Miri – 27 September 2011 – Final-year chemical engineering students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently got the chance to showcase their plant design projects to industry professionals at a Design Project presentation held at the university campus.
Design Project is one of the units taken by final-year students in which they are required to undertake open-ended group projects.
The scope of the design projects includes market and site evaluation; process selection and development; health, safety and environmental compliance; heat integration; process control; detailed equipment design and detailed economic evaluation. Upon completion of their projects, each group is assessed through an oral presentation involving their lecturers and industry experts.
Unlike previous years, this is the first time professional engineers from renowned engineering organisations were involved in assessing the design projects.
A range of projects were presented by the students, including Clean Liquid Fuel Production from Biomass, Vinyl Acetate Monomer Production Plant, Design of a Biodiesel Plant, Design of a Bespoke Oil Refinery, Floating LNG – Without Closed Loop Hydrocarbon Refrigerant, and Gas Processing Plant with Acid Gas Treatment.
The industry experts present comprised Timothy Smith (Project Manager, Ranhill Worley Parsons, Miri Office), Lee Learn Syan (Process Engineer, Petrokon Utama Sdn. Bhd.), Francis Wong Ming Wei (Process Engineer, Sarawak Shell Berhad) and Lai Teck Poh (Field Engineer, Weatherford (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.).
Curtin Sarawak’s Department of Chemical Engineering, which is part of the School of Engineering and Science, plans to involve professional engineers as industry mentors for its chemical engineering programme beginning next year. They will meet the students fortnightly to share their industry experience and expertise and offer practical advice and feedback on the students’ design projects.
Senior lecturer of chemical engineering Tan Yin Ling believes the students will benefit greatly from the involvement of professional engineers in Design Project as it provides a opportunity for students to interact with industry professionals and obtain practical advice and feedback on their plant designs from them.
“This collaboration between industry experts and our students lends credibility to our chemical engineering course. Hence, we would like to take this collaboration further in the coming years,” she remarked.
Tan added that the support from professional engineers would also promote a positive image for their organisations as supportive industry players.