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Curtin Malaysia co-hosts 8th IBA-IFIBiop conference in Miri

Miri – 7 May 2019 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) jointly hosted the 8th International Bioprocessing Association (IBA) International Forum on Industrial Bioprocessing (IBA-IFIBiop 2019) here recently, the first time it was held in Malaysia.

IBA-IFIBiop is a biennial 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.

Since then, the forum has been regularly organised with the latest editions being held in Wuxi, China in 2017 and in Miri, Malaysia this year. Initiated in 2004 when the first conference was held in Clermont-Ferrand, France, it is one of the world’s most prestigious networking forums, attracting participants from across the world.

The five-day IBA-IFIBiop 2019 was attended by 165 delegates from 27 countries and featured seven keynote speakers, 48 invited speakers and more than 170 presentations.

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.

Curtin Malaysia Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski was present at the conference closing ceremony where, in his speech, he expressed Curtin Malaysia’s pride in co-hosting such a prestigious international conference with UTP in Miri.

He said Curtin Malaysia was well placed to host such a conference, being a regional leader in research and development, with research-active academics who have won international awards and continue to spearhead important research initiatives and work with industry partners and fellow academics around the world.

Professor Mienczakowski added that this, and the establishment of the multi-disciplinary Curtin Malaysia Research Institute and Sarawak government-funded Miri BioValley pilot plant facility for biotechnological research at its campus, were testimony of its commitment to high-impact research and becoming a scientifically-based solutions provider to industry.

“In recent years, our research activity has experienced extremely strong growth, both in volume and significance, and we intend to take our research to a whole new level in the coming years,” Professor Mienczakowski remarked.

Also present at the conference were Mayor of Miri Adam Yii, UTP Vice-Chancellor cum patron of IBA-IFIBiop 2019 Professor Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, Curtin Malaysia Dean of Research and Development Professor Clem Kuek, International Bioprocessing Association (IBA) President Professor Duu Jong Lee, IBA International Coordinator Professor Ashok Pandey, IBA-IFIBiop 2019 chair Professor Suzana Yusup, IBA-IFIBiop 2019 co-chair Dr Bridgid Chin Lai Fui, and Acting Dean of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science Associate Professor Vincent Lee Chieng Chen.

During IBA-IFIBiop 2019, Curtin Malaysia chemical engineering student Nigel Chin Wei Ming won the IBA-IFIBiop Young Researcher Award under the Environmental Biotechnology category. Chin greatly impressed the international panel of judges with his presentation entitled ‘Blended Cellulose Acetate /Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Mixed Matrix Membrane for CO2/N2 Separation’, which was derived from his final year research project.

His research project has shown that 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 MMM for gas separation. This finding has good potential in membrane gas separation, especially CO2 separation from industrial pollutant gases.

Among the sponsors of IBA-IFIBiop 2019 were Sarawak Convention Bureau (Platinum Sponsor), KLK Oleomas Sdn Bhd and Institute of Self-Sustainable Building (Gold Sponsors),  Transwater and Sarawak Oil Palms (Bronze Sponsors).

The conference was also supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, Sirim, Miri City Council, Malaysia Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Avantis Laboratory Supply, Medical Resources Sdn Bhd, Teraju IP and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).

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).

The large gathering of international academic and industrial researchers and scientists at IBA-IFIBiop 2019.

Some of the international delegates at the conference.

One of the panel forums in session.

Professor Mienczakowski delivering his speech at the closing of IBA-IFIBiop 2019.