What do students do in their Final Year Project (FYP)? The soon to be graduating students only have four lectures a week. What are they doing with all their time? Do FYPs even exist or are they just a lie so students can slack off? Ignite has been researching and discovered that at UNMC, they are real, they are scary, and they are also really interesting. Students often describe their FYP with complicated words to make them seem smarter, and consequently the listener stops listening and thinks about something else like food. Fear not though, because Ignite has a dictionary and can accurately report to you the science, passion, and love that students are experiencing with their FYPs.
“I’ve never studied economics in my life, so I’m trying to learn everything!”
How would you describe your FYP?
My final year project is about the affordable housing crisis in Malaysia. It’s a growing problem in Penang and Selangor. Housing prices are not affordable for the middle class which is a problem, so I’m trying to find the root of the problem. Is it because of the material price or is it because the profit margin is too high or is it because of government policy? I’m trying to analyse it and come up with solutions.
Do you have any solutions yet?
I think it’s too early. I’m trying to get my solutions from developed countries because it’s a clearer problem in countries like the US.
In what way is the economy clearer in the US?
Because the economy is more developed, and they have already had this problem a long time ago and for Malaysia it’s just starting. However the solutions are different for every country because the economics are different.
Why did you choose your own project instead of selecting an available option?
I’m an engineering student, but I’m not sure if I want to be an engineer once I’ve graduated. I’m taking this topic which is somewhat related to Malaysia’s economy so I may have a higher chance of venturing into another industry. I like solving problems but feel I may get bored of it, I want to help solve social issues.
Do you have any advice for other students considering choosing their own topic less related to their degree?
Sometimes you just need to throw yourself at the challenge to discover your full potential. Go for it.
What are the main challenges with your FYP?
Firstly, I’ve never studied economics in my life, so I’m trying to learn everything! But it’s really interesting, I really love it. Another problem is reducing the scope of my FYP because I only have one year. But it’s really fun because when you read more about what’s going on in Malaysia, you have a new perspective when you read the newspaper. People just think what they read, but if you have the knowledge of what’s really happening then you know the truth about that article. For example property developers are crying because their profit margins are being halved, but the real problem is that they were earning too much before.
Nutrition & Bioscience
“Even though it puts a lot of strain on my brain I enjoy reading”
How would you describe your final year project?
It’s about the physical activity of students at UNMC. I‘d like to find out how the resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure, and body composition (fat free mass) associate with each other for active and inactive students. If you are a physically active person are you burning more fat at rest?
Why choose this project?
I’m interested in studying physical activity because I’m a physically active person myself, so I’d like to know more about how physical activity affects a person’s lifestyle.
Would you be interested in completing a PhD in this field?
At the moment, no. I’m interested in a lot of things and nutrition is just part of it. I’d rather learn about other things than go deeper.
Do you enjoy it?
To be honest I enjoy reading the journals related to physical activity, even though it puts a lot of strain on my brain. You just have to take a break once in a while.
What are the biggest challenges in the project?
I enjoy the participant recruitment aspect, but this is the biggest challenge because I need people to be committed. Not all participants want to sign up to participate for 7 days. I have to learn persuasive skills too.
What advice do you have to offer other students on FYPs?
Make full use of your time, get in touch with your project supervisor every chance you get. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least put in effort to make it a great project. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, it is all a good learning experience in the end.
Nafisa Tabassum Choudhury
English with Creative Writing
“Why am I doing this course and what ultimately are my goals?”
So what is your FYP about?
It is basically a creative writing dissertation. It is dependent on each student. Either we can do a 2500 word short story, or like I’m doing, we can do about 120 lines of poetry. Either a number of poems or one huge epic poem. And you couple that with a critical essay on the thing that you’ve written.
You criticise your own work?! That must be horrible!
Yeah tell me about it! Yeah it is horrible, because you have to take an impartial more critical approach to your writing. It’s very difficult because when you’re writing it you’re not thinking critically initially, even though you know the subject and theme matter you want to work with. It’s hard to then block out that drafting process, the themes and how you put it all in, and do a secondary reading for a creative writing piece.
What theme will you write about?
I want to write poetry to do with imagery. Basically I want to incorporate very stark images; either fantastical images in my head, or objects in real life that have inspired me. Hopefully I’ll use everything my teachers have taught me as well to create very evocative poems. My themes go through a lot of variations, they might be very existentially themed like, “who am I?”. It might also be about day to day things: the individual versus structure, those kind of things.
How do you cope with the hard work?
It depends on how every students handles stress and how they react to it. For me personally, I try to see things in perspective. (I say) This is university which is great, it’s really important to me. (I ask myself) Why am I doing this course and what ultimately are my goals?
What is your FYP about?
It is about product recoverability. Basically taking an automotive component (car part) and remodelling it (changing the design) into something that’s more recoverable(can be reused or recycled), and then using system dynamics software(maths on the computer) in this case Vensim, to calculate the recoverability of the new part, taking into account all of its parameters such as materials used, ease of assembly/disassembly processes, and genericness. If a part is standard across a wider range of vehicles, it can more easily be reused.
How do you find the data for all the parameters?
My supervisor has helped me a lot there. She has published journals with lots of information, and there is a lot of process data online.
What are the main challenges for your FYP?
I can’t use the software on my own computer, I have to come to campus to complete my work. Another challenge is that a similar project hasn’t been done before so I don’t have a point of reference for how the reports should be structured.
Do you have any advice for other students doing an FYP?
Always communicate with your lecturer on every progress you make and make sure that you try and develop something new that hasn’t been studied yet.
By Ollie Ross