Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) researcher Associate Professor Dr Suzana Yusup has added to the illustrious history of the university with her recent recognition at the Malaysia's Rising Star Award (MRSA) 2016. UTP was also the only private university to attain this recognition.
Suzana was awarded under the category Highly Cited Review for Women in Science Award. She received the award from the Minister of Higher Education, Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh during the Malaysia's Rising Star Award and National Research Publications Incentive Scheme (CREAM) 2016 ceremony in Putrajaya recently. Other award categories presented were Frontier Researcher and Young Researcher.
MRSA recognises the outstanding achievement of Malaysian scientific scholarly output based on citations of their published papers in quality international journals as indexed in Web of Science and Scopus.
The programme aims to encourage Malaysian researchers to continue their ground breaking research in their respective fields and advance global science.
Dr Suzana, who is attached to the Chemical Engineering Department UTP, is a pioneer in the establishment of biomass research areas at UTP.
Deeply involved in both research activities as well as in academia, the list of her accomplishments is indeed long and her successes are to be lauded.
She has published in numerous journals, articles and conferences and also lead several research grants at both national and international levels.
She was the recipient of over 35 research product awards from Japan, Belgium, USA and Malaysia. She won various important awards, which included, among others, second prize in the Elsevier Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge (2016), Asia Research Award (2012) and Creativity Award Geneva (2011).
Her current research area is related to green technology which covers conversion of biomass and waste to value added products and biofuel. The objective of the research work is to promote green technologies and sustainable environment and improve social economic well-being of the society. This is evidenced from her granted patents in which novel, cheaper and energy efficient technologies have been developed to convert biomass to value added fuels such as green hydrogen and metyl esters.
In addition, she has also successfully synthesised adsorbent from waste materials to reduce CO2 in post combustion process. Waste utilisation and conversion to value added products creates revenue to the society and promotes the '3R' (reduce, reuse and recycle) concepts.
Among the technologies that she has developed at pilot plant scale are the catalytic conversion of biomass and waste to green hydrogen and the utilisation of hydrodynamic cavitation technology to produce esters and other biobased products.
Her research on biopesticide development has attained international recognition with its contribution towards food security agenda. It has helped farmers to improve their paddy yield at one of the villages in Perak Tengah with a more user-friendly biopesticide and poses no harm to the farmers.
Suzana's research on biomass supports the government's aspiration as biomass is anticipated to contribute an additional RM30 billion to the nation's Gross National Income through sustainable utilisation of biomass by converting it to higher value-added products.
"This MRSA recognition is truly an honour and I am humbled that my work and contribution have been considered significant enough to meet the high expectations and standards of the Higher Education Ministry.
It is my hope that this will spur on more researchers and scientists, especially from UTP, to continue striving hard in their various fields and specialties so that together we can contribute in producing world class research," she said.