Digital Twins Are a Win-win at IChemE Global Awards

  • November 18, 2022
  • News
Digital Twins Are a Win-win at IChemE Global Awards
Digital Twins Are a Win-win at IChemE Global Awards

Nov. 17, 2022 - UK nuclear giant Sellafield Ltd and the National Nuclear Laboratory scooped the Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil, at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Global Awards, held tonight at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester, UK. 

Their collaborative project, which utilises digital twinning technology to optimise the facility used to treat radioactive effluent from nuclear decommissioning and operational facilities, won the Water Award earlier in the evening, and the judges were so impressed that they crowned Sellafield and the National Nuclear Laboratory overall winners of the IChemE Global Awards 2022. 

By accurately replicating the behaviour of a treatment plant, the project enables the optimisation of plant control and performance. The model has been internationally recognised as best practice for nuclear facilities and has been identified as business critical to the UK Government. 

Head Judge Keith Batchelor said, “In the midst of 14 worthy winners across different fields of engineering, this project stood out because it supports almost all UK nuclear activities which are set to become increasingly important as we grapple with current energy issues and the need to safely increase nuclear contribution as we move towards net zero. Most critically, it protects local and international populations from the significant impact of effluent discharged to sea. Well done to Sellafield and the National Nuclear Laboratory.” 

Sellafield were also awarded the Process Safety Award for their work to safely remove highly hazardous waste from the 1960s-built Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) on their site. 

The evening, hosted by television and radio host Reverend Richard Coles, saw 12 winning teams and two individual winners take home 18 coveted trophies from the most prestigious awards in the chemical engineering profession. 

Another joint project from the Department of Sewage Treatment Plants and Networks, Dubai Municipality, and Alserkal Group (Envirol), UAE, won the Sustainability Award for their integrated recycling programme that processes about 18 million gallons of fat, oil and gas (FOG) waste from thousands of hotels and restaurants annually. This initiative has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and sea pollution, improved public health, and lowered the costs of sewer infrastructure for the region. This project was also Highly Commended in the Public Engagement category. 

The health supplement that won TRU-MK7 the Innovative Product Award was created by company founder Dr Aydin Berenjian to bring his mother relief from joint discomfort. The New Zealand start-up developed an efficient and environmentally friendly fermentation process for the health supplement Menaquinone-7 (MK7) which supports joint health. After almost a decade of research, the product is now protected by provisional patents and was successfully launched in the New Zealand market in 2021. 

The Chemical Engineering Research Society (CERS) of the University of New South Wales, Australia, scooped the Public Engagement Award for their work to empower research students and create a collaborative, diverse and inclusive place for the chemical engineering research community. Within their inaugural year, they connected more than 250 members, established relationships with over 40 companies and raised more than AU$18,000 to support events. 

The Research Project Award went to North Carolina State University, USA, the Norwegian University of Science & Technology and SINTEF Industry, Norway for a unique advancement in membrane technology that allowed them to engineer ultra-selective CO2-separation membranes which help remove CO2 from fossil fuels. 

Emma Claxton, process engineer at PM Group, UK, took home the Young Industrialist Award. Emma was praised for her technical competence and enhancement of safety standards, while her work in robotics is making labour-intensive drug therapies more freely accessible. Emma is also driving positive change for women in chemical engineering and inspiring young women into STEM roles.   

The Young Researcher Award saw Dr Thomas Heenan from University College London, UK, was recognised for making substantial contributions to research and enterprise. To date, Heenan has published over 60 articles with more than 1,800 citations. He strongly believes that the translation of fundamental research into tangible, real-world applications is important and advocates for open-source publishing. He has established several data archives that are freely available to all. 

There was global representation across the award categories with winners and highly commended finalists from Norway, South Africa, Serbia, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.  

IChemE President David Bogle said, “The IChemE Global Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the best of our profession and it gave me great pleasure to welcome our finalists and guests for what was a fantastic evening celebrating chemical engineering in IChemE’s centenary year.   

“I particularly welcomed the focus on sustainability across the award categories, which clearly demonstrates how chemical engineers are already contributing to addressing some of society’s major challenges due to their knowledge, innovation and commitment. Congratulations to all our winners. We hope their achievements inspire companies, teams and individuals to make further advances as chemical engineers will be critical to delivering solutions in the future. 

“Thank you to everyone who entered, our sponsors, and to our committed and knowledgeable volunteer judges who embraced the monumental task of reviewing each finalist’s submission and selecting the winners.” 
For more information on the IChemE Global Awards visit the website.
 

Official winners of the IChemE Global Awards 2022 

Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering Award sponsored by Exxon Mobil 
Winner: Sellafield Ltd and National Nuclear Laboratory, UK – Process Flow Smoothing Optimisation of Nationally Critical Nuclear Infrastructure 
 
Best Consultancy Award 
Winner: Wood, UK – Wood Consulting: Shaping a Sustainable Future 
Highly commended: 
Gexcon, Norway – Process Safety in the Energy Transition  
WSP Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, UK – Yanbu City Water Re-use  
 
Business Start-up Award 
Sponsored by Sellafield Ltd 
Winner: Metcelerate, UK – Metcelerate: Professional Formation for Minerals Engineers 
Highly commended: 
Kagera AI, Serbia – PySAFETY 
TRU-MK7, New Zealand – New Generation of Joint Supplement 
 
