Some of Chemistry students have just achieved the first medal in 27th Pekan Ilmiah Mahasiswa Nasional (PIMNAS) for Chemistry Department and also for FMIPA. They are Arimbi Wahyu Ningdyah, Kartika Aprianti, Asti Jayanti, Yoga Pratama and Robi Maulana Saputra DS. The event was held at Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP), Semarang on 25th – 29th August 2014. Attending this event with the other two teams from UNTAN, they managed to impress the reviewers and achieved a bronze medal for their research entitled ‘Synthesize of Kaolinite Organoclay-Betacarotene from Crude Palm Oil as Photosensitizer in Dye-sensitized Solar Cell’ (Sintesis Organoclay Kaolinit-Betakaroten dari Minyak Sawit Mentah sebagai Fotosensitizer pada Sel Surya Tersensitasi Pewarna). Let’s get closer to their stories!
According to you, what distinguished your team with the other teams?
This team was very special because it consisted of students who have a lot of experiences in scientific writing and researches. Since the beginning of this team formation, we have also made the tasks division based on our respective capabilities and thank God, all went well. We stayed focused on the ultimate goal of this research in the form of scientific data and information that can be applied someday. PIMNAS was really like a dream for us. Every week we always come together to create the next target or just hanging out together to build a strong chemistry among us. We learnt from previous experiences and also observed the team that did not qualify for PIMNAS. Then we concluded that the failure was caused by bad communication in the team. Reflecting on that experience, when we found any problems on research, we always sticked together and discussed the problems with our supervisor and the others who are more experienced.
Before the announcement, did you feel optimistic to be one of the winners based on the poster exhibition and presentation? Then how do you feel after the announcement?
Since we did not pay much attention to the other participants’ posters, so we were not having in mind that we would be one of the winners. Since we were stated as one of the PIMNAS participants, we only targeted to be a winner in poster exhibition. However, we were also preparing our best for the presentation session. When the closing ceremony we were quite nervous. Even when our team leader’s name (Arimbi Wahyu Ningdyah) was announced as the bronze winner, we still could not believe it. However, the participants from other universities tried to convince us. ‘Yeah, that was your team!’, they yelled. Very unexpected at all. God is so fair and works beautifully. When Arimbi had to come on the stage to receive the mascot of PIMNAS (Mas Pim), Robi, Asti and Kartika shed their happy tears as their dreams during these years have come true. Happy, excited and so touched. Shortly thereafter, we received congratulations via sms from the other participants. Five minutes later, we immediately contacted oursupervisor, Mrs. Nelly Wahyuni, M.Si, to tell her this good news.
The rivalries among universities were quite tight. A university proudly flew their telecopter after being declared as the winner of PKM-KC. Diponegoro University, as the host, also did a celebration on their achievement, they toured around while shouting out loud their unique yell. As the grand champion of PIMNAS, UGM team, stayed cool and calm after the announcement. Absolutely, we got a lot of knowledge by observing their research presentation before.
Our supervisor, Mrs. Nelly Wahyuni, M.Si, is like a mother to us all, who guided us to wherever our goals. She listened to our complaints in our research, calmed us down, and also provided feedback and motivation to us, such a great source of energy that was always there whenever we fell down. Just by using simple words that gave extraordinary impact for us.
What valuable lessons that you can tell from the process during PKM-P realization and PIMNAS?
Togetherness, mutual respect, the importance of maintaining the dreams without forgetting the final goals. Do not be too concerned about whether we are going to win or lose. But think about what we have achieved today (in the research). Keep on innovating, motivating each others and consulting the research with your supervisor frequently. Go through each step, both small and big ones, never underestimate any single thing. Always pay attention to the details of administrative requirement (legalization sheet, date, logbook, documentation, signature, year, email, logos and other things).
Actually, we want to make the solar cells if the study produced good data. In fact, our data was not really satisfying, so we will just publish this research as scientific article. Hopefully this article will inspire other researchers to innovate and develop this product into a better one.
Do you have any tips in dealing with the reviewers? What do you want to say to the next generation in Chemistry Department?
Wow … Reviewers are just like bombs. We do not know what they were thinking. But, make sure we are relaxed, honest, and confident. Convince yourself that we are definitely ready. We can surely conquer all reviewers’ questions and answer their doubt. Do not forget to smile in front of the other participants and reviewers. Do not forget to prepare yourself mentally. Convince the reviewer as if we are ‘promoting our products’. Make them interested in ‘buying’ it. Be honest and do not forget to emphasize that we have done our best by showing our strength.
Last but not least, never be afraid to try. Do not ignore the little things that might have a great impact, pay attention to every step or procedure, be responsible to the research (if you are funded), always do your best. Frequent consultation with your supervisor is also important, do not consult only for monitoring and evaluation preparation (Septami Setiawati)