Malaysian Society For Engineering and Technology (MSET)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Dear guys, following is a message from the new Malaysian Society for Engineering and Technology (mSET). Personally, I haven't heard about this new organization before. My wife received a letter and information about mSET which as just formed. They are inviting new members to join them. After reading the letter, my first impression was .... is this something superior than IEM? Does it want to challenge IEM?
After reading, understanding and digesting few points inside the letter, it seems that mSET has a wider scope. It is more than just engineering. It covers science and technology as well. It has a lot of benefits and personally I may join this organization. One more thing that is very interesting to highlight is, the membership is not just for those who possess a degree, but also for technicians who want to establish them self professionally.
I tried to google mSET to get more information about this new organization, but it seems that the website is not yet available. Maybe, we have to wait for a while before they upload their website.
But, in the mean time, you can read the part of the letter that I have read. I'll provide more information and update about this as soon as it is made available. Check it out:
To all potential Founding Members of Malaysian Society for Engineering and Technology,
Inivitation to be an mSET Founding Member
On behalf of the committee of the Malaysian Society for Engineering and Technology, I would like to invite you to be an mSET Founding Member. A brief introduction on mSET, which is established recently as a platform for 21st Century Professionals to enhance and develop their knowledge and professional skills as preparation for competition at the international level, is enclosed. If you are interested to join and contribute to the growth of mSET, please fill up the membership application form attached and return it to any committee member or the mSET Secretariat as soon as possible, but not later than 31st July 2008. As a Founding Member you will be specially invited to a launching ceremony which is being planned. Please do not hesitate to call me or any committee member for clarifications. I look forward to your membership and participation in our network.
Prof Abang Abdullah Abang Ali President Malaysian society for Engineering and Technology
mSET shall lead the National Engineering and Technological Innovation and Development
Promote National and Global Networking
Maintain mSET website and portal
Encourage regular communications
Create discussion groups
Establish strong links with international bodies
Advance and Share Knowledge and Expertise
Develop and share database of knowledge and expertise
Publish regular bulletin
Organize prestigious conference, workshops and specialist training courses
Facilitate exchange of scholars and experts
Develop Leading Edge Technology and Industries
Identify and promote leading edge technologies and industries
Encourage university-industrial linkages
Promote business forums
Create study grants and awards
Enhance HR training and Development
Organize regular CPD training courses
Promote accreditation of qualifications
Promote professionals development and qualifications
the competitive world that we live in today demands more innovative ways for developing our human capital, acquiring and sharing of knowledge and technology and harnessing these for industry, business and commerce.
mSET aims to provide a powerful platform for its members to network and enhance professionalism and ethical conduct while nurturing them into leading professionals and captains of industry.
Acknowledging that the world today is largely interdisciplinary, mSET welcome the participation and interaction of engineers, technologist, architects, quantity surveyors and other engineering and technology professionals.
Believing in the importance of the engineering work team comprising of personnel at the degree, diploma as well as certificate levels, mSET welcomes technicians who are important members of the engineering team and who needs to be professionals in their own right.
mSET shall indulge in research and technological innovation to produce materials, systems, structures and processes to support the country's development effort.
mSET shall promote accreditation of qualification, development of professional systems and international mobility of engineering and technology professionals, while organizing education, training and CPD pro grammes for its members.
The Value of Your Membership International recognition, networking and opportunities
As an mSET member, you will be recognized as a member of an upcoming proffsional organization created and nurtured in the 21st Century.
You will be able to network and interact with like-minded professionals and to share their aspirations, knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm in education and training, research and development and industry.
You will participate in CPD and lifelong learning and will be able to use your professional skills at the international level.
mSET will open doors to the public and private sectors as well as to international platforms.
Member shall be invited to participate in CPD and professional development programs at special members rate and given discounted rates for other activities. A number of special members' benefit shall be introduced from time to time.
Activities planned are training course, workshop, seminar, conference, congress, technical visits, business forum, exhibition, trade fair, and overseas business and technical meeting and mission.
