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Hong Wai Onn

Hong Wai Onn: Pioneering Sustainable Engineering and Leadership

Hong Wai Onn’s journey is a beacon of innovation in the palm oil processing industry. As a Malaysia Book of Records holder and a European Engineer, Hong’s contributions to sustainable engineering are unparalleled. His debut book, “A Chemical Engineer in the Palm Oil Milling Industry,” is a landmark in the industry. This memoir, recognized for its length and depth, offers a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs within palm oil processing.

In the vast landscape of palm oil processing, where science and sustainability converge, Hong Wai Onn stands as a trailblazer, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. As a Malaysia Book of Records holder and a European Engineer, Hong’s journey is a testament to the transformative potential of chemical engineering, his unwavering commitment to sustainability, and the impact one individual can have on an entire sector.

Unveiling the Memoir: A Chemical Engineer in the Palm Oil Milling Industry

Hong’s debut book, “A Chemical Engineer in the Palm Oil Milling Industry,” isn’t just a memoir—it’s a milestone in the Malaysia Book of Records. This narrative, recognized under the Human World category as the Longest Palm Oil Milling Memoir, invites readers into the intricate world of palm oil processing. Through vivid storytelling, Hong encapsulates his experiences, challenges, and triumphs, offering readers a unique perspective on the industry. It’s crucial to note that Hong didn’t embark on this endeavor with the intention of greenwashing the controversial industry. Instead, he aimed to impart his own experiences, showcasing how chemical engineers can apply their technical knowledge to make the industry greener and more efficient.

From Ipoh to Industry Leader: Hong’s Origin Story

Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, Hong’s journey began with a degree in chemical engineering from Universiti Malaysia Sabah. His professional saga kicked off with Genting Plantations, setting the stage for a career that would redefine palm oil processing. With nearly twenty years of diverse experience in palm oil and biotechnology, Hong has become a distinguished figure, contributing to various aspects of the industry, including production, engineering, project management, and applied research.

Championing Sustainable Practices: A Greener Palm Oil Future

Hong’s impact extends beyond his professional achievements. Passionate about sustainability, he actively engages in environmental projects, with a focus on circular bioeconomy. Recognized as a thought leader, Hong is frequently invited to deliver keynote speeches and presentations, sharing his insights with diverse audiences. His commitment to making the palm oil industry more sustainable not only involves upcycling biomass but also aims to reduce the overall environmental impact and carbon footprint. This strategic focus underscores his leadership in promoting sustainable practices within the industry and beyond.

A Commitment to Community: From Boards to Awards

Dedicated to volunteerism, Hong actively contributes to various non-profit and professional communities. He served as the Honorary Secretary of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in Malaysia Board and played a pivotal role as a founding member of the IChemE Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group. Engaged in the development, preparation, and review of national standards for sustainable palm oil production, Hong is committed to advancing industry best practices.

His current roles include serving as a member of the Learned Society Committee of IChemE, where he provides strategic direction to IChemE’s technical priorities and guides its activities as a learned society. Beyond IChemE, he lends his expertise to the Industry Advisory Panel for Chemical Engineering at several universities. Additionally, Hong volunteers with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia, and the Malaysian Board of Technologists, actively participating in the accreditation of Engineering Technology and Engineering Technician education programs. This multifaceted engagement underscores his commitment to the advancement and regulation of engineering education and practices.

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders: The Hong Wai Onn Legacy

Recognizing the importance of nurturing the next generation, Hong initiated the Hong Wai Onn Conference Grants and Hong Wai Onn Individual Project Award in 2021. These endeavors underscore his belief in empowering young minds to make a lasting impact on the world—an ethos that defines his approach to leadership and mentorship. As of December 2023, these initiatives have successfully supported over 10 recipients, further solidifying Hong’s commitment to cultivating future leaders.

A Global Recognition: Freedom of the City of London

In 2021, Hong Wai Onn achieved a historic milestone by being honored with the Freedom of the City of London. As the first Malaysian Citizen to hold the title of ‘Engineer’ and receive this prestigious recognition, he stands as a symbol of excellence in engineering and a testament to the global impact of his work.

Hong’s commitment to continuous learning is reflected in his pursuit of an Executive MBA with Honours from the Quantic School of Business and Technology. As a Fellow of esteemed institutions like the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Malaysian Institute of Management, he exemplifies a dedication to excellence and professional growth.

In the evolving landscape of sustainable engineering and leadership, Hong Wai Onn’s journey serves as an inspiration. From memoirs that break records to pioneering sustainable practices, his story is a testament to the transformative power of combining expertise, innovation, and a profound commitment to making the world a better place.