Engineering Student Awarded Global Young Scientist Award

Pin Pin Oh, a student at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus has been awarded the Mikhalevich Award for her outstanding research at the annual Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) organised by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.

Pin Pin won this award together with Karol Opera from the System Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, also a participant of YSSP, as a result of their collaborative research in the area of applied systems analysis.

“I am delighted and surprised to have been awarded the Mikhalevich Award for our work done at IIASA. I am the first Malaysian to have ever received this award. It is such a great honour for me and it is like a dream come true” said Pin Pin.

Pin Pin and Karol conducted collaborative research which deals with modeling a membrane reactor being designed for producing biodiesel in Malaysia. Their winning research involves mathematical modeling and scientific computing which not only solves methodological problems but also completes a chain of complex computation.

The multi-disciplinary research combines diverse expertise which integrates deep knowledge of chemical processes; advanced skills in modeling, statistics, global optimisation, and software engineering. The combination of expertise was essential to ensuring that the proposed methodology was successful.

“Personally the journey towards this award was very enlightening for me as our research is multidisciplinary and working with a team of engineers and computer scientists gave me an insight into the working world.

As a PhD student, working with different experts not only increases my knowledge, it also enables me to realise the business potential of my research.”

The research was conducted under the supervision of Marek Makowski, a Senior Research Scholar of IIASA, who was instrumental in managing the expertise of two researchers from different scientific and cultural backgrounds within three months of the YSSP.

“I was told that our research paper had received many great internal and external reviews and was perceived as “an overall strong paper, fun to read, with beautiful optimisation techniques and this made us the winners.

The Mikhalevich Award is awarded annually to participants of YSSP. Out of 49 global participants this year, only 2 were received such an award. The Award provides financial support for the winners to return to IIASA for an additional three-month period of research in 2013.

Both Pin Pin and Karol continue to work on this project independently and will work alongside each other at IIASA for another three months in mid 2013.

For more information on courses offered at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, please consult or email: [email protected]

About the Mikhalevich Award

The Mikhalevich Award was established in 1995 following the death of Academician Vladimir S. Mikhalevich, who was Chairman of the IIASA Council. Recipients of the award receive financial support to conduct their research at IIASA for three-months.

About Pin Pin Oh

Pin Pin Oh is a PhD student from the School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. She works at Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) office in Bangi and is a sponsored Ph.D. research candidate, currently researching the development of novel membrane reactors for producing biodiesel in collaboration with MPOB.

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