UTAR Student Comes Out Tops in National CompetitionJuly 28, 2017
Yong Jun Xin succeeded in making his alma mater proud, as the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) graduate emerged victorious in the Institute of Engineers Malaysia’s Chemical Research Paper competition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
The competition was not taken lightly by Yong, evident from the subject matter of his paper as well as his description of its completion, spelling out the laborious process that went on behind the scenes.
“The research was completed in 1-year duration as final year projects are compulsory for completion of study. Starting up the research, especially with my chosen topic was tough, as this particular topic was never explored previously at UTAR”.
The topic Yong refers to of course, isn’t for the faint of heart, or those not well versed with the palm oil industry and it’s numerous methods and procedures. While Yong passionately elaborated on his entire paper with intricate detail, when asked to simplify, he touched on two low-value by products; palm kernel cake and crude glycerol, and how are both promising feedstock to be used in the production of substances which have a much higher value in the market.
Yong harbours hope that the main takeaway from the paper would lead to a development of an interest for using renewable resources to produce bio-based polyols and polyurethane foam (PU). “This process can convert non-valuable agricultural waste into high profit valuable product and solve the disposal and environmental issue due to excess agricultural waste is not treated properly” Yong was grateful to UTAR for helping him, not only in the competition, but throughout his entire four-year stay with the institute while studying petrochemical engineering.
“UTAR provides good facilities for the students and is blessed with experienced professors and lecturers that openly share their knowledge. I would like to express my gratitude to all the professors, lecturers and friends in UTAR that helped mould me to become who I am today”.
While research was a remarkably rewarding experience for Yong, what may seem like a sad conclusion to the story to some, he does not intend to continue on in his research journey, at least not for now, instead opting to turn his attention to his career as a petrochemical engineer. Nonetheless, he hopes the future students of UTAR will take up the mantle that he has left them with, clearly with a vision of changing Malaysia for the better, and perhaps greener as well.
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