Engineering change at Imperial

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Malaysia – Another UCSI student will drive cutting-edge research in functional particles at Imperial College London this summer. She will work alongside world-class researchers who advance knowledge in particle, materials and surface science.

Third-year chemical engineering student Lee May Yan was recently selected to further the progress of the Cenosphere Enhancement and Optimisation Project at Imperial – an initiative that seeks to improve existing methods of cenosphere extraction.

“The current extraction methods are rather time-consuming,” explains May Yan to the press. “Coal fly ash must first be pre-treated – by undergoing a process called sifting – until it reaches a suitable particle size. It is then measured and heated at high temperatures to make the ash particles hollow, to the point where the particles have less density than water.

“Apart from advancing existing research findings on functional particles, I’ll also work to identify new ways to utilise cenosphere.”

Cenosphere is primarily used to create lightweight cement. It is also a good filler for polymers and its benefits are well-noted, particularly in the construction industry. Cement made with cenosphere is much lighter and this eases the burden shouldered by construction workers on a daily basis.

May Yan’s endeavours in London will further the progress made by Soh Wei Ming, her UCSI senior who was first selected to drive research at Imperial with his classmate, Leon Tan Kuan Leong, in 2015. May Yan’s selection is the latest milestone in UCSI’s Star Trek programme – an initiative that sees UCSI collaborating with the world’s best universities, opening doors for students and staff.

Star Trek began in 2014 when UCSI’s top medical student was selected for a year-long research programme at Harvard Medical School. This was followed with the selection of two engineering students to further research at Imperial in 2015. Since then, more students have been selected on an annual basis and more arrangements will be made with other institutions and research centres of global repute.