Melbourne chemical engineering students claim Pratt Prize victory

A team of chemical engineering and biomolecular engineering students from the Melbourne School of Engineering has taken out the 2016 Pratt Prize for the best Chemical Engineering Design Project in Victoria.

The winning team, Lachlan Henderson, Huixuan Yu, Rob Murray, Chen-Yu Tsai, Yonathan Christianto and Suya He, developed a method to produce biodiesel from microalgae through a detailed facility design of unit operations.

Chemical Engineering Design Project
Left to right: Suya He, Huixuan Yu, Yonathan Christianto, Chen-Yu Tsai and Robert Pratt (son of Clive Pratt). Absent: Robert Murray and Lachlan Henderson (Photo credit: University of Melbourne)

The award is presented in honour of Professor Henry Reginald Clive Pratt and his contributions to chemical engineering, recognising a Victorian student team presenting the best chemical engineering design project.

The three Victorian universities that offer a degree in Chemical Engineering, the University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT contest the award each year.

Team member Chen-Yu Tsai said that the team worked hard to develop their project and undertake research within the time constraints.

“We are very glad that out hard work was recognized” Chen-Yu said.

“The project was very challenging but the experience is valuable. The design project did not only provide me the chance to apply knowledge from my degree to a real life case, but I have also learnt to solve problems in general and to be a good team player.”

Yonathan Christianto also said that his experience of working on the project was very challenging, yet it was the “best experience” he has had at the university.

The team will now compete for the Australasian Design Project Prize at the Chemeca 2016 conference in September.


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