January 10, 2013, by Graham Kendall
Pin Pin Oh and Karol Opara awarded Mikhalevich Award
Pin Pin Oh (Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering), together with Karol Opara, were awarded the Mikhalevich Award for outstanding work by participants of the 3-month Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) organized in the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.
The Mikhalevich Award provides financial support for the winners to return to IIASA for an additional three-month period of research. Out of 49 participants of this year’s YSSP only two were received such an award.
Pin Pin Oh and Karol Opara did collaborative research on kinetic and thermodynamic modeling of biodiesel reaction (transesterification) from 1st June until 30th August 2012 at IIASA. They demonstrated the practical value of interdisciplinary research that integrates knowledge of chemical processes with advanced skills in modeling, statistics, global optimization, and software engineering.
Their collaborative research deals with modeling a membrane reactor which is designed for producing biodiesel in Malaysia. The practical value of the research is obvious, for both the Malaysian economy and the climate change mitigation. While the models adopted for the research are widely used, identification of their parameters required novel approaches to deal with several methodological problems.
They have succeeded to not only solve methodological problems, but also to complete a chain of complex computations, and to show that the proposed methodology actually works. Moreover, all this was achieved in the very short (relative to the research scope and complexity) period of three months, by two researchers who never met before, and have different scientific and cultural backgrounds.
If you want to know more about the program, take a look here.
If you want to contact Pin Pin Oh, her email address is email@example.com