The Lecturer Team of the Electrical Engineering Department, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) granted a funding invitation for productive innovative research (RISPRO). The Invited Rispro program was initiated by the Ministry of Finance Indonesia and collaborated with PT Industri Kereta Api (abbreviated as PT INKA, a state-owned enterprise in serving a rail locomotive and rolling stock manufacturer). The Invited Rispro was a funding research program aimed to elevate the nation’s competitiveness by product/technology commercialization or the policies/management implementation or publication through invitation mechanism.
The research team leader, Dr Ir Ramadoni Syahputra, S.T explained his gratitude for the first call of the Indonesian Education Scholarship (LPDP). “For the first time, I have been informed by Whatsapp directly from the LPDP team and also grateful for having a high responsibility because the LPDP research is the most prestigious program in academics,” he said.
Doni mentioned that he and his team, Kunnu Purwanto, S.T., M.Eng and Muhammad Yusvin Mustar, S.T, M.Eng partnered with PT INKA because the research was focused on the train products manufacture. Before they were declared to pass to grant the funding, UMY had received an invitation from PT INKA and the LPDP team. “We were also asked about the train with the core theme of electric vehicles. After that, we analyzed what PT INKA needed, and they requested us to send a proposal to PT INKA,” he added.
UMY becomes the only private university to get an opportunity to work on the project. “It is evidence that UMY has an equal qualification as the state universities and has a considerable reputation,” Doni said. PT INKA planned to develop a hybrid train that can operate with diesel and electric energy combinations. He considered it a great innovation because recently, the electric locomotive train was limited to the short-range route while in the long-range distance, it uses the diesel train. Furthermore, he also highlighted the importance of the research that the diesel fuel was not sustainable and limited if it was continuously consumed. Also, another detrimental effect of using diesel fuel is due to air pollution.
UMY was asked to create a railway battery charger for the train. “So, when we did the presentation of our research proposal, we were criticized a lot. The examiners were the experts of this specific field. After we had a long discussion, they were asking for the battery charger for a train where it can be used to operate a control system and electrical equipment in the train,” he said.