Diversity and Inclusion Award 
Sponsored by Bouygues Energies & Services 
Winner: WSP, UK – WSP: Diversity and Inclusion Award 
Highly commended: 
Loughborough University, UK – The Invisible Leaky Pipelines 
Rolls-Royce, UK – Engineering is for Everyone 
 
Energy Award 
Sponsored by Rolls-Royce 
Winner: C-Capture, UK – Innovative Carbon Capture Solvent Technology 
Highly commended: 
Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES); University of Birmingham and The Boro’ Foundry, UK – Industrial Waste Valorisation for Waste-Heat-Recovery 
Johnson Matthey, UK – HyCOgen TM Technology Development  
 
Industry Project Award 
Sponsored by WSP 
Winner: Dow Inc. and University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign, USA – Sustainable Processing of Quantum Confined Materials 
Highly commended: 
Descon Oxychem, Pakistan – ENERCON (Energy Conservation) Project  
Rolls-Royce, UK – Submarines Integrated Plant and Site Justification 
 
Innovative Product Award 
Winner: TRU-MK7, New Zealand – New Generation of Joint Supplement 
Highly commended: 
Axiom Engineering Associates, UK – Axea: Your Asset Lifecycle Digital Tool 
Naturbeads, UK – Cellulose Solutions for a Green Planet  
 
Oil and Gas Award 
Sponsored by IChemE Oil & Natural Gas Special Interest Group  
Winner: University College London, UK – Methane to Valuable Chemicals 
Highly commended: 
National Energy Technology Laboratory, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), North Dakota Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Research Program (NDIC OGRP) and Nuverra Environmental Solutions, USA – Produced Water Management Through GHCR  
North Carolina State University, USA, Norwegian University of Science & Technology and SINTEF Industry, Norway – 2nd-Generation Carbon-capture Polymer Membranes 
 
Process Automation and Digitalisation Award 
Sponsored by PM Group 
Winner: BP International, UK and Veolia WTS, Germany – Anti-fouling Treatment with Dynamic Predictive Modelling 
Highly commended: 
BP International, UK and Nalco Water, USA – CDU Overhead Process Control and Automation  
Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Aramco’s Digital Oil Hub 
 
Process Safety Award 
Sponsored by PM Group 
Winner: Sellafield Ltd, UK – MSSS - the Beginning of the End 
Highly commended:  
BP International, UK – Ultra-low Naphthalene 3-in-1 Fuel Additive  
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan – Hidden Process Hazard by Weather Factor 
 
Public Engagement Award 
Sponsored by The Chemical Engineer 
Winner: Chemical Engineering Research Society (CERS); University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia – The Inaugural Year of CERS UNSW 
Highly commended: 
Department of Sewage Treatment Plants and Networks; Dubai Municipality and Alserkal Group (Envirol), UAE – Implementation of FOG Recycling Program  
Optimal Systems Engineering, Malaysia – COPE-BEST 
 
Research Project Award 
Sponsored by Chemical Engineering Research and Design Journal 
Winner: North Carolina State University, USA, Norwegian University of Science & Technology and SINTEF Industry, Norway – 2nd-Generation Carbon-capture Polymer Membranes 
Highly commended:  
Reactor Technology Research Group; University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – Hetero-coagulants for Water Treatment 
Sellafield Ltd, Gamechangers and Sensor Driven, UK – SMART Sensors for Can Monitoring 
 
Sustainability Award 
Sponsored by IChemE Sustainability Hub 
Winner: Department of Sewage Treatment Plants and Networks; Dubai Municipality and Alserkal Group (Envirol), UAE – Implementation of FOG Recycling Program 
Highly commended: Naturbeads, UK – Cellulose Solutions for a Green Planet 
Johnson Matthey, UK – HyCOgenTM Technology Development 
 
Team Award 
Sponsored by BakerHicks 
Winner: Sellafield Ltd and Loughborough University, UK – Collaborating to Develop Nuclear Chemical Engineering Skills 
Highly commended: 
Johnson Matthey, UK and Virent, USA – Introducing the BioForming® Process Technology  
Sellafield Ltd and Frazer-Nash, UK – To Retrieve or not to Retrieve 
 
Training and Development Award 
Sponsored by The Chemical Engineer  
Winner: Harbour Energy, UK – Fostering Process Safety Culture Through Innovation 
Highly commended: 
Metcelerate, UK – Metcelerate: Professional Formation for Minerals Engineers  
United Utilities, UK – UU Graduate Scheme 
 
Water Award 
Sponsored by IChemE Water Special Interest Group 
Winner: Sellafield Ltd and National Nuclear Laboratory, UK – Process Flow Smoothing Optimisation of Nationally Critical Nuclear Infrastructure 
Highly commended: 
EPOC Enviro, Australia and Envytech Solutions, Sweden – Remediation of PFAS - Contaminated Water Streams  
Hydroxsys, New Zealand – Smarter Filtration for a Cleaner World  
 
Young Industrialist Award 
Sponsored by BES 
Winner: Emma Claxton – PM Group, UK 
Highly commended: 
Alex Varvaris – Aurecon and University of Adelaide, Australia 
Chelsea Cormack – GSK, UK 
 
Young Researcher Award 
Sponsored by Johnson Matthey 
Winner: Thomas Heenan – University College London, UK 
Highly commended:  
Neil Robinson – The University of Western Australia 
Vasileios Charitopoulos – University College London, UK 
 

About IChemE 

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering's contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. We support the development of chemical engineering professionals and provide connections to a powerful network of over 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. 

We support our members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organisation permitted to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration.


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