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Curtin Malaysia’s Nigel Chin wins Young Researcher Award

Miri – 14 May 2019 – Chemical engineering student Nigel Chin Wei Ming of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently won the Young Researcher Award at the 8th International Bioprocessing Association - International Forum on Industrial Bioprocessing (IBA-IFIBiop2019) held in Miri.

IBA-IFIBiop is an international conference organised as a networking platform for academic and industrial researchers and scientists to present and discuss the latest findings and trends in bioprocess technology. IBA-IFIBiop2019 was jointly hosted by Curtin Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).

Chin greatly impressed the 3-member panel of international judges with his presentation entitled ‘Blended Cellulose Acetate /Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Mixed Matrix Membrane for CO2/N2 Separation’ under the Environmental Biotechnology category.

Derived from his final-year research project, Chin’s presentation highlighted how a new mixed matrix membrane (MMM) synthesised by incorporating functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes within the polymer matrix of blend cellulose acetate with acetyl groups performed much better than existing MMMs in gas separation.

According to Chin, this finding has very good potential in membrane gas separation, especially CO2 separation, from industrial pollutant gases.

Chemical engineering senior lecturer Dr. Zeinab Abbas Jawad, who supervised Chin’s project, reiterated that researchers worldwide are now searching for a better way to mitigate greenhouse gases and studies on developing high performance MMM in this regard have been a subject of interest.

She said current results and findings from her research group, including Chin’s work, are some of the breakthroughs towards having more efficient membrane gas separation. This is very encouraging as a part of the global efforts to combat global warming.

In congratulating Chin and Dr. Zeinab on this achievement, Acting Dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science Associate Professor Vincent Lee remarked that it reaffirms that undergraduate research projects at Curtin Malaysia are of high quality, resulting in promising results and findings benefiting the society. He encourages more engineering students to emulate Chin’s example and always aim higher when doing their final-year projects.

Associate Professor Lee also congratulated the organisers of IBA-IFIBiop 2019 on a highly successful conference, which was attended by 165 delegates from 27 different countries and featured seven keynote speakers and more than 170 presentations. He said it was a great honour for Curtin Malaysia to jointly host the prestigious five-day international conference with UTP for the first time in Malaysia, and moreover in Miri.

IBA-IFIBiop was initiated 2004 when the first conference was held in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Since then, the forum has been held biennially with the last two editions held in Wuxi, China in 2017 and in Miri earlier this month.

With the theme ‘Bridging Sustainability and Industrial Revolution through Green Bioprocessing’, IBA-IFIBiop 2019 was divided into five tracks, namely Bioenergy & Biofuels, Environmental Biotechnology, Food Technology & Engineering, Industrial Biotechnology and Upstream & Downstream Bioprocesses. For more information about IBA-IFIBiop 2019, visit

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (, its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia), YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia) or LinkedIn page (Curtin Malaysia).

Chin (centre) with his award, flanked by Dr Zeinab and Associate Professor Lee.