed to promote students’ curiosity about current technological trends. Participants were prompted to ask questions about Farbeat Technology, website development, HTML, and E-commerce in the event. Eighty participants from different Malaysian universities joined this event.
IEEE USM SB has won several awards during the last few years, which included: