Today is International Women in Engineering Day: Meet some of the world’s brilliant engineers and inventors

James Dyson Award

While it isn’t a universal day of celebration and typically shared by those within the industry, today marks International Women In Engineering Day. On this day, the contributions of women in engineering across are recognised and celebrated.

For 2020, the theme for International Women in Engineering Day is #ShapeTheWorld which represents a celebration of how engineers have shaped and continue to shape the world as we know it and their help in making our planet a better, safer and more innovative and exciting place to be. Check out this short video and see just how these engineers have made the world a better place.

Building the future – Words from James Dyson Award 2019 National Winner for Malaysia


Last year, Sara Moi, Malaysia’s national winner 2019 impressed the judges with her innovative yet simple invention dubbed the Eat. Easy that enabled the differently-abled or those suffering from injuries and unable to use both hands to effectively eat food on a plate one-handed. She shared a few words with us just in time with the commencement of the James Dyson Award 2020 competition.

James Dyson Award

Tell us about yourself and your invention…

I am graduate major in Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) Product Design, Universiti Sains Malaysia. As part of my final year project, I conducted a study on “What amputees use to achieve their daily tasks”. Through the research, I was inspired to invent Eat.Easy – a plate defender that helps those facing difficulties eating with one hand. Eat.Easy is made from food grade silicon and easily washable with a single hand. Aside from amputees, Eat.Easy could also be used by stroke sufferers, or multitasking mothers who are concurrently carrying a baby while eating with a single hand.

What advice would you give to future entrants currently working on their applications?

Be creative and keep trying. Design and invention is not a one-step success, but comprises many stages of iterative design and development. Never ignore advice, or ideas that come to mind; they could very well be a solution to solving a real world problem.

What do you think the future holds for invention?

With the ongoing pandemic, health will increasingly be an area of focus for inventors. We’ll see inventions that help improve health and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The environment is really important as well – so I believe more inventors will design products using environmentally friendly materials and methods.


James Dyson Award 2020 – Open for Entries for Malaysians

If you want to make a difference and have the engineering knowhow or an innovative idea that needs to be shared with the world, you’re in luck as the James Dyson Award is open for entries in Malaysia. To participate, you can check out this video and link here for more details on how to participate.

James Dyson Award 2020 for aspiring inventors and engineering students, now open for entries

If you’re an engineering or design undergraduate in Malaysia and have an idea or invention that can solve a problem that mankind is facing or who can help in creating a sustainable future, you’re in luck as the James Dyson Award 2020 is now open for entries.

james dyson award
[Source Dyson]

Since its inception in 2005, the James Dyson Award constantly seeks to challenge the inventiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of undergraduates and recent graduates in the realms of engineering and design to create an invention that solves a problem with the winner receiving a £30,000 (about RM150,000) prize and £5,000 for the winner’s university as assistance to commercialise their inventions.

This time around though, there will be not one but two winners with the second winner focused on entries that help in creating a sustainable future with a similar prize of £30,000 (RM150,000) for the winner. The JDA 2020 video can be viewed here.

Sir James Dyson said,”Each year we have been struck by the ingenuity and conscience of young people to solve really big problems. So many of the James Dyson Award entries have a focus on improving the world through engineering and technology. Recognising the role that engineers and scientists play in creating a sustainable future, we have decided to introduce a second international prize focused on ideas which do more with les and tackle environmental or social issues.”

james dyson award 2

Malaysia won renown last in the James Dyson Award when Sarah Moi from Universiti Sains Malaysia invented the Eat.Easy to help physically challenged users be able to eat with just one arm using a simple, ingenious invention that neatly attaches onto a plate. In 2018, a team of Mechanical Engineering students from Universiti Teknologi Nasional (UNITEN) created a smart sensitive solar floating platform that tracked the sun’s position dubbed SENSLAR.

