ITS Campus, ITS News – Being a new student is not an obstacle to reap international scale achievements. This time, the new students of Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) won the gold medal award at the 2019 Young Inventors Challenge (YIC) competition held by the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center (MAGIC) in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, Saturday (21/9).
She is Suprihatin, a student of the Industrial Chemical Engineering Department batch 2019. While conducting the research, she collaborated with Siti Nur Kholisah, a student from Airlangga University. Both succeeded in finding foam derived from water hyacinth and cassava flour designed as a thermal insulator or indoor heat barrier.
The girl who is familiarly called Atin named her findings as Biofoam EngKong (Biodegradable Foam from Water Hyacinth and Cassava Flour). The finding is following the theme carried at the YIC this time, namely Sustainable Development Goals 12 (SDG’s -12). “Because SDG aims to ensure the patterns of consumption and production are responsible for the environment, social and cultural,” she said.
The invention began with an idea to create environmentally friendly styrofoam because the styrofoam waste pile takes more than a thousand years to decompose. Then she made observations and found the reason that the environmentally friendly styrofoam was created due to fibers and adhesives.
Atin said that one of the plants that had suitable cellulose fiber is water hyacinth. Then, she also decided to choose cassava flour as the glue. “Because cassava flour has high adhesion and is a food ingredient making it is safe to use,” she said.
This 2019 YIC event was attended by 446 applicants from 10 countries in Asia. Atin became the Indonesian delegation at the 2019 YIC, as she was previously elected through national selection at the Indonesian Student Research Olympiad (OPSI) and the Indonesian Student Entrepreneurship Innovation Festival (FIKSI) in 2018.
At the 2018 OPSI competition, Atin applied her research as a food packaging. Having successfully won the gold medal in 2018 OPSI, Atin with her friend were delegated by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) to participate in the international competition, which is Intel ISEF in America. “Because there was an obstacle, we ended up not going to America, but instead were transferred to YIC Malaysia,” she explained.
She explained that her research was converted as a thermal insulator rather than food packaging. “This is caused by several supervisory considerations, such as the safety level of the thermal insulator is safer than food packaging,” she explained.
According to Atin, she felt that it was not too difficult in terms of technical research. But in terms of self-management, she felt that she was not yet an expert at dividing time between researching and carrying out college work. Especially with a different campus partner, causing her to rarely discuss directly. “We finally discussed online and it went on smoothly,” she said.
Atin hoped that in the future she can develop her research products as electronic packaging. Because in her opinion, their product can be used as electronic packaging. “Later, further research will be conducted according to the function of electronic packaging,” she concluded. (naj/gayatri/ITS Public Relations)
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