Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AUBBC 2010

What is AUBBC?

Well, AUBBC stands for Asian Universities Build-and-Break Competition. It is an annual event that is organized by IStructE and UNITEN, in which the participants will be given a time limit to construct a structure with the materials provided and then break the structure by adding load onto it. The lightest structure which is broken by the heaviest load will win the competition. Thus, the competition will be judged by the ratio of load/self-weight.

This was my 2nd time to join this competition. Last year, Richard, Peter, Yizhong, Lianwei and me, together with another team of seniors represented UTAR in this competition. Luckily, we didn't lose that time, why? The reason that caused us not lose that competition was... we get disqualified in aspect of the dimension required, disqualified not equal to lose, I guess.. lol

Still remember last year???

The very "cute" cantilever structure that constructed by us last year XD

The breakfast given by us last year... seem pity right? lol

After one year, which was after the final examination last semester, 2/10/2010. Initially, I was quite regret for registering this competition, because I missed a part-time job for the whole week which can let me earn rm100/day due to this competition. And, in my mind, I joined this competition was merely for fun only because honestly, I believed that to win this competition is totally impossible.

That morning, we gathered at UTAR on about 7am. The participating teams from UTAR included our team (me, yizhong, richard, lianwei and koksheng) and another team of hueixing. Upon reaching there, heard that Steven absent for the competition and to be replaced by Chongyang. That time there is a thought in my mind... "aiyo, if I know that can find replacement, I can go for the part-time job already!! ><" But, everything was too late already.

Soon, we reached UNITEN by UTAR bus. The leading lecturer was Dr Jeffrey, our... erm... lovely... lecturer in Stuctural class last semester LOL.

Upon reaching UNITEN, this lecturer keep using his status in structural engineer field to search and try to ask for the question from his engineer friends who involve in organizing the competition. But after that, he was very disappointed to tell us that he failed to get the question as all his friends said that they didn't know the question also lol.

Then we were asked by Dr Jeffrey to do a quite "siasui-ing" action in the competition venue in front of other competitors from other universities. He asked us to hold the UTAR flag and took a group photo in front of the stage. It was really O.M.G to do this in front of so many people. So, we did it fast and get back to seat fast also hahaha.

This time the competition venue is still the same, unless the space given for each group was smaller, because the participating teams were increasing, from 30+ last year to 55 this year. And, there were 5 teams from oversea countries, which were 1 from National Taiwan University, 1 from China Tongji University, 2 from National University Singapore, and another from Nanyang Technology University, Singapore. The oversea participants also increased if compared to last year which had only one oversea team that came from Singapore.

The competition was started from 11am until 1.30pm. In this two and half hours, we were given "lidi", satay sticks, masking tapes, thread, scissors, pencil, erasers, papers and a hook. And after blow water, construct, and finish the structure in two and half hours, we had our lunch. During the construction, there was a judge, whom we called him as Dr Ooi, because he quite look alike Dr Ooi who taught us Fluid Mechanics I last time, always talked to us and comment on our structure. He seems like not confident in our structure and said "Do you all know how an arc works? Ok, then you all will see why I say so." But at the end, he did really helped us on improving our structure that he asked us try to press on the loading point and see which was the weak part to be improved.

After the competition, I took the chance to capture few pictures of structures built by other teams. Of course, the first one is our team product, which is a lot nicer than last year "cute" cantilever LOL.


NTU, Singapore

NTU, Taiwan

This should be from Tungji, China, I forget already ><
When we were having our lunch, the judges were measuring the dimension of the structures and deciding which teams to be qualified. After lunch, that was the loading session. Team by team was asked to take their structure to the stage and loaded with a pail filled by stones. Only the qualified teams will be asked (Last year our team was not called the name, so indicating disqualified). But this year, before all the qualified teams going up to the stage, the emcee also announced the groups that qualified. We were damn scaring and worrying that the same thing will happen again, which is DISQUALIFIED. But luckily, 43 UTAR, this number was called!! we were quite happy and I still joking with my friends that I will have to save my camera battery so that it can still be used when we got prize... they said I thought too much already LOL...

