Recognising student talent (Day 277)

MacNab Lacey Medal
MacNab Lacey Medal

I always like to hear about the achievements of chemical engineering students around the world.  IChemE has a long history of recognising such achievements and its a great way of  encouraging and nurturing future talent.

The Macnab Lacey Prize was created when the McNab Medal for the best student design project and the Lacey Prize for environmental thinking were merged in 2011. It is open to final-year students from all IChemE-accredited universities, rewarding the project that best contributes to a sustainable world.

I am pleased to report that a student team from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has won this year’s MacNab Lacey Prize. And they must be doing something right at Monash, because their undergraduates have grabbed the Prize two years running.

Monash University’s winning entry was a conceptual design that determines the feasibility of using black liquor (a lignin rich co-product of wood pulp produced in paper production) as a renewable feed-stock for ammonia production.

Continue reading Recognising student talent (Day 277)

Fruit flies, canaries, wine and chemical hazards (Day 165)

CanaryIt is less than 30 years since the canary was made ‘redundant’ in UK coal mines. For over 80 years, two canaries were employed by each coal pit to help detect carbon monoxide.

The science of smell and odours is of great importance to the chemical and process industries.

We have duties to ensure outdoor odours are measured, detected and abated and methods are becoming more sophisticated.

There has also been work to create artificial noses and mimic the human sense of smell.

Continue reading Fruit flies, canaries, wine and chemical hazards (Day 165)

A golden age for sensors (Day 49)

Monash's new sensor has great potential for monitoring people's health anytime and anywhere.
Monash’s new sensor has great potential for monitoring people’s health anytime and anywhere.

Healthcare policy ebbs and flows on a regular basis, especially in countries where the state provides tax-payer funded services like here in the UK.

However, although medicines, equipment, communication and facilities have all generally improved over time, the basic management of healthcare services and the business models for delivering them often seem in a state of constant flux.

A good example is where healthcare is best provided – in homes, communities or large centralised hospitals. Generally, I think it is a combination of all of these, but there has been a trend over the past few decades to more community- and home-based services, especially for the elderly.

Continue reading A golden age for sensors (Day 49)