Curtin Sarawak team first from Malaysia to win Honeywell Asia Pacific UniSim Design Challenge

MIRI: A team of four fourth-year chemical engineering students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) become the first from Malaysia to win the 2014 Honeywell Asia Pacific UniSim Design Challenge 2014, a student competition organised by Honeywell and Student Competitions.

Demonstrating the power of teamwork to solve an industry challenge, students Kristy Nyagang, Aw Ying Yin, Chen Wai Mun and Chang Chung Min worked together to improve energy efficiency in a typical turbo-expander plant using an enhanced natural gas liquid (NGL) recovery process.

Kristy and Chen, accompanied by their supervisor and lecturer of chemical engineering Dr. Mesfin Getu Woldetensay, flew to Queensland, Australia last month to attend the prize-giving ceremony, which was held during the 2014 Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Asia-Pacific Symposium. During the event, the team from Curtin Sarawak presented their winning project, took part in group sessions, and networked with potential future employers.


Group photo of (from left) vice president of sales for Honeywell Process Solutions Asia Pacific Joe Spirito, Kristy, Chen and Dr Mesfin at the prize-giving ceremony.

Group photo of (from left) vice president of sales for Honeywell Process Solutions Asia Pacific Joe Spirito, Kristy, Chen and Dr Mesfin at the prize-giving ceremony.


A total of 162 students from 10 countries participated in the challenge. Four criteria were used to judge all the entrants including innovation, industry alignment, benefits and experience or results. The Curtin Sarawak team scored the highest mark in all criteria, particularly in innovation and industry alignment.

The Honeywell UniSim Design Challenge nurtures and promotes talent in the process manufacturing industry among students from higher learning institutions in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

It requires students to utilise the Honeywell UniSim® Design Suite software to design processes to solve critical plant business issues of their choice. Their submissions must demonstrate creativity and innovation, and detail the benefits to be derived from their solutions.

Previous Asia Pacific winners of the Honeywell Asia Pacific UniSim Design Challenge were Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam; University of Sydney, Australia; and Yeungnam University, South Korea.

According to Dr. Mesfin, such competitions provide students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world scenarios and business challenges before entering the workforce.

“It also provides young engineers the best start in their careers. We are very proud of our students’ outstanding achievement,” said Dr. Mesfin.

Honeywell is a global technology leader with business interests in aerospace, automation and control solutions, performance materials and technologies and transportation systems. Student Competitions is a website that list all the world’s most important student competitions, student conferences and other global opportunities dedicated to helping companies, universities and governments attract global talents through competitions.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at, its Facebook page at, Twitter profile at, YouTube channel at, or Instagram at

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