Curtin Malaysia chemical engineering students grasp finer points of HYSYS simulation

Miri – 6 August 2019 – The Institution of Chemical Engineers (ICheME) Student Chapter of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently organised an Aspen HYSYS workshop to give chemical engineering students of the university more hands-on experience with the versatile chemical process simulator.

Aspen HYSYS (or simply HYSYS) is used to mathematically model chemical processes, from unit operations to full chemical plants and refineries. It is used extensively in industry and academia, including at Curtin Malaysia, for steady-state and dynamic simulation, process design, performance modelling, and optimisation.

The workshop comprised two sessions (Beginner and Advanced), which were facilitated by chemical engineering lecturers Dr. Wendy Ng Pei Qin and Dr. Zeinab Abbas Jawad, respectively.

40 students attended the session for beginners, which was targeted at foundation, first and second year engineering students, while 17 attended the advanced session.

The advanced session involved scrutinising a case study for which a fundamental framework, process flow diagram, and material balance and process conditions were provided for the participants to develop process simulation diagrams for a Heat Exchanger Network (HEN).

According to Dr. Jawad, HEN form the backbone of heat integration due to their ability to not only deal with the designing of economically optimal plants but also managing energy and environmental issues.

 She said that while there are many design simulators that can simulate HEN such as ProSim, iCON and CHEMCAD, but HYSYS was chosen for the workshop as it is perhaps the most commonly used chemical process simulator across the world.

Dr. Jawad added that HYSYS is very powerful with a large library of ready-made component models and in-built accurate property packages, and the ability to perform many of the core calculations of chemical engineering, including those concerned with mass balance, energy balance, vapour-liquid equilibrium, heat transfer, mass transfer, chemical kinetics, fractionation, and pressure drop.

“By connecting the various components via material and energy streams, HYSYS can simulate both the steady and dynamic performance of complex chemical and hydrocarbon fluid-based processes. It can also help maximise safety, throughput and profits by optimising a chemical engineering plant through industry-validated simulation accuracy and time-saving workflows,” said Dr. Jawad.

At the end of the session, the students obtained the composite curve for the HEN using Aspen Energy Analyzer. Based on the curve, the pinch point for cold and hot streams, minimum area and number of unit targets were calculated. The main objective of pinch analysis is to achieve financial savings by better process heat integration.

The Curtin Malaysia IChemE Student Chapter serves to promote the latest developments and advances in the field of chemical engineering among Curtin Malaysia students as well as create networking opportunities between students and industry practitioners. This allows the students to build their professional networks and engage in learning beyond the classroom.


Students participating in the Aspen HYSYS workshop organised by Curtin Malaysia IChemE Student Chapter.


Students and lecturer pose for group photo at the end of the session for beginners.


Group photo of students and lecturer at the end of the advanced session.


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