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UNMC are three-time champions of the research paper competition

IEM Paper article image

Students from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus have been champions of the biennial IEM Research paper competition for 2017, 2015 and 2013.

On 14 April, 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 wins of UNMC PhD student Ten Joon Yoon and Yeow Tze Tin, who won the third prize for the postgraduate and undergraduate categories respectively.

According to UNMC Chemical Engineering Head of Department Dr Law Chung-Lim: “We are proud of the achievements of our students in academics, extra-curricular activities and at other areas of the university life. I congratulate Yen Yee for her achievement in the IEM research paper competition. We are especially proud to be the champions of this competition for three consecutive times. This is a significant achievement which 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. The 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 these biomass as feed may produce a bio-oil that has a pH similar to crude oil. The current presentation was mainly focused on the reaction kinetic 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 biomass to a combination of the different types of biomass. This study was funded by The Ministry of Higher Education Grant, under the supervision of Dr Suchtihra Thangalazhy Gopakumar.

Chong was awarded with a travel grant to the Asia Pacific Confederation of Chemical  Engineering 2017, which will be held in Hong Kong from 23-37 August. She will be presenting her winning paper at the conference with the Green Processing category.

Other winners from UNMC this year are Ten Joon Yoon, who won a RM150 cash reward, and  Yeoh Tze Tin, who won a RM100 cash reward at the ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 14 April.

About the competition

To enter the competition, students submitted their papers to the Institute of Engineers Malaysia and five students were shortlisted for the PG category, two from UNMC and one each from Monash University, Taylors University and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.

In December last year, Chong Yen Yee won the best oral presenter award  at the 9th Regional Chemical Engineering Conference on Chemical Engineering, for her presentation on  her research on producing biofuel from palm oil. 

According to Chong Yen Yee: “Biomass is the only renewable energy source that can be converted to liquid bio-fuel that is comparable to crude oil. However, upgrading of the bio-fuel has to be done in order 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.”

(Image caption: (from the left to right): Dr Nishanth Chemmangattuvalappil, Yeow Tze Tine, Chong Yen Yee, Ten Joon Yoon, and Dr Suchithra Thangalazhy Gopakumar)


More information is available from Chong Yen Yee on or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager at UNMC  on +6 (03) 8924

Notes to editors: The 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 was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for 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 21st April 2017

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