Curtin Sarawak wins silver in research and innovation competition

Chan at her project booth during the competition.

Chan at her project booth during the competition.

MIRI: A research project by Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) petroleum engineering student Chan Mann Shih won her the silver medal at the recent Novel Research & Innovation Competition (NRIC) at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang.

Entitled ‘Experimental Study on Effects of Emulsion in Crude Oil Pipeline Flow’, the project explores the presence of stable water-in-oil emulsions in pipelines that reduce the quality of crude oil, create difficulties in the water-oil separation process and require more retention time in separation vessels, as well as affect the volume and flow behaviour of the crude.

According to Chan, a novel lab-scale flow loop was constructed to study the formation of emulsions through flow shear. The flow loop attempts to replicate actual pipeline flow in the oil and gas industry. The results allow researchers at Curtin Sarawak to reappraise the competing theories of macroemulsions in pipeline flow by assessing the water cut impact on the flow in pipelines.

Chan’s supervisor and Head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Curtin Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor Sharul Sham bin Dol, said the project is one of several being conducted at Curtin Sarawak’s Turbulence and Energy Research Laboratory. The project was funded by the Ministry of Education under its Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS) and the Curtin Sarawak Collaborative Research Scheme. The crude oil used for the project was supplied by PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.

“We are very proud of Mann Shih’s achievement, especially when the recognition is given by a prestigious research university like USM, the only APEX university in Malaysia. It is a testament of our research strengths and the quality of our students,” Associate Professor Sharul remarked.

The NRIC is an annual 2-day competition established in 2006 that has been instilling in university students the importance of incorporating research and development and innovation into their student projects. It has also served as a platform for them to showcase their talents and creative ideas to major industry players.

Themed ‘Transformorphosis – Outshining the Innovationalities’, this year’s competition showcased projects in seven categories: Biological Sciences, Health and Medicinal Sciences, Fundamental Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Information and Communications Technology, Social Transformation and Creative Arts. Young researchers from all over Asia participated in the competition.

Petroleum engineering is one of the fastest-growing fields of study at Curtin Sarawak. The university’s location within the hub of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak offers distinct advantages in terms of industry exposure for its petroleum engineering students and research in the field.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at or find it on Facebook (CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia), Twitter (curtinsarawak), YouTube (CurtinUniSarawak) or Instagram (curtinsarawak).

Chan presenting her research project to the judges.

Chan presenting her research project to the judges.

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