UBC student wins Honeywell award
June 14, 2012
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
A University of British Columbia engineering graduate who used advanced software to enhance a new process for plastic waste disposal has won a prestigious award from Honeywell.
Bryan Gene was named the winner of the 2012 UniSim Design Challenge, an annual university student competition held in conjunction with the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas Symposium. HUG Americas is the company’s largest conference for its customers in the process manufacturing industries.
UniSim is Honeywell’s software used by industrial manufacturers to design and test manufacturing processes before they are implemented in refineries, chemical plants, power plants and other industrial facilities. It also is used to improve production and safety by training personnel offline to operate these processes.
Gene, who received his chemical engineering degree last month from the university, used UniSim to effectively model pyrolysis, a process that can be used to convert plastic waste that ordinarily would be sent to landfills into a synthetic crude oil. This process, however, is still emerging and manufacturers face challenges in making it more economical. Using the software’s existing database, Gene characterized non-conventional plastics and produced preliminary models for all major units of the pyrolysis process. Gene will showcase his winning design to more than 1,000 industry experts and manufacturing companies at HUG Americas, taking place this week in Phoenix.
“Many people view our customers’ industries as traditional areas that employ the same processes for decades, but the truth is that they’re constantly looking for innovative ways to perform their daily jobs more effectively,” Bradd Schneider, vice president of sales, Honeywell Process Solutions, said in a statement. “Bryan Gene’s proposal embodies the type of innovation our customers want and need. Production demands will only continue to rise, so finding ways to continuously improve plant safety, reliability and efficiency will continue to be a top priority.”
“By submitting designs in the competition, students had the opportunity to work with actual tools used on a day-to-day basis in manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Dusko Posarac, chemical and biological engineering professor at the University of British Columbia. “The design challenge gave our students a hands-on experience to apply the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom to address real-world issues facing manufacturing companies today.”
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