I completed my Ph.D study last year and it has been a great experience, I must say. I am going to continue doing research mainly because I am very interested to conduct research, I love publishing my work, I like presenting my work in conferences as well as I want to contribute to the advancement of technology and knowledge.
Hence, in order to continue the research culture, I am currently looking for master and/or PhD student to work on a
project with me. Following are the criteria/information for the future
Citizenship:- Malaysian (because scholarship can easily be obtained).
Topic: related to biodiesel sustainability study.
Scope: experimental, optimization, modelling and kinetics.
Presently, I am actively teaching and supervising students. It is important to know our students. What I mean is not to know them very close but enough in order for us to know the best way to treat them based on who they are, their background, based on what they want to be and several other factors.
One of the most frequent question I asked my student are what do you want to be after you graduated as a chemical engineer? For your information, I received numerous answers and feedbacks. Not majority of the students I asked want to be an engineer? However, I can easily categorize them into 3 huge distinctive segments.
Illustration of a chemical engineering student (source)
Here is the breakdown of what they want to be regardless of
40% wants to be an engineer
44% wants to be an entrepreneur
6% wants to be an academician
The sample size of the students that I asked the questions
was 20 students. From those 20 students, 16 are in their 3rd year
and 4 students in their 4th (final) year.
What does this information tells us?
This is a Chemical Engineering course and the students are
trained to be a good and reliable chemical engineer. Is there anything wrong
somewhere along the teaching? Should we conduct a more extensive survey to see our
Well, this is just my very rough survey. It is a quite a
shocking personal early discovery. I will investigate this matter seriously in
Next week the new semester will start, which means busy time again. Undergraduate students will return and a new semester will proceed. This semester I will be teaching Process Control and Instrumentation (SKK3144) which carries 4 credits and Process Control Laboratory (SKK 3171) which carries 1 credit. Both subjects are very interesting, challenging and exciting. This time, the Process Control and Instrumentation subject will be conducted via the Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach. The 3rd year students have experienced such learning style during their 1st year tenure via the Introduction to Engineering Subject. Probably they've forgotten and we will do some refreshing on the first week of class. The subject will be conducted in parallel with the Process Control Lab. This simply means that all the case study discussed will be related to the lab. An important thing to take note is that I am honoured to be the Coordinator for the Process Control Lab. It's my first time and I need to do my very best, for sure.
Before the semester begin, 4 meetings have been held dedicated to design and plan the Process Control and Instrumentation class. There will be more meetings coming on to perfect the PBL delivery for this subject. Some students may think and feel that this PBL approach is tough and time consuming. However, as a person who has been in the industry for more 6 years plus, I have a point to say that what these students are/will be going through are useful throughout their chemical engineering career. It will build their soft skills and confidence as well as other imperative trait as a indispensable engineer.
I was given this new book for my next next semester teaching for Introduction to Engineering
I am also working on my research within my capacity. I don't have any post graduate students yet. However, I will be having several undergraduate students doing their undergraduate research work for 2 semesters. I have given them new research topics and I really hope I can inspire and guide them to do their research excellently. The productivity for research work will definitely be measured in terms of research publication in reputable journals. It won't be easy but we'll grab the challenge.
I have heard from my other half that the opening for new university research grant and national research grant will be announced soon. I have not prepared a proper research grant yet. As a new academician and researcher, I need to find some time to prepare 1 or 2 research proposal and get the ball running. Once I secure a research grant than the rest will hopefully be easier. The first time will normally be tough.
Early 2014, I was approached by senior researcher to be part of a research project funded by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The project is super interesting and had opened my views, ideas and perception in cross chemical engineering discipline. We are working on the project as a team and will be meeting up again next week to scrutinize the project detail. The project is spearheaded by a researcher from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP). The photo below was snapped at the end of our meeting just now.
The research team for the contract research project under the QNRF
Professional Engineer Related Stuffs
Well, since I am already a professional engineer, my role now are more focus on helping others be one. Numerous engineers and academician approached me seeking for advise, stamping and signature for their forms as well as to enroll as graduate member or member. It's my responsibility to assist and guide them. However, I am not yet eligible to be a mentor. I can only be this coming November, that's 3 years after I successfully be a member of Institute of Engineer's Malaysia (IEM). So, to those of you who wants me to be your mentor, please hold on. Alternatively you can get hold of other readily available mentors.
Journal Paper Publications
I have written and will be writing several papers this year. It is indeed not easy. However, I hope I can publish some this year. Early this year, I already had 1 journal rejecting my paper within 2 working days. I have one that is currently under review. Two is under consideration for 2 different international conferences. One that has already been published in January was one that I am the co-author. Hmmm... there are several mores, but I want to be under the radar for now.
I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. I'm now employed as a chemical engineering lecturer, but now I'm on my Ph.D study leave. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. TQ!
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