Several school students were recognised for excellence in science and engineering this week, receiving Awards for projects that used chemical engineering skills and thinking. They were presented with the Awards at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Singapore Annual General Meeting, held at NUSS Suntec City Guild House on 19 June.
The students were participants in the annual Singapore Science & Engineering Fair (SSEF). The Fair is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education, Science Centre and A*Star, and is a nationwide competition to promote science and engineering in schools, targeting primarily O-Level and A-Level students.
A new category was created for 2018, in partnership with IChemE, which has an international membership exceeding 40,000 in around 100 countries, to recognise projects in chemical engineering. The winning projects were awarded for their originality, use of natural resources, energy, and degree of complexity.
In the Junior College category (A Level), Liu Yan Xi was awarded First Prize for her project; A full water electrolyzer with earth abundant materials. Liu, a student at the Anglo-Chinese Junior College, has found potential in using cheaper and more abundant materials such as Copper Cobolt Phosphate and Oxide as cheaper alternatives to Platinum and Silver for electrolysis.
Pramath Krishna, a student at the Anglo-Chinese Independent School, was awarded Second Prize for his project; A full effect of limonene on the physicochemical properties of biodiesel. He discovered that limonene was good as a soot suppressant, improved stability of the biodiesel, and decreased the fuels density - but had no effect on the flash point of the fuel.
He said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed this project, and this competition has made me seriously consider taking up chemical engineering at university.”
In the Secondary School category (O Level), National Junior College’s Ashley Chng received First Prize for her project; Optimising a Plant (Red Flame Ivy) Microbial Fuel Cell as a Sustainable Electricity Source. Ashley’s research has found that natural plant-based oxidising and reducing agents can be an alternative to more toxic chemically derived oxidising agents for use in fuel cells.
Second prize was awarded to two students at the Hwa Chong Institution, Tan Kai Xuan and Keith Vong Tin Wai. Their project, Optimising the Efficiency and Reusability of Ionic Liquids in the Extraction of Lipids from Microalgae found that you could recover and reuse the ionic liquids to significantly improve the extraction rate of lipids without losing efficacy of the extraction.
Joe Eades, Chair of IChemE Singapore, presented the Awards and said, “The SSEF is a great platform for budding scientists and engineers of the future to showcase their passion in their respective fields as well as being able to communicate their findings to experts from the industry.”
Several changes to the IChemE in Singapore constitution were put forward at the AGM. They were subsequently approved by the members in attendance with a 100% vote in favour.
New members to the IChemE Singapore Board were also appointed at the meeting. They are Lucas Ng taking over as Chair of the Safety and Loss Prevention SIG and Tay Kian Hock as Chair of the College of Fellows in Singapore, the rest of the board are continuing for another year.