Thai people self describe themselves as having an unpretentious nature, quiet demeanour, passion, commitment, and big smiles. Dr. Wayuta (Tan) Srisang from Thailand reflects all of these attributes of her people, plus one…she is also a mental powerhouse. This young professional is definitely one to watch. At only 32 years of age Tan has a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Thailand, a Masters and a PhD in Process Systems Engineering from the University of Regina, and just recently she earned her professional designation in Chemical Engineering from the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS).
Why would this brilliant young woman leave the “Land of a Thousand Smiles” (Thailand), and travel halfway around the world to the “Land of Living Skies” (Saskatchewan), to study and now work? Tan will tell you, “I love my work! I feel so passionate about applying carbon capture technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is critical for our planet and vital to me that I use my research, contributing as much as I can to making this technology more efficient and cost effective for the global deployment of CCS.”
Tan’s specialization is in amine-based carbon dioxide capture technology focusing on process optimization, heat integration and water management. It’s heady stuff but given her propensity for calculations and the building process, it comes naturally to her. Like an arrow quietly but surely soaring through the air toward its target, Tan’s academic journey led her to the University of Regina to study with CCS research experts Dr. Raphael Idem and Dr. Paitoon Tontiwachwuthikul.
Dr. Idem, PhD, P.Eng, her academic advisor says, “Tan did her research with me in a very challenging area which deals with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, global-warming and climate change. The main goals of her research were to provide cost-effective and practical mitigation methods for GHG emissions that will stabilize the global temperature and slow down climate change (kind of like finding a cure for cancer!). Her many critical skills, combined with hard work and perseverance earned her research papers in international scientific journals and presentation opportunities at important international conferences.”
Tan’s leap from academia to the working world in January 2017 landed her a job at the International CCS Knowledge Centre as a researcher, Engineer in Training and now full-fledged professional Engineer. The Knowledge Centre is home to the experts from SaskPower who helped spearhead the world’s first full-chain CCS facility integrated with a coal-fired power plant.
This team now advocates for large-scale deployment all over the world and Tan diligently and passionately contributes expertise in modelling with real operating data, like coming up with a solution to tackle the cooling challenge for a large-scale CCS retrofit (how’s that for a networking icebreaker!). The team’s most recent work saw the release of the Shand CCS feasibility study, proving 2nd Gen CCS can be cheaper and more efficient. As with any technology, if you give tenacious experts enough time and space, they will make it better (i.e. thanks to Apple for the wristwatch computer!).
What would seem like the perfect ending is actually only the beginning.
As Corwyn Bruce, Vice President of Technical Services at the Knowledge Centre describes, “Dr. Tan Srisang is a key contributor to our engineering team, where she is leveraging her significant academic studies, with practical experience to help accelerate the real-world deployment of CCS.”
True to her character, Tan is tenaciously learning how to play tennis this summer. On many a night she can be found practicing her backhand on a court somewhere in Regina. She also enjoys running and looks for every opportunity to indulge in eating spicy Asian food.
Dr. Tan Srisang is living out her journey – doing what she was made to do, Thai style, right here in Saskatchewan.