Tan Weng Kang, a recent Honors graduate in Civil Engineering from INTI International University and currently a Building Information Modelling (BIM) Engineer at GAMUDA, achieved a significant milestone in his academic journey. He was honoured with the esteemed Institute of Engineering Malaysia (IEM) Gold Medal Award at the IEM’s 64th Annual Dinner and Awards Night. However, there’s more to this accolade than meets the eye.
Upon receiving the news of his nomination in March 2023, excitement surged within him. Tan realised the importance of being chosen by INTI and Faculty of Engineering and Quantity Surveying (FEQS) to represent INTI International University as the best final-year engineering student, given the intense competition from other exceptional engineering students within INTI.
The IEM Gold Medal is not awarded lightly. The process comprehensively evaluates nominees, factoring in their academic achievements and extracurricular involvement. This award isn’t merely a symbol of gratitude but a guiding light for budding engineers, promoting a culture of positive competition and perpetual growth.
Driven by a profound passion for engineering, Tan played a pivotal role in INTI’s various competition participations. “I’ve taken charge of INTI’s involvement in several contests, reflecting my passion for engineering and our university’s staunch commitment to excellence. For instance, our team received the respected Merit Award in the Engineering Innovation Challenge 2021, manifesting our ability to transcend traditional thought barriers,” he recounted.
“Moreover, I had the honour of leading the INTI squad at the University Malaya Civil Engineering Competition 2021. Competing against teams from other universities, our outstanding efforts earned us the esteemed Honorable Mention Award, solidifying INTI’s standing as a dominant force in civil engineering,” he added.
Tan Weng Kang’s performance undoubtedly ticked all the boxes for this prestigious award. Throughout his academic journey, he excelled not only in examinations but also in project-based courses. Earning a place on the Dean’s List for four consecutive years, he emphasised the importance of academic excellence, stating, “I understand that knowledge is the key to success, especially when entering the industry; therefore, I take my academic results very seriously.”
Reflecting on his time at INTI, Tan emphasised that the institution and its curriculum did more than provide technical know-how. They also refined essential soft skills, like communication and critical thinking, moulding well-rounded individuals. The instructors’ invaluable guidance was instrumental in students’ success. They were accessible and ever-prepared to help those in need. In addition, the state-of-the-art labs facilitated comprehensive experiments, deepening students’ understanding of theoretical principles.
Tan mused, “The curriculum began to intensify in year 3, laden with complex calculations and concepts. It was then I truly grasped the essence of the adage: if you want to go fast, journey alone; but to travel far, journey together.”
Valuing the essence of teamwork, he consistently collaborated with fellow students, ensuring everyone progressed together.
Recalling challenges during the Movement Control Order (MCO), especially the missed opportunities during the lockdown, Tan remarked, “A notable instance was the annual Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in School (IDEERS) event in Taiwan.”
“However, I shifted my focus towards nurturing the INTI Civil Engineering Club. Ultimately, we obtained the ICE Student Chapter designation and spearheaded INTI’s inaugural virtual event,” he elucidated.
During the MCO, Tan’s leadership of the Institution of Civil Engineers, ICE Student Chapter, profoundly impressed his associate professor, Dr. Lee Hoong Pin.
Dr. Lee observed, “Tan is not keen on assimilating engineering knowledge within the classroom setting but is eager to understand real-world applications outside formal instruction.”
He continued, “His leadership shone during the Engineering Innovation Challenge (EIC), where he conceived an innovative solution to address water leakage in Civil Engineering through a smart detection and response mechanism. Their efforts led the team to clinch the EIC.”
Tan Weng Kang stands as a beacon of inspiration at INTI, bolstering student morale and paving the way for a promising engineering future. His journey underscores the importance of commitment, collaboration, and the quest for knowledge in the dynamic engineering landscape.
Tan Weng Kang proudly posing with his IEM Gold Medal and certificate.
A closer look at the IEM Gold Medal and certificate, proof of Tan Weng Kang’s dedication and burning passion for engineering.
Tan (middle) and the team used radioactive substances to create an underground pipe leakage detection device for the EIC Competition.