Brunei-led teams excel in online hackathon

A team mentored by Deputy Director of Centre for Innovative Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Assistant Professor Dr Wida Susanty binti Haji Suhaili was named a runner-up while a team led by UTB PhD student Siti Aisah Janaji bagged a second place in a hackathon.

The teams were announced during the ASEAN-India Online Hackathon Prize Distribution Ceremony held virtually yesterday.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and dignitaries from ASEAN and India attended the ceremony.

Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman in a pre-recorded video message highlighted the long-standing relationship between ASEAN and India in cooperating in various areas to include human resource development, people to people contacts and education.

The minister highlighted that the hackathon was timely in building the younger generations with skills and experience such as team work, communication and working in a demanding environment.

UTB Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman was also present.

Brunei Darussalam was represented by a delegation of eight students and two UTB lecturers.

Team 19, with Enhancing Coastal Security as their problem statement, had Dr Wida as mentor. The team came up with a solution consisting a hardware unit acting as a vessel identifier and a web application to track its whereabouts.

Dr Wida stated that mentoring a group of students with diverse backgrounds with an unfamiliar problem to solve was a challenging task. Different time zones with online mode of deliveries, added to the event’s uniqueness.

Meanwhile, Team 40, led by Siti Aisah, won second place by solving a problem statement on traffic management system in coastal regions.

According to Siti Aisah, leading a team virtually in a prestigious hackathon at the regional level was a tremendous opportunity.

The hackathon, the first of its kind hosted under the ASEAN-India partnership, was an initiative introduced by the Indian government through the India’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of External Affairs.

The online hackathon was conducted for 36 hours straight with participation of over 330 students and 110 mentors from across ASEAN and India at the higher education level.

The teams were tasked to provide solutions to problem statements in education, science and technology. The event aimed to stimulate innovative and creative ideas in sharing cultures, values and best practices among students from different backgrounds.

Participating teams were designated with varied skilled individuals to collaborate on solving complex and real-world problems under an intensive 36-hour deadline.

Prior to the inauguration day of ASEAN-India Hackathon, participating teams underwent a briefing and training by technical and domain experts.