Published: 16 May 2013

Chemical Engineering graduate wins national award

The Department of Chemical and Process Engineering is delighted to announce that Chemical Engineering graduate Jonathan Harris recently won the Heat Transfer Society’s 2012 hts Award.

The hts Award – given to the best heat transfer project report with potential benefits for industry, from a UK university undergraduate in 2012 – was presented at the society’s 49th Annual Dinner in London.

Jonathan’s project, ‘The Prediction and Analysis of Fouling in a Crude Distillation Preheat Train and its Impact on Furnace Firing Cost’, was carried out in the final year of his MEng Chemical Engineering course.

Supervised by Dr Phil Holmes, Jonathan’s work involved an investigation into the fouling of heat exchangers used to preheat crude oil for processing on a refinery atmospheric distillation unit – the first stage in the production of refined hydrocarbons such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

The project involved a theoretical analysis of published commercial data to identify the ‘bad actors’ and their impact in terms of increased operating costs due to the need for additional fuel to be burnt on a downstream furnace. Suggestions were also made as to the type of fouling that was responsible for the loss of thermal performance.

As a result of his study at the University of Surrey – including a Professional Training placement at Procter and Gamble – Jonathan is now employed by Heat Transfer Research Inc. at the Surrey Research Park in Guildford.

“I’m delighted that Jonathan has won this award,” says Dr Holmes. “The MEng research project is intended to prepare our final year students for work in industry after graduation, but in Jonathan's case, it has also given him an excellent start to his career. It’s very pleasing to see how coming to Surrey can make a difference to such talented and motivated students.”

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