Chemical engineering students contribute innovative solution for water treatment

Front row, from left: Dr Shuit, Prof Ho, Dr Christina Phang, Prof Ewe, Prof Goi, Dr Mah and Toh

Insight 2020 returned once again, as part of the efforts of Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) to showcase students’ talents and to expose them to the current technologies and knowledge in the field of chemical engineering.

This year’s theme was ‘The Blue Treasure-Ocean’. It aimed to increase the awareness of students and participants on environment issues and protection of resources, particularly clean water for the future generation. The event was organised by UTAR Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Student Chapter at Sungai Long Campus from 18 to 22 February 2020. Sponsoring the event for the third consecutive year was Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA).

From left: Toh, Dr Mah, Prof Goi, Dr Christina Phang, Prof Ewe, Prof Ho and Dr Shuit during the opening ceremony

Present at the opening ceremony of Insight 2020 were Past Chair of IChemE in Malaysia 2018/2019 Session Ir Dr Christina Phang, UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, MARGMA Honorary Advisor Prof Ho Chee Cheong and Marketing and Communication Executive Carmen Yong, LKC FES Dean Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min, Department of Chemical Engineering Head Dr Mah Shee Keat, Insight 2020 Advisor Ts Dr Shuit Siew Hoong and Insight 2020 Chairperson Toh Ka Yong.

Dr Christina Phang encouraged students to actively participate in the event and showcase their talents

In her speech, Dr Christina Phang shared her story of becoming a chemical engineer to inspire chemical engineering students to take up challenges and achieve success. She said, “Skills acquired during your undergraduate studies will serve you in a long way. Despite being 30 years, I am still learning and applying what I’ve learnt from my undergraduate days.” She added, “Money aside, it is very important to know that whatever we choose to do as we graduate from the comfortable environment and go into the real world, we have been trained to make a difference in the world. As a chemical engineer, we should be responsible to build a better future for the coming generations.” She also encouraged students to take the chance to present their capabilities and skills to the industry. Furthermore, she was encouraged to hear that UTAR actually holds activities in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).  “UTAR is a forward-thinking university and I am proud to be among the forward-thinking people today,” she said.

Prof Ewe hoped that the participants would gain a rewarding experience from the event

Prof Ewe, on the other hand, congratulated the students for putting their effort in this event and expressed his gratitude to all guests, sponsor and participants for their support. He encouraged the students to grab the chance to interact with the industrial corporations who were present to set up the booths and said, “Instead of you going out to look for them, the organising committee has brought them in to meet the students. Therefore, I do hope you will use this opportunity to ask all the right questions and gather much information so that you have wider options for internships and employment later on.” He added, “At the end of INSIGHT week, I hope that the non-engineering participants will gain further understanding of what chemical engineering is all about and their contribution to the industry and society. We have much to learn from the experts in the industry.”

Toh emphasising the importance of having clean water for better future

Toh said that this year the chemical engineering week aimed to highlight the importance of clean water supply and the value of the ocean. He explained that the theme ‘Blue treasure-Ocean’ was initiated by the occurrence of water pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang and Sungai Selangor in 2019. “You need to get your hands dirty, it is a huge experience we will never get elsewhere,” he quoted MARGMA Vice President Dr S. Supramaniam’s speech in Insight 2018. He added, “As chemical engineers, we need to be aware of the current issues and take a proactive role in providing solutions.”

The first day of the event saw an industrial exhibition consisting of 14 companies which offered opportunities for students to get more exposure to the knowledge and technology of chemical engineering, as well as job opportunities available in the field of chemical engineering. The participated companies were Advance Borneo Engineering Sdn Bhd, Calia Technology Sdn Bhd, Cenergi SEA Sdn Bhd, Chemmart Asia Sdn Bhd, Chemopharm Sdn Bhd, Chroma Gas Sdn Bhd, CSQ Analytics Sdn Bhd, Draeger Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Exact Analytical Sdn Bhd, Excelvite Sdn Bhd, Hisakaworks Sea Sdn Bhd,  Interscience Sdn Bhd, RGS Corporation Sdn Bhd, and SciMed Technologies Sdn Bhd.

