20 October 2017

National University of Singapore and Shell come out on top at Singapore chemical engineering awards

IChemE Singapore Awards 2017 winners

Shell and the National University of Singapore triumphed at last night’s Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Singapore Awards – winning the Young Industrialist Award and the Energy Award respectively, and two runner-up mentions each.

Now in its eighth year, the IChemE Singapore Awards, celebrate outstanding achievements in the country’s chemical engineering community. IChemE Director of South East Asia, Mike Cloke, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, which was held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) won the Energy Award for its project - Innovative tri-hybrid solar-hydrogen production. The winning team have discovered a cost-effective way of producing hydrogen through a combination of electrolysis, photocatalysis and photovoltaic. This tri-hybrid hydrogen production system uses solar power to produce 100 to 120 litres of 99.8% pure hydrogen per hour. NUS were also named the highly commended entry in the Biotechnology and Young Industrialist categories.

But it was Hu Yu, of Shell’s Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd branch, who was crowned the winner of the Young Industrialist Award. Her achievements include discovering an innovative way to convert vaccum tower overhead slop oil to diesel, slashing operating costs by US$250,000 per year.

Shell Chemicals Sereya gained runner up status in the Process Safety Award for its project - Mitigating peroxides explosion in SMPO plants - and the Energy Award for its Second Stage Flash Project.

However, it was Ministry of Manpower that stormed to victory in the Process Safety Award category. Its Workplace Safety and Health (Major Hazard Installations) Regulations are successfully preventing accidents, protecting people and the environment. The project was made possible due to close collaboration between the Major Hazard Installations stakeholders, trade associations and the government.

The Training and Development Award went to Croda Singapore Pte. Ltd for its Leadership Behavioural Safety programme, which incorporates a culture of ownership towards caring for its residents, communities, and environment. Everyone at Croda is encouraged, and empowered, to keep their manufacturing sites safe and sustainable.

The Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences’ development of a Sustainable Pharmaceutical Supply Chain scored it a win in the Sustainable Technology Award category. The project uses a mix of analytic hierarchy process for identifying the most suitable supplier and manufacturer sites, Supply Chain (SC) network superstructure mapping, and SC optimisation to deliver a novel framework for the early stages of drug development.

The Young Researcher Award went to Ong Wee Jun, at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering Agency for Science, Technology and Research. He was commended for his research breakthrough, efficiently utilising the solar spectrum for CO2 reduction and H2O splitting into energy-rich fuels, to mimic the natural photosynthesis process in plants.

The Biotechnology Award went to Singapore Polytechnic and RMIT University for its project - Scaled-up bioremediation of oil contaminated soil. The project uses large-scale application of bioremediation technology to successfully treat oil-contaminated soil, as a feasible alternative to incineration and thermal desorption. This eliminates the disposal of waste via landfill.

Chair of IChemE Singapore Board, Joe Eades, said:

“Congratulations to all the winners. Your achievements are great examples of why chemical and process engineering matters in Singapore.

“We have been hosting the IChemE Awards in Singapore since 2010. I’m delighted that we continuously celebrate the success of both industry and academia in this great nation. I look forward to recognising the talent and creativity of our engineers for many more years to come.”

Winners of the national IChemE Singapore Awards will automatically be shortlisted for the IChemE Global Awards, which will be held on 2 November 2017 in Birmingham, UK.

Official winners of the IChemE Singapore Awards 2017

Biotechnology Award sponsored by PM Group

Winner: Scaled-up bioremediation of oil contaminated soil, Singapore Polytechnic; RMIT University

Highly Commended: Microbes converting polymerized sugars to chemicals, National University of Singapore

Summary of winning entry:

The project focused on the large-scale application of bioremediation technology using an engineering platform with a small physical and carbon footprint. Under field conditions, the modified grease pit was used to treat 2,500 tons of contaminated soil to meet USEPA and SAEPA guidelines. The results showed that this was a feasible alternative to incineration and thermal desorption for the disposal of oily sludge and oil contaminated soil in Singapore, which ultimately eliminates the need for the current final disposal step of landfilling at Pulau Semakau. The treated soil was successfully recycled for landscaping on site.

