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IChemE SIESO Medal awarded to UTP Chemical Engineering Students

(24 September 2019)


Four Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) chemical engineering students have been awarded a new process safety medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) for their compelling joint paper and poster demonstrating the issues that led to the gas leak disaster in Bhopal, India.

IChemE members Tze Lin Kok and Jing Han Siow, and Yeuan Jer Choong and Chee Kean Looi  were awarded the SIESO Medal for their joint entry The Bhopal Gas Tragedy: The Scar of Process Safety, which consisted of a paper giving a thought-provoking overview of the Bhopal disaster, accompanied by two posters.

ICHEME-min.jpgFrom left to right: Chee Kean Looi, IChemE President Ken Rivers, Tze Lin Kok, and Yeuan Jer Choong 


This is the first year that the medal has been awarded. The team were commended by the judges for what was an innovative and visually striking way of highlighting some of the main facts and issues associated with the Bhopal disaster.


They were presented with their medals by IChemE President Ken Rivers on 24 September at Hazards Asia Pacific, at the DoubleTree Hilton in Kuala Lumpur - IChemE's leading process safety conference in South East Asia.


The SIESO Medal will be awarded annually to an individual or a group of up to six students for the best multi-media presentation about a major accident and the process safety learning outcomes. Entries are judged by a sub-committee of IChemE's Loss Prevention Panel and, along with the Medal, the winning team will also receive prize money of £750.


The judging panel also highly commended entries from Janet Skitt and Benjamin Khoo of Imperial College London for their paper The 1973 Summerland Disaster – Lessons to the Building Industry from the Process Industry and Alex Norman and his team from the University of Manchester for their paper and video documentary on Safety Under Scrutiny: Flixborough 1974.


Fiona Macleod, Chair of the IChemE Loss Prevention Panel and member of the medal judging panel, said:


"Congratulations to Tze Lin Kok, Yeuan Jer Choong, Chee Kean Looi, and Jing Han Siow. The judges were impressed by the creative and visually striking way the team from Malaysia explored the causes and consequences of a tragic disaster. They researched the incident thoroughly and used simple images to tell a complex story.


"Well done to all who entered for the award, it was refreshing to see student perspectives on process safety.


"Chemical engineers have special skills, and with this comes a special responsibility to communicate clearly across disciplines, from the board room to the shop floor, to ensure that inherently safer designs are coupled with robust process safety management so that a tragedy like the one in Bhopal in 1984, can never happen again."

Nominations are now open for IChemE's 2020 medals and prizes, and close on 31 October 2019. Entries for the 2020 SIESO Medal close on 27 March 2020. Find out more and submit an entry to the SIESO or another IChemE medal at