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.
It is indeed very tough to see any industry without a slight touch of hydraulic system. Hydraulic system is crucial for various industries as well as our daily life routine, but its’ importance are occasionally unrealized by many. One of the most common hydraulic system application is in our vehicle breaking system. I’ll explain further about the breaking system later in this article. Anyway, from my previous experiences, I worked with several types of equipments and machineries employing hydraulic system. Among them are tractors, crane hoist, robots, actuators and hydraulic motor. All of them are unique, special and fasten my assignments and team’s job.
Basically, a hydraulic system can be explained as one force that is applied to one point (or piston), and is then transmitted to another point via the use of an incompressible fluid. A hydraulic system confines the liquid so that it uses the laws governing liquids to transmit power to do specific work. Figure 1 illustrates the principle of hydraulic system.
Figure 1: Principle of hydraulic drive system (source).
Often, the fluid utilized to transfer the motion is typically a type of oil. Oil is in nature incompressible and is very efficient for the transfer of force and motion. A critical point to take into account is that a hydraulic system cannot contain any air. If air bubble appears in the system then the force applied to the piston would be used to compress the air bubble, instead of going on to move the subsequent piston. As a result, it affects the efficiency of the hydraulic system.
Let’s visualize the hydraulic system closely. A simple example of a basic piston-driven hydraulic system is the braking system of our typical car (refer Figure 2). When we hit/pressed the break to slow or stop the car, the brake pedal is depressed. It then pushes on the piston in the master cylinder of the brake. Other four slave pistons in each wheel actuate to press the brake pads against the brake rotor to slow or stop the car.
Figure 2: Typical breaking system in a car (source)
Principally, these systems normally involve equipment meant to handle heavier weights. This demands more physical strength as well as higher operating pressure for the system. Such hydraulic system operating pressure ranges from a few hundred pounds per square inch (PSI) to several thousand pounds per square inch.
Hydraulic systems offer advantages over other methods of power transmission. For instance, hydraulic systems have a simple design. In many cases, complicated mechanical linkages can be replaced with a few pre-engineered hydraulic components. These systems are also more flexible. The location of component in a system is extremely versatile. Instead of sedentary mechanical elements, flexible pipes and hoses used in these systems eliminate location problems. Additionally, these systems are also much more smooth and quiet while in operation. With high efficiency and minimum friction or interference, these systems keep the cost of power transmission at a minimum.
When working with hydraulic system and its associated fluid, we cannot afford to settle for less or mediocre quality. We must use one with high quality produced/delivered by reputable companies. Numerous companies are available in the market which provides hydraulic system and extensive areas of fluid technology expertise. The company I worked with before used hydraulic and lubricant oils from Hydac for most of the equipments and machineries. It was from them I learned more about the principle and application of hydraulic system and fluid technology. I must say I truly appreciate the knowledge, skill and experience delivered during their visit and discussion. It made me a better and more mature engineer.
I hope it is not too late to wish you a happy new year. Happy new year and I wish 2014 will be a successful and fruitful year for all of you.
I have been missing from blogging regularly here recently. It has been due to my hectic daily task and me myself as a family man.
Career wise, towards the end of 2013, I was fully occupied to prepare, defend and correct my Ph.D thesis. Bottom line, the important thing is that, Thank God, I completed my Ph.D. On top of that, I have reported duty as a lecturer on the 1st of July 2013 and I need to fulfill my responsibilities as an academician. Moreover, I am still writing several technical research papers from my Ph.D. Most of them got rejected, so I need to keep improving and sending them to other reputable journals with decent impact factor. Oh, why they keep rejecting my manuscript? I hope 2014 will see more of my manuscript accepted for publication.
Normal human being wise, me and my family just moved to a new, bigger house, 4 days after I defended my Ph.D in the 2 hour VIVA session. Moving to a new house means more time is required to prepare the house for proper decent living. Not to mention transporting clothes and basic kitchen utilities from old house to the new house. Luckily we don't have to shift all the old furniture from the old house to the new house. The new house is furnished with new furniture.
What to expect in 2014?
First of all, I wish and hope that my family and I be granted with excellent health condition. With healthy body, we can work and aim for our goals set for 2014.
I just want to do more and better in 2014 compared to 2013. I want it to be a more fruitful year, more positive year and more successful one. Without any particular order, here are some of my career goals :
Published more in ISI journal - I'm not revealing the numbers. It will be my own secret.
Published more in SCOPUS journal - I'm not revealing the numbers. It will be my own secret.
Secure at least 1 research grant - for me to fund and run my research.
Have some post graduate students - I'm not revealing the numbers. It will be my own secret.
Write useful books - I'm not revealing the numbers. It will be my own secret. You will know soon.
Secure at least 1 consultancy/industrial project.
Attend at least 1 international conference outside my own country.
Participate at least once in research exhibition/contest.
Learn and understand more about thermodynamics modelling using ### software.
I would like to contribute the best that I can to give positive impact (motivate) my students and perhaps others, so that they can become better person, and contribute to their family, society and world.
I also have my own non career related goals. They are divided into personal and family. However, it is not relevant to discuss about them here.
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!
Get this powerful 80-page ebook on various alternative energy that can save our environment and save your money. On top of that, you'll get a FREE eCourse on alternative energy from me.