UNIVERSITI Teknologi Petronas’ (UTP) Dr Maisara Shahrom Raja Shahrom will represent the country in the Falling Walls Lab Finale contest in Berlin, Germany.
The postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Research in Ionic Liquids (Coril) qualified for the Nov 8 competition after winning the Falling Walls Lab AIMST 2019 award at AIMST University Kedah in August.
Her three-minute talk titled “Breaking the Walls of CO2 Capture in Greenhouse Gases” was declared the best pitch.
“This award means a lot to me as my aim was not to win. I just wanted to challenge myself and overcome my fear of speaking about science in public.
“I will do my best in the grand finale for Malaysia and UTP, ” she said.
Dr Maisara will also attend the Falling Walls Conference on Nov 9, where leaders from science, industry and policy-making meet.
She will receive a Euraxess Prize of €600 (RM 2,778) to enable her to visit any research institute of her choice anywhere within the European Union.
Speaking about her research, Dr Maisara said CO2 was the primary gas in greenhouse gases that was driving the global warming and climate change, which continued to rise every year.
“The current technology in capturing CO2 is by using amine but it suffers several drawbacks as it has high vapour pressure, corrosive and requires high energy input for regeneration.
“Hence, my research is focused on developing a new alternative to replace amine to capture CO2 called Amino Acid Polymerised Ionic Liquids (AAPILs), which are more environmental-friendly and would benefit the industry and the environment, ” she said.
Dr Maisara hoped her achievement would create more awareness on the importance of science communication among students and researchers.
“It is important to develop interest among students and researchers to deliver their research outcomes to public in the most attractive ways.
“This is to boost their confidence to speak about science as well as to educate and attract audiences’ interest in science and technology, ” she said.
She hoped to encourage young scholars to participate in any available science competitions to gain experience.
The Falling Walls initiative was founded to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This event is independently organised by international lab which provides the opportunity to researchers to present their ideas, research projects and initiatives in three minutes.