STUDENTS from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) have been champions of the biennial IEM Research Paper Competition for 2013, 2015 and this year.
On April 14, PhD student Chong Yen Yee won the competition while the previous years’ winners were Chong Fah Keen (2015) and Rex Ng (2013).
This year’s competition also witnessed the victory of UNMC’s PhD student Ten Joon Yoon and Yeow Tze Tin, who won the third prize for the postgraduate and undergraduate categories respectively.
“We are proud of the achievements of our students in academics, extracurricular activities and other areas of university life. I congratulate Chong for her achievement in the IEM Research Paper Competition,” says Dr Law Chung-Lim, UNMC’s head of department of chemical and environmental engineering.
“We are especially proud to be the champions of this competition three consecutive times. This is a significant achievement that reflects the quality and calibre of the students at UNMC.”
Chong presented on Synergic Effect and Kinetic Mechanisms for Co-pyrolysis of Empty Fruit Bunch and Palm Oil Mill Effluent Sludge.
Chong’s research aims to improve the qualities of bio-crude oil (bio-oil) that is produced from empty fruit bunches.
Bio-oil derived from empty fruit bunches is acidic whereas bio-oil derived from palm oil mill effluent sludge is alkaline in nature.
Thus, combining both types of biomass as feed may produce bio-oil that has a pH similar to crude oil. The presentation focused mainly on the reaction mechanism of these two types of biomass.
An analysis was conducted of the reaction mechanisms necessary to improve the reactor performances as we move from single-type biomass to a combination of different types of biomass.
This study was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education Grant under the supervision of Dr Suchithra Thangalazhy Gopakumar.
Chong was awarded a travel grant to the Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering Congress 2017, which will be held in Hong Kong from Aug 23 to 27. She will be presenting her winning paper at the conference in the Green Processing category.
The other winners from UNMC this year, Ten and Yeoh, won RM150 and RM100 cash rewards respectively at the ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on April 14.
About the competition
We are proud of the achievements of our students in academics, extracurricular activities and other areas of university life. I congratulate Chong for her achievement in the IEM Research Paper Competition. Dr Law Chung-Lim
To enter the competition, students submitted their papers to the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and five students were shortlisted for the postgraduate category – two from UNMC and one each from Monash University, Taylor’s University and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.
In December last year, Chong won the best oral presenter award at the 9th Regional Conference on Chemical Engineering for her presentation on her research on producing biofuel from palm oil.
Chong says, “Biomass is the only renewable energy source that can be converted to liquid biofuel that is comparable to crude oil. However, biofuel has to be upgraded to be used directly, which is the aim of my research.
“During the IEM Research Paper Competition, everyone presented very well and I was both surprised and thrilled to be called upon to receive the prize. I am thankful to my supervisor and co-supervisors, my family and, last but not least, all glory to God in the highest.”
(From left) Dr Nishanth Chemmangattuvalappil, Yeow Tze Tin, Chong Yen Yee, Ten Joon Yoon and Dr Suchithra Thangalazhy Gopakumar at the IEM Research Paper Competition.