Speaking out for Engineering: A win for Heriot-Watt University Malaysia's student



Benedict K., a second-year Mechanical Engineering student, bagged the title of “Runner-up” in the Malaysian national finals of Speak Out for Engineering (SOfE) 2021. His presentation was titled “Keep Moving Forward: Lessons learnt from an engineering design project”.  

Speak Out for Engineering is an international competition organised yearly by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The objective of the event is to promote the ability to effectively communicate mechanical engineering subjects and encourage interest in the art of communication.

In the competition, participants were required to submit a 20-minute video presentation on a subject related to mechanical engineering. Shortlisted participants were then invited to the live online event, which consisted of a 1-minute pitch and followed by a 10-minute Q&A session by a panel of judges and audience.

As someone who has always been interested in oratory and who is experienced in public speaking events, Benedict K. decided to join SOfE 2021 as it was a valuable opportunity for him to “present his engineering knowledge with oratorical flair”.

Naturally, challenges arose during his competition journey, one of which was the need to juggle between his summer internship workload and other commitments. He commented, “At one point, I had to work on two presentations within the same period of time!” He managed to overcome this challenge by identifying deadlines for each item, and then planning stage gates to ensure that part of his work would be completed by a specific deadline. 

Benedict K.’s hard work paid off when he was selected as the runner-up of SOfE 2021. He felt grateful towards his lecturer, Ms. Naziha Yahya who helped refined his presentation techniques. He also thanked his group mates from his Energy Studies course and the lecturer Ts. Noor Shieela Kalib for inspiring the crux of his presentation. 

“With SOfE, the experience has taught me that studying engineering does not just prepare oneself for a career in engineering – rather, it sets a solid foundation in analysing the world in all its multifaceted glory. As such, one is then able to holistically link one’s knowledge with the bigger picture – and it is this ability to grasp the bigger picture which, ultimately, is the greatest boon to be gained.”

Benedict K. will be representing Malaysia at the Southeast Asia regional finals of SOfE 2021 later this year.