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NTU EEE team clinched gold medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva


An NTU EEE team participated in the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland on 11-15 April 2018 and they emerged triumphant, clinching a gold medal with the jury’s commendation in the competition section of “Energy – Environmental Protection”.

NTU EEE Prof Yong Ken Tye, Director of the Centre for Bio Devices and Signal Analysis (VALENS) led the medal-winning team, which included members NTU EEE research engineer Mr Abdul Rahman bin Shaik Alauddin and NTU EEE PhD student Ms Stephanie Yap Hui Kit. The team's work is titled “Surface modified microfiber for trace level detection of heavy metal ion in water” and the team provided a demo and discussed with the jury members about the advantages of their prototypes. The international jury team was made up of 82 specialists, and they judged each invention exhibited and selected a winning inventions to win prizes and awards.

The team’s invention premise is as follows:
Water resources in the world have been profoundly influenced since the past decades by human activities and the world is currently facing critical water supply and drinking water quality problems. Apart from enforcing stringent standards and regulations, Singapore has always been focusing on the development of the sustainable water strategies such as NEWater. Therefore, in order for Singapore to continue to be the leader in the sector of sustainable water strategies, it is of critical importance for us to engineer new methods for excellent quality control, sensitive, reliable and accurate water monitoring sensor technology.

Team member, Stephanie, explains more about the NTU EEE team’s invention, “In this project, we aim to propose an optical fiber based approach using a surface modified microfiber with sub-wavelength tapered radius for straightforward sensing and real-time monitoring of heavy metal ion pollutants in water. This microfiber-based heavy metal ion sensor exhibits a number of advantages such as high sensitivity, good selectivity, light weight and small in size.

This invention facilitates on-site detection of heavy metal ions in water and can be linked to mobile app since it has GPS ID tracking feature. The user will be able to receive real-time feeds from the detector. Moreover, this technology is specially designed such that it involves minimum maintenance effort due to long life cycle of the components and assemblies. Owing to its high degree of surface functionalization versatility and taper profile tuning capability to yield the desired limit of detection and detection range, it can be easily extended for many other types of water pollutants.”

In addition, at the Exhibition, the NTU EEE team showcased Internet of Things sensors to media and companies, and explored collaboration opportunities with different industrial and commercial companies and research institutions.

The Exhibition attracted over 800 exhibitors from 40 countries, and showcased more than 1000 new inventions and products. Under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government; the State; the City of Geneva; and the World Intellectual Property Organization, it is the biggest event of its kind globally.

In this year’s competition, many universities participated with their inventions. These universities included ETH Zurich, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), The University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Swiss Robotics, Silicon Valley technology companies, and many other industry participants from the UK and USA.

Published on 18 May 2018
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