Online Global Classroom: Experts Spill the Tea on Heterogeneous Catalysis

Prepared by: ChM. Dr. Sheela Chandren & Dr. Siti Pauliena Mohd Bohari

On the 5th of October 2021, the Online Global Classroom (OGC) was held and organised by the Department of Chemistry, and the Green Chemistry Research Group, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), in collaboration with the Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University, Japan and Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Indonesia

The webinar titled “Heterogeneous Catalysis – Why is it Important?” was held on Webex platform and simultaneously streamed live on the Faculty’s Facebook page. Intending to further the University’s internationalisation initiative in a virtual classroom setting, this one-day event noticed the encouraging participation of 64 participants, hailing from various institutions in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, including some of the UTM’s alumni.

Kickstarting the event, Director Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, ChM. Dr. Norazah Basar, delivered the welcoming address while officiating the much-anticipated OGC. While ChM. Dr. Sheela Chandren acted as the event moderator, the international OGC was successfully delivered by two invited speakers. They were experts in catalysis; Prof. Dr. Bunsho Ohtani from the Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University, Japan and Prof. Dr. Didik Prasetyoko from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Indonesia.

Prof. Dr. Bunsho Ohtani delivered his lecture, “Fundamental Studies on Photocatalysis and Materials Science”, where he, among others, delved into the proper characterisation method for metal oxide catalysts. Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Didik Prasetyoko’s lecture titled “Correlation between the Properties and Applications of Heterogeneous Catalysts” explained the basic building blocks of heterogeneous catalysis. Often regarded as a crucial branch of chemistry, Prof. Didik offered a riveting look into the importance and limitless possibility of heterogeneous catalysts in an ever-changing world.

The OGC was well-received, as evidenced by the audience’s overwhelmingly active participation and positive feedback during the presentations and Q&A sessions. Though the subject matter may seem daunting to the uninitiated, both speakers were able to captivate the audience’s attention from start to finish.

As a whole, the webinar had successfully achieved its objectives to foster ideas through international ventures, despite the current limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisers would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the speakers, committee, and participants who have diligently contributed to the success of this event.

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