Members can use the society's library, database of knowledge, expertise and companies and mSET club facilities as and when we get these on board.
Members shall receive a free regular
Who can be mSET Members?
Engineers, engineering Technologists, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Technicians and other allied professionals. In the future, mSET shall introduce various grades and categories of membership.
There are more to tell about mSET. However, I shall stop here first. However, for those who are interested to know more about it, please contact the following:
President mSET: Prof Ir Abang Abdullah Abang Ali
Secretary mSET: Prof Madya Ir Megat Johari Megat Md Noor
Membership fees payment for Ordinary Member:
RM250 (Entrance fee RM100 + current years subscription RM150)
Membership fees payment for Associate Member:
RM200 (Entrance fee RM100 + current years subscription RM100)
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Friday, April 25, 2008
Sometimes or rather often, it is difficult to plan our work. What I mean is the work depends on various situations and decision makings. We planned our annual leaves and vacations but suddenly something important came in and we have to cancel the entire plan. Have you been facing that?
Canceling your plans after planning them for weeks or months must be really frustrating. But, we have to accept the fact. We are working for somebody. We are an employer. We are an engineer. We have a responsibility and we must deliver what we are supposed to do. "no understanding".
So, what can be very important that suddenly hinder you from being a temporary away from your routine work. There are a lot. It depends on what field you're in. It can be a problem faced by your customer and you got to fly urgently to their place and solve what ever problem they faced. I've experienced such thing before. A problem appeared while my colleague was handling a small routine project at Kerteh. There was some trouble blending our chemicals and it affected our customers production. My boss rang me and asked me to drive to Kerteh that night to clear the mess. As a committed employee, what can I say..... 30 minutes after the telephone conversation, I began my journey from Johor Bahru to Kerteh, leaving my family behind over the weekend. That was from my previous job as a chemical/project engineer.
As for my present job, I really look forward to enjoy a short one day break during the coming Labour Day. However, to my surprize I'm not going to be able to enjoy it. We have a problem. The main problem is simply lack of raw material. At the same time, the annual machinery inspection is due. Hence, both reasons combines and resulted to a week long annual shutdown beginning this Sunday. There goes my weekend and my public holiday (This is what I call "area beyond control"). All the planning and decision was made in a space of 5 hours. And within those 5 hours, I've to rush to arrange and plan everything.
Tentative shutdown planning, schedule, manpower arrangement, contractors, JKKP (my colleague is handling this) and others need to be settled before today's working hours ended. Why? Because tomorrow is going to be a weekend and the annual plant shutdown is going to take place commencing this Sunday. Friday afternoon is the only time to settle all the planning and coordination. Luckily, I've pre-planned the shutdown and I can swiftly prepare all the necessary stuffs for the shut down.
Well, that is some slice of my feeling, emotion and story that I can share. I'm not saying that I'm not happy working as an engineer. I like the job and I'm very proud to be an engineer. However, this is what we call responsibility. As an engineer, we have to perform whenever and wherever we are required to. At some point, there are a lot of sacrifices that need to be done. It's just a matter how well we can adapt and cope with our job. Are you tough enough to be an engineer? Only you can answer it...
Enviroline Corrosion Monitor
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Enviroline Monitoring Systems is offering the Enviroline Corrosion Monitor, an early corrosion detection system for pipelines, tank farms, refineries, and petrochemical installations. The Enviroline Corrosion Monitor is based on the principal of hydrogen flux – as corrosion occurs and metal dissolves on the inside wall of a tank or pipe, atomic hydrogen is formed. This atomic hydrogen migrates along the grain boundaries and inclusions of the steel and can cause Hydrogen Embrittlement, Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC), and Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), all severe defects for the metal that can cause catastrophic failure of the tank or pipe. With Enviroline, atomic hydrogen levels are continuously monitored from the moment of their formation in the tank or pipe. This data is sent via Satellite to the Enviroline website and is charted to provide a visual representation of the migration and corrosion activity. Pipe and tank operators can access accurate and real-time data anytime, anywhere, and can customize e-mail alerts for instant notification. The Enviroline Monitoring System is the only continuous monitoring system that can be used for both corrosion and process monitoring, allowing operators to evaluate more effectively and efficiently their corrosion control programs, and implement changes and repairs well before corrosion can cause costly defects or failures in the pipe or tank. www.envirolinegroup.com/ems/index.html
This article is adopted from Pipeline and Gas Technology
One way to educate yourself with production plant technical knowledge is by subscribing to related magazine such as Plant Services. I personally subsribe to a lot of hard copy and digital magazine. One of the magazine is Plant Services. If you leave in the United States, you can apply for the hard copy. If you leave outside US, you can apply for the free online copy or digital copy. I highly recommend this magazine because of the valuable, informative and updated contents published.
