Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Questions from Mr Kevin Kho

1.What have you learned about chemical production? -I learned that chemical production is a tedious task, as we always need to analyse our product in the process of making it. Depending on the chemical, the difficulty in production differs. 2.What have you appreciated about sampling and analysis? -Sampling and analysis can take long periods of time, and during this time, we must always think about what can we do to improve the product. 3.What have you learned about science and engineering? -I learned that both Science and Engineering both require hard work and perseverance, also, we need to have patience. 4,What have you learned about yourself? -I learned that I tend to be more impatient and restless than others. I also find that I tend to be rigid and stubborn on the way I do things.

Second Day

Today, my group went to the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. There, we met our project supervisor, Mr Kevin Kho, as well as some of his students, who were either undergraduates or PHD students. I felt very grateful for they are willing to spend their time teaching and guiding us along the way. After spending about an hour in the morning talking to us about himself and the challenges that Earth faces, Mr Kevin Kho brought us to the laboratory where we done our distillation project. He first went through how the machine distillates, not to mention about how the Gas Chromatography (CG) machine worked. After going through the machines in the lab, Mr Kho proceeded to let us use the machines. He had given us some conditions and we were expected to get some results through the use of the machines in the lab. Although my group faced some challenges in completing this task, we all felt that the activity was interesting and fruitful. Here comes our project challenge. We were expected to produce a solution with 77% ethanol with a variation of 0.2%. We were only supposed to use the Distillation column and the Gas Chromatography machine. Though we failed to do so, we found this challenge to be fun. At the end of all these, we ended up reaching back to our rooms very late and we were all very tired. During this day, I learned how the distillation column and Gas Chromatography machine worked. Also we learned that we must have vision and persevere to the very end. At first, I thought that distillation only had to do with the separation of mixtures, but during this project, I found out that through distillation ad Gas Chromatography, much more things can be achieved, but it still required effort. Currently right now, there is not much that I can find where I can apply this discipline, but it is more of the perseverance part which could really impact my life in the future. I find that today was much more engaging for the students as compared to the first day where the main focus was on the plenary sessions. But as engaging as it can be, we still need to be disciplined and put in effort in order to complete a task.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Day

The project that I am doing is Project Number 4, Operation of a Model Refinery Distillation Column. At first when I heard about this project, I had absolutely no idea this was about, so I had decided to opt for this project out of curiosity. Now that I have a brief idea about what this project is about, I think that the interesting part about this project is that we get to know more about what we use every day, fuel. Through this project, we can learn how these fuels come about, as well as how a certain type of liquid are separated from others. To me, that sounds quite interesting. One of the main questions I have about this project is how difficult will it be. Once I had looked into the project manual, I saw all the equations and felt intimidated. But that is also another reason why I feel determined to do this project well, because I want to find out what do those equations mean. Another question I had was how was this project going to be like? Being with two strangers I have never met before, can I work well with them? For the Plenary Sessions, I missed the first one as I had Math Olympiad, but I made it in time for the second and third ones. During the second plenary session, I learned about the difference between 3-Dimensional and 2-Dimensional animation, especially about the production. I also learned from the plenary Session that due to advancements in Technology and recent innovations, 2-Dimensional animation has become less tedious to produce as it uses computer programs to link between fixed frames. From the third plenary session, I learned about the advancements is nanotechnology, not to mention the possible applications of nanotechnology in our daily lives. For example, cures for cancer. It was an interesting and new experience for me, pity I missed the first plenary session.