Energy Award sponsored by ExxonMobil

Winner: Innovative tri-hybrid solar-hydrogen production, Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore

Highly Commended: Second Stage Flash Project, SSF Shell Chemicals Seraya Pte Ltd

Summary of winning entry:

This team has discovered a very cost-effective way of producing hydrogen that involves a combination of electrolysis, photocatalysis and photovoltaic. This novel approach significantly enhances hydrogen production rate, compared to other conventional methods, while using less energy. The method employs rain-water and sunlight to produce hydrogen with ease. This new generation of high performing photocatalyts harness sunlight and solar heat to produce hydrogen, resulting in the world’s first tri-hybrid hydrogen production system. The system is capable of producing 100 to 120 litres/hr of hydrogen with purity of 99.8%.

Process Safety Award sponsored by Shell

Winner: Implementing the WSH (MHI) Regulations, Ministry of Manpower

Highly Commended: Mitigating peroxides explosion in SMPO plants, Shell Chemicals Seraya Pte Ltd

Summary of winning entry:

The Workplace Safety and Health (Major Hazard Installations) Regulations aim to prevent major accidents through the implementation of the Safety Case regime, to protect lives, the environment, and the reputation of Singapore’s leading chemical engineering and manufacturing hub.

The effective implementation of the WSH (MHI) Regulations was made possible by the contributions and close collaborations among stakeholders, including MHIs, trade associations and government agencies, working towards the common aim of preventing major accidents in the MHI industry.

Sustainable Technology Award sponsored by GSK

Winner: Design of Sustainable Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences

Highly Commended: Scaled-up bioremediation of oil contaminated soil, Singapore Polytechnic; RMIT University

Summary of winning entry:

The issue of supply chain (SC) sustainability has become an important business factor for today’s pharmaceutical companies. This project develops a novel framework for design of a more sustainable SC that can be performed at the early stages of drug development. The framework has been developed by integrating different methodologies – analytic hierarchy process for identifying the most suitable supplier and manufacturer sites, SC network superstructure mapping, and SC optimisation – to evaluate both the economic and environmental impacts of different SC configurations. The application and benefits of the proposed framework have been demonstrated using several industrially motivated case studies.

Training and Development Award

Winner: Croda Site Leadership Behavioural Safety Programme, Croda Singapore Pte. Ltd

Highly Commended: Industrial steam training in Myanma, Spirax Sarco

Summary of winning entry:

Croda’s Site Leadership Behavioural Safety programme aims at fostering a culture of ownership towards caring for its people, communities and environment where everyone is empowered in keeping the manufacturing sites safe and sustainable. The training improves the leadership competence of all first-line supervisors in managing safety behavior consistently. This progressive learning approach is adopted to allow self-reflection at various stages, to ease the process of implementation and acceptance from Croda’s people.

Young Chemical Engineer in Industry of the Year Award

Winner: Hu Yu, Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd

Highly Commended: Leonard Teo, Abbott Manufacturing Singapore

Summary of winning entry:

Hu Yu is a MOE Scholar who graduated from NTU with first class honors in Chemical Engineering. Hu Yu's professional achievements include finding an innovative way to upgrade vaccum tower overhead slop oil to Diesel product directly – an initiative which  resulted in a reduction in operating costs of US$250,000 per year. She has also demonstrated her technical mastery through understanding of product specifications, and optimized product quality with strong commercial mindset, for example minimizing of quality giveaways that saves US$200,000nper year.

Young Chemical Engineer in Research of the Year Award

Winner: Ong Wee Jun, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Highly Commended: Wang Chenghong, National University of Singapore

Summary of winning entry:

Dr Ong Wee Jun received his BEng and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Monash University in 2012 and 2016, respectively. In 2016, he joined Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) under Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) as Research Scientist. His research interests include development of carbonaceous and two dimensional-based nanohybrids (e.g. graphene and graphitic carbon nitride) for artificial photosynthesis and environmental remediation. The main breakthrough of his research is the fabrication of visible-light-responsive photocatalysts for efficient utilization of solar spectrum for CO2 reduction and H2O splitting into energy-rich fuels to mimic the natural photosynthesis in plants.

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