30th Symposium of Malaysian Chemical Engineers

Delegate information

Keynote speakers

There will be four keynote speakers representing: Policy; Business; Health and Safety; and Palm Oil Processing

Keynote speakers 

christinaphangDr Christina Phang FIChemE CFSP, Managing Partner, ERM
"Addressing the Process Safety Divide"

What is the cost of a process safety incident or accident? Over the recent years, we have seen key multinationals paying significant    sums of money ranging from $1.6 to $20 billion in damage compensation caused by major accidents at their facilities. There is also    the other dimension of reputational impact which is difficult to quantify in monetary terms. We need to post the question “Has the risk profiles of major hazard industries increased compared to say, 30 years ago?” Or “Is it the increased awareness of process safety risks and/or the publicity of major accidents in the recent years the key reason why it cost more for companies when a major accident event occurs at their facilities?” This keynote address will aim to challenge our current approach in addressing the process safety conundrum, in particular the way that this important topic is being introduced at institutions of higher learning and also how this knowledge is sustained through an engineer’s career. As engineers, we should continually challenge the way we deliver our work and how we can directly influence technical and management decisions that will potentially impact how major accident hazards are identified and assessed to enable robust preventive and control measures to be incorporated early in the design development and implemented in the facility operations such that risks from major accident events are managed to levels that are ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable). We need to explore ways to expand and secure cross‐functional commitment to process safety in order to avoid situations where safety and costs become competing objectives.


RobertBruceRobert J. Bruce AFIChemE, Director S E Asia Operations, MMI Engineering
"Is there a need for a First Principles Curriculum"

There are continuing pressures in the academic world to compress more and more technical information into the curriculum. But is this coming at the cost of a more robust understanding of basic principles. Who is driving this trend ? industry, students, professional organizations ? Have designs become more complex because we have a work force that more readily turns to advanced techniques at the cost of simpler and typically more inherently safe designs. Are we driving common sense and practicality out of our curriculum.


UnnithanU.R. Unnithan CEng FIChemE, Founder & CEO of Sumwin
"Palm Oil Processing & Products"

The Malaysian Palm Oil industry is a significant contributor to the Malaysian GDP, contributing over RM 65 Billion. Over the years it has mainly remained a commodity skewed industry that is dependent on supply & demand in the global vegetable oil market and in the past 10 years is also linked to the Crude Petroleum market because of the Biodiesel industry.

The Palm Oil processing industry is a high volume low margin business. Because of this the Malaysian Palm Oil industry has embarked on a value-addition strategy to improve margins. A selected number of companies have invested in R&D commercialization to produce value added Food, Oleo-chemicals, Neutraceuticals, Food Ingredients and Animal feed products.  However, many of these companies do not have a huge R&D set up, and rely on fundamental work on a lab scale carried out at a University or a Research Institution such as MPOB. Commercialization of such a technology requires inherent strength and good attempts have been made in bridging this University/Research Institution- Industry Divide.

These companies have used Technology as an enabler to create a clear differentiation in the market or have identified gaps in the market and have come up with tailor made solutions. The value addition potential of such a strategy is huge but it comes with its associated technology and marketing risks.  This paper gives an insight in to some such strategies and a glimpse in to the mind set of leaders in such businesses and takes participants through a journey of what it takes to succeed in embarking on such a strategy. The paper will highlight some case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of such a strategy.


ProfAzizProf Ir Dr Abdul Aziz Abdul Raman CEng FIChemE, Professor of Chemical Engineering, UM
"Business and Research Opportunities in the Environmental Field"

Environmental related business and research activities have been on the rise in recent decades in Malaysia. It is estimated that annual business opportunities in environmental field is more RM 10 billion a year in Malaysia. In terms of research, more than 10% of the funding for research is related to environmental field directly or indirectly. There is still a significant need to develop localized and customized products & services, systems, processes and technologies related to environment. The opportunities available covers areas such as green energy generation, waste treatment technologies, recovery of resources from waste and manufacturing of green products for various application such as industrial cleaning chemical and producing natural dyes.  The presenter will be briefly assessing major opportunities available in Malaysia in general and specific terms. Some of the recent developments and selected success stories will be also shared during the presentation.

The increased in the business opportunities in this area are mainly due to changes in legislations, international commitment and societal demands. The presenter will be exploring these aspects in detail with examples.  Current challenges and way forward for research and business communities to work together in realizing the opportunities available will be also proposed by the presenter. The presentation will highlight the advantages that chemical engineers have in benefitting from the opportunities available.  This presentation will be suitable for participants from the industries and academia.

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).