The Regional Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Conference (RCEUC) is an annual student-run conference organized by the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Malaya and supported by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s RCEUC incorporates two competitions: Online Presentation and Paper Writing segments with the tagline of “connecting industry with academia”.
Dr. Elaine Yeu Yee Lee from School of Chemical Engineering and Science led the four chemical engineering students, Mr. Jason Yeo Yi Juang, Mr. Andy Law Kai Wen, Mr. Simon Tiong Ing Xun and Ms. Natalie Ho Ping Ping, and one mechanical engineering students Mr. Stefano Boon Ching Kiat to represent the Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science participated in the paper writing competition.
The chemical engineering student, Mr. Jason Yeo Yi Juang who submitted his Final Year Research Project titled “Synthesis of Circular Economy in Palm Oil Industry using Graph-Theoretic Method” supervised by Dr. How Bing Shen won the Top 10 Winners award.
“The RCEUC paper writing competition is one of the platforms which encourages the student to perform and present their academic research. Through the paper writing competition event, I have improved my academic and research skills with the support and patience from my academic supervisor,” said Jason.
The paper has recently submitted to MDPI Sustainability for journal publication and is currently under review. MDPI Sustainability is an international and cross-disciplinary scholarly, open-access journal of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability of human beings. It provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development.
Dr How said by targeting the palm oil industry and the biorefineries as the consumer of these products, a circular economy can be created by recycling the biomass wastes to the said consumers. To evaluate the techno-economic feasibility of the circular economy, a mathematical model demonstrating the biomass network with consideration of recycling is developed in this work. It is expected to benefit the biomass-based industry sectors and the policymakers on the future development and transition to circular economy.
Jason said academic research is one of the important aspects and should be promoted in the undergraduate study. While the students should focus on learning the knowledge and skills from the usual classes such as lecture, tutorial and laboratory sessions, involving in academic research will foster the students to generate new observations by applying and manipulating the acquired knowledge, and hence realize the concept of active learning.
“There are myths like research is something that can only be done by postgraduate or mature researcher or FYRP is just a child play which can never be competent with the Master or PhD degree research. These are not true. Undergraduates like Mr. Yeo can also yield interesting and impactful researches if they were given the proper guidance and if they are committed and keen to perform the research. Dear undergraduates, don’t underestimate your capabilities!” said Dr. How.
The School of Chemical Engineering and Science would like to congratulate Jason and other participants for the achievement and commitment given by them in representing the School.