Shell Eco-Marathon Asia – Profile Spotlight: Mr Chong Kim Onn

Article prepared and edited by Natasha Keasberry

The Shell Eco-Marathon Asia 2017 was held in Singapore from March 16-19 2017. The competition’s goal is to challenge students to design, build and drive the most-energy efficient car. This year, over 100 teams from 20 countries participated. UBD’s Team GenNext Pejuang, with their Prototype Battery Electric Car, GenNovative’35 placed 10th in their category, and was mentored by FOS lecturer in Computer Science, Mr Chong Kim Onn. We spoke with Mr Chong to ask for his thoughts on his role as mentor, what he looks for when recruiting students, and how the team can improve in next year’s competition.

Mr Chong Kim Onn

What is your role and what motivated you to participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon?

As mentor and coordinator, to guide the students in the practical and theoretical knowledge/background. We have students from Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Integrated Technologies, as well as business students from the School of Business and Economics. So, not all the participants have the technical background, and some aspects of building a car, like the mechanics, or physics of it requires some technical experience, which I am able to guide them in. What motivates me to do this is I see the education value in the project – plenty of skills and classroom knowledge are gained that can be applied in real life. This is what I hope for the participants.

Mr Chong Kim Onn at work

What were the challenges faced, and what improvements can be made for future competitions?

One of the major challenges we faced was sourcing our materials. It can be difficult to find specialty mechanical parts and components in Brunei. However, we do what we can by networking to find suppliers or friends who can help source some things. Since coming in 10th place in our category, one of the areas we would like to improve on is power. We also want to improve the car’s efficiency by changing the aerodynamics and weight of the car.

What can the students who participated contribute to UBD, and the country as a whole?

The multidisciplinary experience of the project means that the students are highly skilled, not just in terms of the practical and hands-on, but also when it comes to organising and planning. All these are in line with Wawasan 2035.

What do you look for when recruiting?

We are always looking for more students to participate, regardless of skill level. As long as they are resourceful, creative, and willing to work hard. Being able to participate for more than just the one year will be advantageous to the team as the skills and previous experiences of their first year are carried on to their subsequent year. Progress will be a lot quicker as the existing team member will be able to lead and direct their new team-mates, and essentially it will not be starting with a clean slate so to speak.

Any special remarks or dedication for the success of the event?

On behalf of the UBD SEM 2017 team, I would like to thank Universiti Brunei Darussalam for the opportunity to attend the eventful competition. Special thanks to Vice Chancellor, Assistant Vice Chancellor Administration, Assistant Vice Chancellor Teaching, Bursary, Finance Section, Student Affairs Section, Office of Occupational, Safety, Health and Environment (OSHE), Estate office, Faculty of Science (FoS), Faculty of Integrated Technologies (FIT) and School of Business and Economics (SBE) in their effort to make the SEM project a success. We would also like to thank the sponsors of the UBD SEM team: Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), Brunei Shell Marketing Co Sdn Bhd (BSM), Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC), Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), AutoTools Marketing Company, Royal Brunei Technical Services (BTC), Digi-Mark Enterprise, Wa’iz Maidin Design, Mamad A.k, Muash Rosman Photography, AIA BR – Kelvin Pong, Rentokil Initial Brunei.


Mr Chong Kim Onn supporting and working with students in the Shell Eco-Marathon, Singapore