Back-to-Back Wins for APU Students at Hilti IT Competition

Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 28, 2024, 03:47 pm

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) has achieved a historic milestone by winning the Grand Champion 2024 title at the Hilti IT Competition (ITC). Team Sweetzerland, composed of five students from IT, Computer Science, and Software Engineering, brought home the prestigious award, marking APU as the first university to secure back-to-back championships in the competition's history.

The Grand Champion of Hilti IT Competition (ITC) 2024 - Team Sweetzerland from APU sharing winning joy with its mentors. (L-R, front row): Vandyck Lai Kai Yong, Zachary Ang Zi Yang (Team Lead); (L-R, back row): Mr Kiew Ee Jet, Ms Glynnis Young, Kok Hon Kit, Cheryl Lim Wye Yee, Lee Ren Jie, Mr Amad Arshad and Ms Palvinderjit Kaur.

APU previously claimed the championship titles in 2020, 2021, 2023, and now in 2024 at the Hilti ITC, an annual global competition that encourages students from various disciplines to develop innovative IT solutions for real-world challenges.

This year's Hilti ITC 2024 inspired participants to envision themselves as the future workforce. APU's Team Sweetzerland was tasked with creating a cutting-edge talent acquisition system. Their project aimed to enhance acquisition processes through advanced technology, data-driven insights, and interactive user interfaces.

The competition concluded with finalists presenting their projects on June 6, 2024, at Hilti Asia IT Services in Petaling Jaya. The event followed multiple stages, starting with idea submissions from November 1, 2023, to February 23, 2024, a semi-final round in April, and the final presentations in June.

Team Sweetzerland, mentored by Senior Lecturers Mr Amad Arshad (right) and Ms Palvinderjit Kaur (left), consisted of (2nd from the left onwards) Kok Hon Kit (Machine Learning Lead), Cheryl Lim Wye Yee (Design Lead), Zachary Ang Zi Yang (Team Lead), Vandyck Lai Kai Yong (Tech Lead), and Lee Ren Jie (Full Stack Lead).

The team also received coaching from Hilti professionals Mr Kiew Ee Jet and Ms Glynnis Young, along with APU alumni Tan Wei Siang and Victor Khoo Shien Yang, who provided valuable presentation skills training. 

Emerging as Grand Champions among eight finalists from dozens of local public and private university teams that sent in 53 submissions, Team Sweetzerland won an exciting opportunity to visit Hilti's IT headquarters in Switzerland. This trip will allow the winners to connect with industry leaders and gain valuable insights.

Hilti, a multinational company known for its construction, building maintenance, energy, and manufacturing products, organised the competition. The judging panel of Hilti's senior leadership and academicians from various universities praised Team Sweetzerland's project for its technological innovation and business viability.

 Team Sweetzerland, made up of five APU students, confidently presented their project during the Hilti ITC 2024 finals held at Hilti Asia IT Services in Petaling Jaya. In this picture, the Tech Lead, Vandyck Lai Kai Yong (centre), who is studying for a BSc (Hons) in Software Engineering at APU, is making his point before the panel of judges.

Zachary Ang Zi Yang (centre), Team Sweetzerland Lead, presented his point about the business benefits along with his team members on stage.

Zachary Ang Zi Yang, Team Lead and final year BSc (Hons) Information Technology with a specialism in Business Information Systems student, expressed pride in his team's collaboration. "Our team demonstrated exceptional teamwork by leveraging expertise from various roles including development, business, product strategy, and design. We successfully convinced the judges with our unique selling points, showcasing the innovation and attractiveness of our system."

Mentor Mr Amad Arshad highlighted the team's dedication and strong bonding over the last six months. "While the award further cements APU's reputation as a premium university in technology and innovation, it also recognises the soft and hard skills gained by the team. I foresee a long-lasting impact of this achievement in nurturing the professional character of all team members."

Ms Palvinderjit Kaur agreed, noting that the skills and knowledge obtained will be invaluable for the students’ final-year projects and career development. Winning the title also opens realistic employment opportunities for team members within Hilti.

The first and second runner-ups were “Team 4Sure” from the University of Malaya and “Team Pioneers” comprising members from multiple universities.

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