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UNM students bag first prize at Chemical Engineering Design competition


University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) students Ang Jia Chun, Aw Wei Xin, Lau Yi Xaun and Shawn Ee have emerged as the champions at the 9th Chemical Engineering Design Competition 2020/2021, organised by the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM). The competition was first announced in August 2020 and culminated with the final presentation on 29 May 2021.  Due to the Movement Control Order, most elements of the competition were held online, which include the workshops for students, and the final presentation. 

The chemical engineering students, who are currently in year 3, were involved in a project entitled ‘Production of Isopropanol as the Raw Material of Hand Sanitiser’, which was supervised by Dr Vasanthi Sethu. The objective of this project was to manufacture isopropanol, which is used in the production of hand sanitisers. This project is timely as the demand for hand sanitisers grows exponentially due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The IEM Chemical Engineering Design Competition is a national level competition organised by the Chemical Engineering Technical Division (CETD) of IEM. This annual competition is open to all chemical engineering students from higher education institutions across the country.

The competition aims to provide chemical engineering students the opportunity to enhance their design competency using skills and knowledge that they have gained during the course of their programme.

“All the hard work has paid off. Well done students! We are very proud of you,” said Dr Vasanthi.

“It is a tough challenge for our students, as they are in year 3, and having to compete with students from other universities, who are mostly in year 4 of their study.  Nevertheless, this proves the quality of our students.  This is the second time our students have emerged as champions since the start of the competition in 2012.  The last time our student emerged as champion was during the 2015/16 session,” said University of Nottingham Malaysia Head of Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Professor Dominic Foo.

(Article and thumbnail image caption: The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM)’s 9th Chemical Engineering Design Competition 2020/2021 awards ceremony.)


For media enquiries please contact: Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager University of Nottingham Malaysia at  

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted on 8th July 2021

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