XMUM Students Rank Top 4 in Alliance Bank Eco-Biz Dream Project


A team of XMUM students ranked fourth among 150 entries from universities across Malaysia in the Alliance Bank Eco-Biz Dream Project competition, and took home an RM1000 prize on 9 January 2019. The event aims to inspire, enable and empower students to ideate and develop sustainable business ideas with a positive impact on the environment.


The Sungai Savers vowed to turn waste into resources.

The XMUM team, named Sungai Savers, wowed judges with their solutions by turning sludge cakes produced in sewage treatment plant (STP) into fertilizer, thereby reducing the pollution level and foul smell of Kerayong River, a considerably polluted river in Kuala Lumpur.

What I learnt from this competition is that: To solve real-world problems, we need to put ourselves in others’ shoes. Empathy is the first step of seeking solutions,” said Team Leader Tan Jen Yen, a second-year student from School of Energy and Chemical Engineering.

The Sungai Savers’ proposal was selected as one of the top 25 submissions in October 2018. The team advanced into the final 10 where they competed and ranked fourth. Mentored by Asst. Prof. Dr. Ong Wee Jun, the Sungai Savers took samples from sewage plants in Klang Valley, and ran experiments in XMUM laboratories to validate their ideas and to find alternative usage for the sludge cakes.

“Our project was judged against a set of criteria, including innovation, viability, sustainability, and significance to environment, economy, and society (EES). We are thankful to Prof. Chen Binghui, Dean of School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Ong for helping us in the technical aspects of the project, and assisting us on the design of experiments,” said Lye Kit Wing and Eric Chan Kah Wai from China-ASEAN College of Marine Sciences.

“From an initial idea of turning sludge cakes into fertilizer, the experiments lead us to many other unexpected research opportunities. For example, we see positive results of using sludge cake as an absorbent. My take-home lesson from the process is: Just do it, you’ll never know how far you can go,” said Michelle Lau Yu Ling from School of Energy and Chemical Engineering.


The Sungai Savers worked together to repurpose sludge cakes in XMUM laboratories.

“The competition provides us with a unique opportunity to contribute to our community. My advice for future participants is to compete with AEIOU elements – Applicability, Effectiveness, Ideas that work, Oral presentation skills, and Uniqueness,” commented Tay Yi Jiun from School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Alliance Bank Eco-Biz Dream is launched by Alliance Bank Berhad in collaboration with GreenTech Malaysia, an organization under the purview of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC), and a non-profit environmental organisation – EcoKnights. The theme for the competition revolves around the revitalization and protection of a stretch of the Kerayong River corridor in Kuala Lumpur. This year, the winning teams will receive funding from Alliance Islamic Bank to implement and materialize their idea with help from industry experts. The top 3 winning teams are from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Monash University Malaysia, and Universiti Pertanian Malaysia.

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