Champion Plant model design for 2019 and 2018 (right)

Five models of plant design were on display at the hall, which showed students’ creativity

Other event highlights include Plant Model Design Competition and Case Study Competition which saw the participation of five teams and four teams respectively. In the Plant Model Design Competition, the participated teams were required to select an industrial chemical process based on the theme, construct a plant model and further explain the idea of the plant model; while teams who participated in the Case Study Competition were given a topic based on the theme and they were required to present their research on that particular topic.

“I hope through these competitions, all students and participants would have a better understanding of the overall chemical engineering. As future chemical engineers, it is your responsibility to provide solutions for the treatment of contaminated water to prohibit incidence similar to Selangor River and Kim Kim River from happening again,” said Dr Shuit at the opening of the competitions.

Besides the exhibition, the one-week event was also comprised of a series of activities such as workshops, forum and talk, and appreciation dinner. Held on the third day of the event, the carnival consisting of eight exciting games booth and two hands-on workshops was open to the public. The purpose of the carnival was to portray the fundamental knowledge about chemical engineering and chemistry.

Booth games and workshops provided a fun and exciting platform for participants to get involved in the event

Moreover, a forum with the topic “The Fourth Industrial Revolution of Glove Industrial” and a talk titled “Industrial Wastewater Treatment Technology and Management” were conducted on the fourth day of the event. Moderated by LKC FES lecturer Steven Lim, the panellists for the forum were Dr Supramaniam and LKC FES PhD (Engineering) and MEngSc programmes Head Dr Ng Yee Sern. The talk was given by Purewater Engineering Sdn Bhd Malaysia General Manager Ir Ng Kien An. Besides, two site visits were also carried out on the same day. Students were given the chance to visit Yakult Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Linde Malaysia Sdn Bhd which exposed them to a real-world learning experience.

Group photo of everyone at the Insight appreciation dinner that made Insight 2020 memorable 

From left: Dr Shuit, Dr Mah, Raymond Ong, Prof Faidz, Prof Goi and Toh at the opening ceremony of Insight appreciation dinner

Various performances such as dancing and singing were conducted to spice up the night

UTAR alumni Boey Ying Rui (first from left) and Wong King Xuan (second from left) sharing their
experiences at the sharing session moderated by Ti Teng Hui and Bok Chia Hoi (far right)

The week ended on a high note with Insight appreciation dinner, conducted at Bangi Avenue Convention Centre (BACC). The appreciation dinner served as a platform to unite and embrace the bonding between students, lecturers, alumni, industry partners and IChemE Student Chapter from other universities. Present at the dinner were UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman, MARGMA Honorary Advisor Raymond Ong Pang Lim and Toh. Besides, the dinner included interesting activities such as unlimited photo printing booth, interactive games, mini-games, unique door gift, performances and lucky draw with attractive prizes. It also saw a sharing session by alumni and the announcement of winners for Plant Process Design Competition and Case Study Competition.

The results of the two competitions are as follows:

Plant Process Design Competition
Champion: Group 2 (Beach Peace)
Group members:
1. Cheong Qinru
2. Udayanair A/L Balakrishnan Nair
3. Siti Nuraisha Binti Razali Tan
4. Sean Ang Zhen Xuan
5. Vincent Loo Lien Kai
1st Runner-up: Group 5 (Newbie)
Group members:
1. Chua Yuan Ying
2. Chan Boon Fong
3. Tan Kai Sien
4. Teo Hsin Hang
5. Kee Chin Hau

2nd Runner-up: Group 1 (Food Seeker)
Group members:
1. Allan Chong Han Lin
2. Chan Xu Yao
3. Cheah Zi Hooi
4. Chua Hoey Syean
5. Yap Jun Weng

Case Study Competition
Champion: Group 2 (Hasta la vista la vida loca)
Group members:
1. Yap Jun Weng
2. Vincent Loo Lien Kai
3. Chan Xu Yao
4. Udayanair A/L Balakrishnan Nair

1st Runner-up: Group 5 (The 19th floor group)
Group members:
1. Ngu Ket Thing
2. Regon Lim Lei Gen
3. Soo Kai Ze
4. Voon Chee Siang

2nd Runner-up: Group 1 (Omega 4 plus)
Group members:
1. Ng Xin Yee
2. Mah Hui Shan
3. Koay Jit Yen
4. Liow Jing Wen

Winning teams for Plant Process Design Competition

Winning teams for Case Study Competition

Toh (front row, third from left) and the organising committee placed a great amount of effort in making the chemical engineering week a success

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