Students from Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH)’s Biology and Industrial Engineering Study Programs received an incentive grant from the ‘Student Creativity Program – Written Ideas’ (Program Kreativitas Mahasiswa – Gagasan Tertulis (PKM-GT), which was organized by the Directorate General of Learning and the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Kemenristekdikti). UPH students, namely Jonathan Suciono Purnomo, Samuel Owen Mudana (Biology 2018), and Wira Yudidharma (Industrial Engineering 2018), proposed the application of an iron oxide microplastic filtration system in water treatment plants. This idea is recognized as a futuristic idea that can solve real-world problems and culminated in an incentive grant of Rp. 3.000.000.
This competition is a testament to the interdisciplinary collaboration between UPH students, specifically across the fields of biology and industrial engineering. “Indeed, the theme of the idea primarily relates to biology. However, in order to find a solution, we found that it is more effective to integrate knowledge in other related fields. From the field of biology, we needed an understanding of microplastics and their impact, while from the field of industrial engineering, we needed ideas on how to create an effective flow to the filtration system to filter microplastics,” says Jonathan.
PKM-GT is an exercise, allowing students to propose future ideas that can solve current social problems in the form of online submissions. The proposal contains a description of the problem, innovative solutions, implementation steps, and a list of stakeholders involved in the implementation of the idea.
Samuel further explained that the idea of a microplastic filtration system using iron oxide is a way of filtering microplastics using iron powder. “The use of plastic is very much needed by industries, but it also results in waste that can become pollution. Moreover, plastics can be broken down into particles (microplastics) by ultraviolet light (UV), grinding, and chemicals. Microplastics that fall into the category of carcinogens can enter the water and harm organisms, including humans who use river water as tap water, drinking water, and so on. For this reason, our idea is to use iron powder to filter plastics, which can be selectively combined with microplastics in water treatment plants. Hence, it can easily separate water that is free from microplastics and water that contains microplastics and needs to be designated as waste, “explained Samuel.
All three UPH students acknowledged that their participation in PKM-GT has brought various benefits. Wira, for example, is grateful for the opportunity to apply the knowledge he has learned in UPH’s Electrical Engineering Study Program. “For example, I learned how to design an effective and efficient workflow, which in this case, is the proposal for the filtration system. Besides that, this activity has allowed me to learn how to structure ideas into a proposal, think critically, and gain new perspectives in topics such as microplastics.”
UPH always encourages students to excel by boldly expressing creativity and implementing what they have learned in the classroom. In addition, UPH provides students with opportunities to collaborate across study programs. For high school seniors who want to continue their studies and excel in the fields of biology and industrial engineering, UPH is the right choice for you. You can study and achieve your goals in the UPH Biology and Industrial Engineering study programs. For more information, please contact UPH Student Consultants 0811-1709-901.