The load testing session was going on. It was tested by hanging a plastic pail on the hook placed on the structure, and filling it by tiny stones until it failed. Then the pail together with the tiny stones was weighed and obtained the failing load. The structure itself was also weighed before loaded in order to obtain its self-weight. The highest ratio of load/self-weight would be the champion. While the testing went on, there was a team performing very good, because normally other teams just used one pail, but they used two! Their failing load was one and half full pail of stones. Similarly, that time, I also jokingly discussed with my teammates on how should us hang the second pail if we succeeded LOL.

Our team was called to go up to the stage then. Before we wanted to test, the judges around directly asked us to put the 1kg-steel weight into the pail, and just continued to fill it with stones. I was so worrying that it will fail as I was the one to hold the pail that time. But the judges around asked us not to worry, just fill the pail till full. Finally, we finished filling the whole pail, taking out the stones, filled it again with all the steel weight. It was still not yet failed. We reached the second pail! And we were asked not to use stones but directly use the steel. Similarly two pails were full! Finally, the judges brought a long hook for us to hang all the weights. And again, the area can be used to hang the weights all was finished. That time, the judges said a sentence "now, we meet a problem, we have not enough load!".

We were then asked not to delay the time, and asked to bring our structure down of the stage first. After all other teams finish testing, we got to test it again. End up, our structure was failed at the weight of about 11kg, which the ratio was 20.8.

It was really an unforgettable moment for everyone of us. We finally won a well-known competition in civil engineering field and it was the second time for UTAR civil engineering to win prize in competition. First is the Nehemiah Competition which is nationwide and second is this AUBBC which is Asian-wide!!

We were quite proud of this winning because we were not just lucky to win a bit compared with others, but we won quite far away from others! For information, the first runner-up (2nd place) got the ratio of 13+!!! It was really a meaningful moment for everyone of us, including our lecturer, who in his email to other lecturers stating that "I am proud to say that they (referring to us) are my student in structural class this semester." XD

Final Year Project a.k.a. FYP

Today, I am at Kangar, Perlis. Ya, I am having my holiday, or semester break now, from 26/9 until 17/10/2010. This indicates that I have completed my UTAR degree year 4 sem 1. This was definitely a tough and busy semester. I believe that my friends around can sense it too. I joined less activities this semester, I seldom hang out with them this semester. Why was I so busy? 1st, the most important one, my final year project, or it is usually called as FYP, which caused quite a headache for me the whole semester, and I guess that this headache will continue until I finish my whole degree.

As mentioned in previous post, my title for FYP was "Microstructural behavior of lightweight foam concrete". In this project, the instruments that initially required were quite high-tech one, and of course, the price of the instrument were also very high $$$$$. One of the instruments, which was the most important one, was named as SEM - Scanning Electron Microscope , and the another was XRD - X-ray Deflectometry (the name I not sure correct or not lol). According to my lecturer, these instrument costs about hundred thousands, and UTAR have acquired the XRD last semester, while the SEM will be reaching UTAR by end of this year also. Because of this FYP, Sintat and me, both had attended a so-called training or I think it is more to briefing of the XRD. However, after that I had told by the lecturer that we may not use that instrument already because he has to be around us whenever we use that instrument, so it would be quite troublesome. Besides, the SEM also the same. Thus, end up, we will only use an optical microscope for this FYP. Well, this indicates that our title was totally different from the initial one, from microscopic behavior to air-void characteristic =.="

However, this is still a quite tough project, of course, because if it is easy, it is not more FYP, rite? Below will show some of the photo for my FYP... and they are more to the photos of concrete casting...
Well, we are planning to do the research for the concrete until the age of 6months. That caused us being so damn busy the whole semester because we have to complete the 6-month sample preparation before September, otherwise, we will not possible to finish it next year. That was really a great relieve after all the samples were completed. What came next was the 1st submission of report, i.e. first three chapters of the FYP reports. Everyone started to do it quite early, and that's the actual way. But me? started to do it on week 13, almost week 14 =.= Luckily, it can be completed on the due date/time. I write it here "on" not "before" because the deadline was on 5pm, Monday, and I really submit it on that time, 5pm!!

Then, the next day was the presentation of the FYP. It can be said as the presentation of mine in degree with which I most satisfy XD

End of the presentation means that we have to face the final examination. Although the subjects in this semester were all sucks, all of them were over now!! :)

This was the "cute" cartoon, I guess that I created and put it in my FYP presentation as the introduction for the problem statement, cute right? lol