Jiangsu Province team wins contest as part of 'Grow Beyond Yourself' program
A team from a higher vocational school in neighboring Jiangsu Province came out as champion of an innovation competition with their ideas on coexistence between chemical plants and communities.
The contest held in Shanghai is part of the "Grow Beyond Yourself" program, a collaboration between Evonik, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, and the Yiyou Youth Center, a social organization for youth development. The program aims to enhance the career competence and soft skills of female chemical engineering students in vocational colleges and help them clarify future career directions. In addition to the contest, the program included learning courses, seminars, and visits to chemical plants.
The five-month program took place at seven vocational colleges in Shanghai, Zhenjiang, Nanping, Nanning, Qingdao, Rizhao, Changchun, and Jilin, and attracted around 560 students to participate directly. With its online courses and open lectures, the program reached and impacted on a wider audience.
In June, the program launched the innovation contest, inviting students to generate ideas for future chemical plants and their operation. The students came up with creative concepts for various topics, such as low-carbon technologies, digitized operation and community engagement.
After rounds of competitions, Team "Happy Forever" from Zhenjiang College won first prize with their proposal to build a "green AI intelligent factory."
They suggested reducing the use of fossil fuels and promoting the use of recyclable energy, such as wind and ocean waves, and installing an AI system to monitor the use of energy, improve energy efficiency, and benefit the community with not only its chemical products, but also heat, treated water and surplus power during the factory's operation.
"In the past few months, I've learned a lot from the front line of the industry and received the selfless sharing and patient guidance from industry mentors," said Chen Shuting, a member of the winning team. "These have helped me to get to know what the real chemistry industry is, and inspired me to think about my future career. I really enjoyed this project."
China has placed a great emphasis on highly skilled talents, giving full play to vocational schools through policy support. Encouraging college-enterprise cooperation is among one of the policies.
Yang Liaoyuan, vice dean of the school of chemical engineering at the Shanghai Modern Chemical Industry Vocational College, said the learning and practical resources of the project have complemented the school's existing teaching resources to enhance the overall quality of students.