MsAbithaBalashanmugam

I am currently a PhD student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, with a First Class degree in Chemical Engineering (MEng). I embarked upon research at a postgraduate level in order to acquire the necessary academic qualifications to pursue a career in academia. My interest in research was inspired by the current energy issues and the need for sustainable resources. Currently, I'm working on using a biologically inspired green method to manufacture porous nano-materials for carbon capture and sequestration. The aim is to capture carbon in an environmentally benign method that is also economically friendly.

Third Year Design Project: Bio-ethanol Production Process Plant Optimisation

The project involved careful consideration of the current methods of bio-ethanol production and improve efficiency of lignocellulosic fuel production. This project activity has greatly augmented my time management and problem solving skills. As part of this design module, I have also learned to use AUTOCAD for engineering drawings and ANSYS FLUENT for flow modelling simulations.

Fourth Year Research Project: Carbon Dioxide Utilization: Green Urea Synthesis with Ionic Liquids

I conducted research, to understand the improve efficacy of urea production and its role in carbon dioxide utilization. The project involved coming up with a novel method of synthesising urea by ionic liquid catalysis and modifying reaction conditions for continuous production that could potentially supplant the existing commercial system. During the course of this period, I had to learn processing software such as ACD Processer including NMR analysis.

Global Engineering Challenge (2013): Best Overall Solution award for identifying a method to improve existing water supply and storage conditions.

Experience

June 2013– September 2014: South Yorkshire Animal Rescue & Charity – Volunteer
The role involved raising animal welfare awareness within the local community. I had sole responsibility for organising a fund raising event that involved bake sales and book drives within the local area. Proceeds helped towards the improvement of the Millhouse Animal Sanctuary. Towards the end of my voluntary period I also had to facilitate knowledge transfer to a co-volunteer.

July 2014 – September 2014: Sheffield University Research Experience (SURE) Project , Sheffield – Researcher
I was awarded a competitive position to work on a collaboration project with the University’s Civil Engineering and Bio-Medical Department– conducting research into the strengthening of soil for construction. The project was funded by Bio-Medical Department and was in line with their commitment to promoting economically viable and environmentally friendly processes. The research involved two parts: stressing microbes to produce more carbonates. I was responsible for identifying suitable catalysis methods that would enhance the gelling properties of the carbonates by ion exchange.

Skills

Technical: Proficiency in Microsoft Office & AutoCAD. Working knowledge of ACD Spectrus Processor & ANSYS FLUENT
Presentation: Able to produce reports and presentations to a professional standard.
Analysis and Evaluation: Proficient in accessing data and formulating solutions.
Organisational: Effective at time management and prioritising tasks to meet deadlines.
Communication: Strong team working and leadership skills gained through project work.

Extracurricular

• Student member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and The Energy Institute
• Active member of the Photography Society at University
• I was a member of Duke of Edinburgh between the years 2013-15 at University
• I have served on my school’s basketball team between the years 2007-2011
• Won second place in the inter-school Marathon Championship of 2011
• I am a member of the university’s gym where I do swimming

Home institution: 
Member type: 
Early Career Researcher