November 2015 – A UTM researcher, Dr Wai Shin Ho, from the Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering (FCEE) bagged the Global IChemE award for the Young Engineer in Research Award, which was held recently in Birmingham, UK.

Dr Ho was also awarded the IChemE Malaysia Young Engineer in Research at the Chemical Engineers’ (IChemE) Malaysia Awards 2015, featuring his work in sustainable energy, water and waste management and optimization. His specialties lie in process planning/scheduling, simulation and optimization which involves mathematical modelling approach and pinch analysis.

Dr. Ho’s research has resulted in publication output exceeding 20 research articles in high impact peer-reviewed journals since he started his PhD in 2011. He is also actively participating in community/society development related projects such as the Low Carbon Society (LCS) for Iskandar Malaysia and the implementation of the first low carbon village of FELDA Taib Andak, Malaysia.

Other UTM researchers also showed their mettle at the IChemE Global Award. Prof Ramlan of IBD, won in the Education and Training Award category, where the team’s project entitled “Education for All: Democratizing Knowledge for the Community”, recognized for its continual efforts in conducting training in the subject area of process technology, biotechnology and chemistry that deal with real world issues and solving community problems.

PM Dr. Ida Idayu was also featured with her product on “REPID – insect repellent with detector” and was shortlisted in the category of innovative product. REPID is a combined technology using a porous copolymeric nanocarrier and a microencapsulated natural insect repellent based on a controlled release system, and a micro-leakage indicator, involving oxygen-sensitive dyes which changes colour if the seal is broken. REPID is made of natural products and it aims to minimize food losses and wastes, increase food protection from insect contamination, lengthen product shelf-life and promote green technology for economical sustainability.

PM Dr. Haslenda Hashim with her product “GRAND: Graphical and Numerical Descriptive Technique for inherent safety assessment” was also shortlisted in both the global and Malaysia IChemE award 2015. GRAND offers a novel technique to find the safest route for designing chemical synthesis or process equipment, and highlights the potential source of hazards. It is a user-friendly inherent safety (IS) assessment tool for the research and development phase of process design. The technique successfully eliminates the shortcomings of subjective scaling suffered by the current index-based method.