Shout Out – Talk on “Trilogy of Rare Earth Elements”


This is a shout out for the IEM. My Technical Division will be  hosting a talk on the 1st October, 2016 by Professor Ka Kheng Tany. It’ll be at 9am   (makan-makan at 8:30), before the AGM

Deng Xiaoping famously said in 1992 that “The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths.” Following China’s reduction of the export of the critical raw materials in 2009, some countries tried to neutralize China’s 95 percent global supply of rare earths. The performance and fate of three rare-earth plants will be scrutinized with four factors: Process technology, Profitability, Siting and HSE (health, safety and the environment).  The RE trilogy tells of the tragic extinction of an old plant and the exuberance of trauma of a new one in Malaysia, and the bankruptcy of the world’s oldest and massively reworked plant in America.  More important, their massive failures have very adverse impacts in industries and investment, although they also offer valuable insights and lessens to the public and bureaucrats, investors and users of rare earth elements.  The myth of China’s monopoly of REE will be exposed.  Substitutes and recycling of REE, alternative technology for efficiency improvement and new technology will be discussed briefly.

Professor Ka Kheng Tan studied Chemical Engineering at University of Birmingham (UK) in 1977 and Environmental Engineering at University of California at Berkeley in USA. He conducted PhD research at Cambridge University and developed the Theory of Transient Instability caused by unsteady-state diffusion in non-Newtonian liquids. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the academia as a lecturer and professor, and four years in industries, and provides expertise and consultancy service to government agencies, World Bank and private firms over the last thirty years.  He was inaugural Head of Department of Chemical Engineering at University Putra of Malaysia and Director of School of Engineering and Science at Curtin University (Malaysia) before joining HELP University.  Professor Tan is a pioneer and world leader in transient hydrodynamics instability theory driven by buoyancy, surface tension and shear force in Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids, porous media and plasma. The theory has been successfully applied to the prediction of the boundary layer instability and the formation of mantle plumes in deep earth, which has been presented to the prestigious Penrose Conference and Beijing Geology University, IUTAM Symposium, Cambridge University and Tsinghua University.
Register here or download the form here. A map to Wisma IEM is presented here.

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