Three-time cham­pion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Course Focus - For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.not­ting­ham.edu.my.

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.

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