Assoc. Prof. Poh Phaik Eong

Associate Head of School (Graduate Research)
School of Engineering
+603 5514 6272
Room 5-4-28

Personal statement

Poh Phaik Eong is an Associate Professor and Associate Head of School (Graduate Research) in School of Engineering, Monash University Malaysia. Her research interests are in biological treatment of industrial wastewater, particularly palm oil mill effluent (POME) and greywater treatment.

Her primary research interests in anaerobic digestion of POME has been funded by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and Newton Collaborative Research Programme, UK. She also works closely with the industry (i.e.: Bacteria Free Water Engineering (M) Sdn. Bhd.) on greywater treatment.

Poh is currently holding the position as the Editor-in-Chief of Water Conservation Science and Engineering. She was highly commended for the Young Chemical Engineer in Research Award in the 2015 IChemE Malaysia Award and obtained a bronze medal from PECIPTA 2017 for her invention on a low cost decentralized greywater treatment system.

Academic degrees

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, 2012
  • Degree in Chemical Engineering (Hons), University of Nottingham, 2007

Professional affiliation

Member of National Professional Bodies

  • Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), Chartered Member

Member of International Professional Bodies

  • International Water Association (IWA), Member

Research Interests

Rapid urbanization and development of industries in Malaysia, water security has become a primary focus in this country to ensure sustainable development of the country. My primary research interests is to find low cost solutions that could treat wastewater and at the same time generate useful by-products that could lead to positive impact in the industry. At the same time, I am also in search for a solution to conserve freshwater by developing technologies that could aid treatment and recycling of domestic wastewater without producing any secondary wastes. This solution could potentially alleviate any possible water disruptions that occurs in the country as residents will have access to clean water for non-potable activities and reduced fresh water usage.

In the future, I would like to integrate wastewater and food waste treatment to create a sustainable waste management system and look at possibilities of integrating wastewater treatment from various industries to recover as much resources as possible. Also, educating water users on the importance of water conservation will be one of my focuses to encourage adoption of wastewater treatment and recycling technologies in Malaysia.

Research Projects

Title: Effective Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) Treatment Solutions

This project aims to develop a robust process that is able to tolerate changing characteristics of POME, to maximize anaerobic digestion of POME while maintaining stable operation, producing stable effluent quality and biogas. This will be achieved via development of a prediction model for anaerobic digestion of POME as well as integration of pre-treatment process and dewatering unit into existing treatment process.

Title: Decentralized Greywater Treatment System - A Sustainable and Cost Saving Method for Water Conservation

This project aims to develop a low cost and easy to use process for greywater treatment. The treated greywater can be used for car wash, toilet flushing and gardening. While water can be conserved in individual household, blackwater which originates from toilet can be concentrated so that waste sent to the sewage treatment system can be more consistent. Furthermore, greywater can be integrated other domestic waste sources for treatment to produce valuable products such as biogas that can be used to either generate electricity or cooking.


Units taught

  • CHE2166 - Introduction to Process Simulation

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Local grants

  • Fuzzy Logic Predictive Model for Anaerobic Digestion of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) under Thermophilic ConditionP.E. Poh, D. Gouwanda, C.P Tan, 2016 - 2019, Ministry of Higher Education (FRGS), RM 134,000
  • Investigation on the treatment of metal stamping wastewater using microbubble flotation, P.E. Poh, 2016 - 2019, JKS Engineering (M) Sdn. Bhd.
  • Understanding the physicochemical property and potential antioxidant capacity in ionised water sources under different pH regimes, P.E. Poh, 2015-2017, BACFREE
  • Effect of drying on the viability of thermophilic mixed culture for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) treatment, P.E. Poh, S.K. Chin, M.F. Chong, 2013-2015, Ministry of Higher Education (e-Science), RM 119,000
  • Optimization of ozone concentration and process parameters for greywater treatment, P.E. Poh, M.N. Chong, 2014, BACFREE

International grants

  • Exploiting microbiology & rheology to improve treatment of Palm Oil Mill Effluent, P.E. Poh, P. Grassia, D. Gouwanda, 2016-2017, Newton Research Collaboration Programme

Current supervision

Tan Hui Min

Development of a Predictive Model for a Thermophilic High-Rate Anaerobic Reactor for Stable Operation, Consistent Effluent Quality and Biogas Production

2015 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Tan Khang Aik

Development of an effective cleaning method for metallic parts with an integrated water recycling system

2016 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Sabeeha Khadaroo

Integration of dewatering and anaerobic digestion of  Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) for stable and consistent treatment performance

2017 - Present

Monash University Malaysia

Completed supervision

Oh Kai Siang

Development of chitosan/alginate/AgNP membrane for decentralized greywater treatment

2012 - 2017

Monash University Malaysia

David Tandiono Tan

Development of dried thermophilic mixed culture by convective air drying for palm oil mill effluent (POME) treatment

2013 - 2018

Monash University Malaysia

Local Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • PECIPTA 2017 (BRONZE) Decentralised Greywater Filtration Module - A Sustainable and Cost Saving Method for Water Conservation - PECIPTA, 2017

International Award/Recognition/Exhibition/Stewardship

  • Editor in Chief - Water Conservation Science and Engineering, 2016-2018