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1st German-Singaporean Symposium on Catalysis

I participated in the 1st German-Singaporean Symposium on Catalysis on the 2nd of November 2009. My supervisor brought me along after being invited to the symposium. It was my first visit and outing after registering as a Ph.D student last July.

1st Day - Catalysis Symposium

From this symposium, I was hoping to learn as much as possible from the experts, scientists and researchers from both German and Singapore. The event took place at Biopolis Matrix, Singapore. The hall was full with students (whom I presumed are all researchers in the field of catalysis engineering sciences).

There were several topics that caught my interest while some did not. Those were the one related to Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM) which I did for my masters research 8 years ago. Unfortunately, nothing was related to my current Ph.D topic, but that's fine. I'm glad that exposed to the research atmosphere in Singapore and I really think they are working very hard to establish themselves (in the field of research and development).

2nd Day - Technical Visit
The second day was really exciting and I was looking forward for it. It was the technical visit session. We gathered at Atrium Hotel and with the entire German professors, we were brought to Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICES), Jurong Island, Singapore.

One of the professor from German delivering his presentation (1st day)

Biopolis Matrix from the side (1st day)

Hanging some memories on the wall... :)

Check out the name of the meeting rooms in ICES - famous scientist names

Scenery from the meeting room in ICES. The meeting room view is spectacular.

Another view from the meeting room. Jurong Island is indeed a powerful force as heavy industry is concerned. Lots of ships, offshore rigs/platform, plants etc.

This was taken in the meeting room after we got lost during the lab facilities tour.

After the ICES visit, we went to Nanyang Technological University (NTU). We visited the Chemistry - Mathematics Department. After a short briefing from the head of department, we visited their state of the art laboratories.

Undergraduate students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) very tentative at their work. It's very impressive that NTU has hundreds of fume cupboards for their students. This is the best lab I've seen so far. Very neat, clean, well organized and beautiful. Every students have their own dedicated fume cupboard to perform their experiments and they are exposed to research in their early undergraduate years. Very impressive.

The labs are huge and complete with advance equipments. What can a researcher like me as for more if I do research here? They also have 5 units of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and will add another 3 units. I cannot help myself counting the number of Gas Chromatography (GC) they have in their lab. Not to mention, other analytical equipments...

The digital mass balance are also ready to be used by the students...

The German delegates at the Biology Department foyer after meeting up/briefing.


The symposium was superb. I learned a lot from it. I get to know some key researchers. The technical visits were splendid and meaningful. I loved it. I get to see a very advance research center - that's ICES. On top of that I also managed to learned a lot from the visit to NTU's chemistry lab. The labs are excellent and is destined for quality research. Any researchers from any part of the world will want to work with either of this 2 wonderful and well equipped labs. This clearly shows the investment by the government of Singapore to establish their research and development to a world class standard. The commitment and seriousness are there and I won't be surprised if Singapore becomes a research center for this region.

I managed to do some networking and also learned about Singapore Catalysis Society. This, I hope will help me strengthened my research motivation.

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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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