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UNMC students won the Chemical Engineering Design Competition

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Third year chemical engineering students from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) won the 4th IEM Chemical Engineering Design Competition, organised by The Institution of Engineers Malaysia.

A team of five undergraduates from the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, The University of Nottingham, Malaysia has successfully won the national Chemical Engineering Design Competition organised by The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).

Tey Su-Yi, Lee Zheng Yee, Lee Yeen Qian, Adriel Tan Yan Sheng and Lee Chun Jhing, undergraduates at UNMC earned the first prize at the competition, outperforming teams from Taylor’s University, Universiti Sabah Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Perlis Malaysia and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, among others.

The title of the competition was “Technical Design and Economic Analysis for Conversion of Small Alkanes to Hydrocarbon (C6+)” and participants were required to design a process flowsheet which was economically feasible and sustainable to the environment.

Using the process flowsheet which should be based on criteria, such as economic, environmental sustainability, safety, etc., participants were expected to deliver a design of a plant that converted the given feedstock (natural gas) into products (chemical). Each group was required to select the process themselves based on the given criteria.

“Participating in the competition itself was very exciting because we were required to produce a technical design that suits a real life industry situation,” said Su-Yi, team leader.

“It was challenging for us to create a design with our limited exposure to the industry. However, it was a great platform for us to apply our knowledge in solving problems and innovating ideas in the design.

“We also gained an insight of the chemical engineering industry in Malaysia through our interaction with the professionals in the industry during the workshops and the quiz competition organised as part of this competition. Overall, it was a fruitful experience as we had the opportunity to work in a team, network with other participants and receive comments and improvements from the juries and engineers.” Added Su-Yi.

To qualify as winners, participating team need to attend a two days PRO II Training in order for them to perform simulation of the flowsheet via PRO II. Besides, the participants are also expected to complete quizes posted by the organiser to evaluate their understanding to the industrial requirement.

All participating teams were required to attend a two-day training session on the simulation software (PRO II) which provided them with the knowledge to simulate the flowsheet. Based on the simulation results, the mass and energy balance of the entire flowsheet can be determined. Additionally, participants were required to take part in a quiz as a means to evaluate their understanding of the industry requirement on designing the selected process.

The team was supervised by UNMC academics Professor Denny K. S. Ng, academic supervisor, and Rafil Elyas, industry supervisor. 

“We are very proud of our students who were very dedicated in the competition. They were always well prepared and had great initiative to take part in this competition. Throughout the competition, they received a lot of feedback from the judges and evaluators on their reports and technical knowledge and this is an invaluable experience for any undergraduate.

“Besides, they also managed to interact with other participants from other universities, industry speakers, external trainers during the workshop organised by IEM,” said Professor Denny Ng.

Taylor’s University won the second and third prizes, while Universiti Malaysia Pahang won the consolation prize in the same competition.

(Image caption: (from left to right) Daren Gong from Schneider Electric, Lee Chun Jhing, Lee Yeen Qian, Tey Su-Yi, Lee Zheng Yee, Adriel Tan Yan Sheng and Professor Denny K. S. Ng)

More information is available from Professor Denny K. S. Ng on or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus on


Notes to editorsThe University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016).

It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. More than 97% of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

Posted on 18th July 2016

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