Heriot-Watt University Malaysia Chemical Engineering Students Won Second Runner-Up and Consolation Prizes at 8th IEM Chemical Engineering Design Competition



Two groups of MEng Chemical Engineering Year 3 students from Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) won the second runner-up prize and consolation prize respectively, at the 8th IEM Chemical Engineering Design Competition. This competition was organised by The Institution of Engineers (IEM), Malaysia.

These group of highly driven undergraduate students from the Chemical Engineering programme at HWUM, successfully outperformed teams from many public and private universities to win their respective prizes. In fact, it was an interesting challenge for the students, who presented their projects virtually due to lockdown restrictions.   

The theme of the competition was “Monetisation of POME into Renewable Gas & Green Chemicals” and participants were required to design a process flowsheet which was economically feasible to process effluents from palm oil milling processes.

“Initially, the thought of having to create a process design with our limited industrial exposure was extremely daunting. However, as the team progressed through the competition, we found genuine excitement in applying classroom knowledge and collaborating to solve various design problems.  Through the feedback obtained from the industrial judges, we were also able to gain insight on the practicality of our design, as well as the opportunities for further innovation. Overall, it was an enriching experience as we were able to reap the rewards of our efforts by coming in 3rd place while instilling awareness on the emerging opportunities in the Malaysian palm oil industry”, said Isaac V. Ninan, a member of the team that won the second runner-up prize.

“It is always a big challenge for us to strive for excellence in project design within the time frame, thus, teamwork is the key of success. Throughout the project, we had great opportunities in implementing knowledge obtained from syllabus into feasible solutions for practical application. In short, this competition is truly a wonderful experience for industrial exposure while realising the concept of glocalisation in achieving sustainable development of nation palm oil industry.”, said Irene Teo, team leader for the second team that won the consolation prize.

The team was supervised by HWUM academics, Assistant Professors Viknesh Andiappan, Ng Lik Yin and Professor Ir. Denny Ng.

“We are very proud of these students, who were very dedicated in their design project. They were very open to receiving feedback and went the extra mile to ensure the project was high in quality. Throughout the project, they were able to sharpen their presentation skills and were exposed to tasks that chemical engineers do in industry. This is an invaluable experience for any undergraduate student at HWUM,” said, Assistant Professor Viknesh Andiappan.

“This competition provided a platform for students to solve challenging design topic relevant to the current industry. The students were able to hone their skills in preparing the design and presenting it at a high level to academic and industrial panels. We are very proud of their achievements.” said, Assistant Professor Ng Lik Yin.

“The students are very dedicated in their project over the year.  In order to prepare our students for the industry, such competition is very useful and provided challenging topics for the students. It also provided training for the students to enhance their industrial exposure.” said, Professor Ir. Denny Ng.