Design Challenge Drives Creativity Among Future Chinese Workforce

The challenge: Bringing to life innovative solutions and technical ideas for the chemical industry. This is what the 3rd Annual University Chemical Creative Design Challenge, known as the 2021 Hackathon, aims to achieve. The competitors are all collegiate students focused on a common goal, but only one team can take home the prize.

Aligning with China’s goal of reaching its carbon peak by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060, the 2021 Hackathon’s theme was “circular economy.” During the competition, students were encouraged to explore sustainable ideas for technical solutions and innovative products. More than 60 creative projects from 40+ colleges and universities were submitted. Ten teams were selected as finalists and assigned mentors that included representatives from multinational companies with profound industry knowledge and rich practical experience.

Wang Chen, LyondellBasell China business manager for sustainability, served as a mentor for the challenge and felt honored to join the campus event.

“Hackathon is a very good platform to show China university students’ innovative ideas, researching spirit and hardworking attitude,” said Chen. “By participating in this event, LyondellBasell showed our commitment to social responsibility and open mind to collaborate with all ideas in pursuit of a more sustainable world. This event also enhanced our company’s reputation and aligns very well with China Campus recruiting. I hope China young talent learned more about LyondellBasell and will consider joining our company in the future.”

The Multi-functional Simulator Tech team from Tongji University was mentored by Chen and two other LyondellBasell employees, Linn Fang, LyondellBasell technical director and Bora JV secondee, and Jacken Jiang, LyondellBasell China engineer for application, development and technical service. The Tongji University team won the Outstanding Award.

“It has been fun for me as a Hackathon coach to work with this group of college kids, a dedicated Tongji bunch,” said Fang. “The title of their competition entry caught my eye, in that simulation was an area the industry could expand much further to unlock the potential hidden in large volumes of available data for a better world. From that point on, I witnessed the intelligence, energy and enthusiasm displayed by this Tongji team in shaping up their Hackathon project while taking care of their mounting college work load. Thankfully our LYB colleagues on the coaching team have always been there providing nonstop coverage in helping the project, especially when I am pulled away by work or traveling. It is truly an LYB team effort that I am so proud to be part of. Go, Tongji-LYB!”

The final round of this year's competition featured the top 10 teams and was live streamed. Limin Fu, LyondellBasell China director of polyolefins, joined the final live stream as a judge.

“LyondellBasell is committed to advancing the circular economy and contributing to a low-carbon tomorrow,” said Fu. “We are very proud to support Hackathon 2021, which is a valuable platform to connect young students with mentors from the industry and business world to turn their creativity to promising solutions and inspire them to develop their future career in the chemical industry.”

 The competition is hosted by the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPICIF). It was jointly supported by 10 world-renowned chemical companies - Alansinco, BASF, Costco, Dow, Huntsman, INVISTA, LANXESS, LyondellBasell, Solvay and Tesa Tape.

In addition to Hackathon, LyondellBasell invests globally in programs that support the advancement of tomorrow’s workforce, including organizing scholarship and co-op programs at universities in China. To read more about how LyondellBasell’s commitments are making a difference across the globe, click here.