Applications are open till 16 July 2020 and will be judged by a panel of judges at the national level before progressing to the international stage where a panel of Dyson engineers will shortlist 20 entries from across the globe. The top 20 entries will then be reviewed by Sir James Dyson himself who will select an International winner, the runners up and the new Sustainability winner. Again, just to be clear, contestants need to be undergraduates or recent graduates of an engineering or design course in Malaysia or in other selected countries as listed in the competition guidelines.

Ready to change the world? Swing on by and apply at https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/en-MY/

This amazing Eat.Easy invention literally takes the cake at James Dyson Award for Malaysia

James Dyson Award

Since their inception in 2007, the James Dyson Award has become a byword for aspiring students to showcase out of the box innovation. Much like the philosophy behind Sir James Dyson’s approach to solving problems, the James Dyson Award tasks students to solve problems facing the world at large with a combination of design, engineering and creativity. 

James Dyson Award

The competition takes place across multiple 27 including Malaysia with one national winner and four finalists chosen for each country. In Malaysia, fittingly seeing our preoccupation with food, our national winner for the James Dyson Award competition in Malaysia goes to one Sarah Moi Shi Li who created something that could help the physically challenged to eat on their own. Enter the Eat.Easy.

James Dyson Award eat.easy

Things that we take for granted like eating a meal are often turned into massive challenges when we lose function in a limb. Sarah’s Eat.Easy invention helps people with function only in one limb such as amputees, stroke sufferers and those with hand injuries to each in a natural, effective fashion with one hand.

Essentially, the Eat.Easy is a tool made of food-grade silicon that attaches to a plate to function as a wall upon which users and shovel food from the plate onto a spoon with just a single hand. It sounds simple but what it does makes a world of difference. We took the opportunity to have a chat with the National Winner to find out more about what led to her creating her innovative invention even as she heads on to the next leg of the competition.


What was the inspiration behind the creation of Eat. Easy?

I got inspired by my own experience when I had eczema on my fingers. It was hard for me to work, – especially when the skin on my finger was cracking and itchy. It made me wonder how a person could achieve tasks with the use of one hand. I had decided to start research on how hand amputees completed their daily activities as part of my final year project. I got to know a lot of their struggles which gave me an idea on solving ways of eating one-handed.

How does Eat. Easy work? When will it hit the market and available for purchase?

The primary purpose of this product is to help those with hand amputation, a person with a broken arm and others who are restricted to eating with only a spoon on a plate. Sometimes food might just fall off a plate or people would not be able to finish everything on the plate without the use of a fork. Eat.Easy is a plate defender made from food grade silicon and is portable, non-slippery on a plate and easy to wash. It only requires plating on a flat plate to have their meal. With Eat.Easy, they can now easily have their meal with only a spoon. It won’t hit the market anytime soon but in the future, we aim to develop Eat.Easy further into a better and different experience.

James Dyson Award eat.easy
Who holds the IP for Eat. Easy? How do you plan to take the design to mass production?

All copyright for the Eat.Easy is held by University Sains Malaysia because it is a final year project for my degree. I am the inventor of Eat.Easy and was supervised by Dr. Muhammad Jameel Bin Mohamed Kamil, who acted as my supervisor for my final year project. For now, there are still plans for further developments. 

How did you find out about James Dyson Award? What inspired you to participate? How was your experience with the competition so far?

I got to know about the James Dyson Award through a design engineering workshop at my university that was organised by the James Dyson Foundation. It was easy to join the competition and the submission process allowed me to share my story with ease. The JDA is an excellent platform for students to share their inventions with the world.

Many households in Asia tend to use bowls and chopsticks. How do you plan to refine future iterations of Eat. Easy to accommodate for these people in mind?

That could be a separate invention or a different version of Eat. Easy in the future that caters specifically to those who tend to use bowls and chopsticks. It could be hard for someone who had an amputee hand or broken arm on their dominant hand and to use the non-dominant hand to achieve their tasks.