For the News category

My Official Website

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This is my semi official website that I used for work (teaching, research etc). However, my faculty just created a new website for all of us, the academic staffs. Hence, I have a new website, an official one. Check it out: It is still under construction in terms of content. I may need quite some time to have all contents posted in it.

Will definitely announce it again once the official website is 90% completed.

What is POWERWALL? Do we need a powerwall?

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Have you heard about Powerwall? When I first heard/read about it, I have no clue what it is. I read more about it from their website. Then I found the answer.

So, what is a Powerwall?

My understanding… It is a huge computer screen, bigger than any monitor that I have seen before. It cannot be positioned on a table. It can only be fixed on a wall. Hence, any data interpretation/analysis that requires huge display can be easily monitored via the Powerwall.

The actual detail about Powerwall is as follows:

The powerwall has a large rear projection surface of 5.20 m x 2.15 m which is illuminated by 8 networked and synchronised projectors. Thanks to the high resolution of 4640 x 1920 pixels and the soft-edge blending that provides an overall picture with no overlapping, it is possible to picture large quantities of data down to an extreme level of detail.


For us chemical engineer, is Powerwall relevant for us?

I believe it is especially when massive data interpretation and analysis are involved. Also when there are several pages of data, it ease data comparison and analysis. Information that need to be zoomed, can also be viewed clearly as the screen is massively huge. Don’t you agree with me?

More information about Powerwall can be referred here.

Is Cyanobacterium the Answer for the REAL Renewable Energy?

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After lunch just now, I read the latest buzz via and I stumbled upon a news that attracts my attention. Since I’m involve in the renewable energy research area, I found the title quite catchy and I could not resist reading it… The title of the article:

Mass. Company making diesel with sun, water, CO2

Is this really the answer for the renewable energy dilemma? Joule Unlimited, the company that developed organism called cyanobacterium claims that the fuel produced is almost like diesel and ethanol. They make the fuel from natural resources such as sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The most interesting thing is that they say, with the emergence of this new technology, they can eliminate the middle man!!! Who is the middle man?

The answer is “biomass”.

For further reading, click here.

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Name change highlights links between engineering and biology

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nanotechnologyThis news is adopted from Princeton University website.

Reflecting the growing intersection of biology and engineering, the Department of Chemical Engineering will change its name as of July 1, 2010, to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

“Adding ‘biological’ to our name makes a public statement,” said Richard Register, who chairs the department. “It signals to the community — especially prospective graduate students and faculty — our commitment to leading in this area of great scientific and social importance.”

The name change was formally approved at the Faculty Meeting on Dec. 7.

The field of chemical engineering has had longstanding ties to biology, Register noted. Fermentation processes, discovered millennia ago, became a modern tool for chemical production and most recently in making advanced biofuels. Chemical engineers pioneered the use of polymeric materials (plastics) for implantable medical devices and controlled drug delivery.

These connections have developed rapidly in the last decade, and now about a third of the department’s faculty members focus a significant portion of their research on questions related to biology. Two senior faculty members, Christodoulos Floudas and Robert Prud’homme, have moved much of their research into biological engineering. Floudas collaborates with biologists to apply his expertise in optimization to the analysis and design of proteins. Prud’homme has leveraged his understanding of polymers and nanoscale processes to develop innovative drug-delivery technologies.

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Beale Awarded Safety Medal

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safetymedalChris Beale, senior safety consultant at Ciba Specialty Chemicals, was presented with the Frank Lees Medal at IChemE’s Hazards XXI symposium in Manchester, UK last week.

The medal is presented every year to the person who has authored the best safety and loss prevention publication.

Beale was awarded the 2008 medal in recognition of his paper, The Causes of IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) Leaks at Chemical Plants – An Analysis of Operating Experience, presented at Hazards XX in April last year.

The medal was presented to Beale by IChemE Safety and Loss Prevention Subject Group chair, Mike Considine and named after the late Professor Frank Lees, author of Loss prevention in the process industries and a leading chemical engineering academic at Loughborough University.

IChemE chief executive, David Brown says: “Safety and loss prevention remain as important to the process industries today as ever before. IChemE strives to recognize the most outstanding work in the field and I congratulate Chris on his achievement.”

About Chemical Engineers
Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths and economics to the process of turning raw materials into everyday products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.

About IChemE
IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) is the hub for chemical, biochemical and process engineering professionals worldwide. With a growing global membership of some 30,000, the Institution is at the heart of the process community, promoting competence and a commitment to best practice, advancing the discipline for the benefit of society, encouraging young people in science and engineering and supporting the professional development of its members. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Institution of Chemical Engineers

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