Plant Services serves the field of plant engineering and maintenance manufacturing as well as process industries and utility and power generation. Audiences include executives, managers, superintendents, plant engineers, operations, maintenance, plant, facilities and purchasing personnel. However, chemical engineering students can subscribe to prepare for the working life.
To subscribe click HERE.
My Chemical Eengineering Career Overview
Sunday, April 20, 2008
After graduating almost 9 years ago, I have been working in the research and development area, oil and gas industry, and oil and fats sector. That's all together 3 different fields. To be honest, I'm glad I went through all those fields. It made me taste a little bit something from those areas.
I never plan it to be like that. I believed the God has arrange all of these for me. The God wants me to be more diversified, more all rounder and know more technical details from various industries. Now that I'm going to turn 32, I think it's already time for me to decide on which area to dwell. I need to establish myself in an area where I can grow together with it and become the expert in it.
My wife is a chemical engineer as well and after completing her degree, she straight away joint a local university as an academic staff. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. That's good. She continued her Masters degree in Chemical Engineering after a year becoming a tutor. After getting her masters, she became a lecturer, teaching Unit Operation and Mass Transport subject. After a while she was on study leave because she is now doing her pH.D.
As you probably already know, my journey differs from her. If you have been following this blog from the beginning, I have shared my R & D experiences, my oil and gas journey - going on shore and offshore - traveling in and outside the country, my oil and fats adventure - taking care of a 3000 MT/D capacity physical refining plant etc.
Well, there are pro and cons on my part and that is exactly what I want to share. Check on the following points:
1. I tasted and experienced a lot. That means I know generally more about those industries.
2. I have been working in several offshore platforms which I believe not a lot of engineers have done that. Traveling offshore is very exciting and I always look forward for it. The allowances are great and if you are the kind of person who want real physical challenge and want to make big bucks, by all means, try and apply a job for an oil or service company.
3. I experienced working as a service person and I also work as a end product person. Those are totally different. You might want to know about this before you work. In the 2nd point above, I mentioned about applying a job from an oil or service company. That will reflect your working lifestyle.
If you work in a service company, you'll be more flexible and probably do a lot of traveling. You are doing services to your customers. Hence, there'll be a lot of traveling here and there. I made a really crazy trip few years back from Johor Bahru to Jakarta to Johor Bahru in one single day. I was in Johor Bahru in the morning, went to Jakarta, met up with my principle and at 7 pm I was already back in JB having some BicMac with my wife. It was a really tiring journey.
If you work in an oil company or end product company, you'll be normally stationed just there. You have to take care of a plant, or project or maintenance etc. That place is going to be your world. You'll be there from morning until your working time ended. Most of the time, you have to work additional hours because there are simply tonnes of jobs.
1. I could not focus to one area because I switched courses 3 times in a space of 9 years. However within that small space of time, I tried and worked hard to become a good employee each and every time.
2. Jumping here and there delayed myself to climb the corporate leader. Some of my friends have become senior engineer or manager. However, I'm still a normal process engineer. That's fine. It's OK. I'm still having a good job and decent pay.
I'll ad up the list when I can think of some more...
What I wish...
If I have the opportunity to choose which industrial career based on my present knowledge and information, I think would like to work in either 2 areas:
i. A Chemical Engineer in a service company in the Oil and Gas industry. Example of companies - Halliburton, Schlumberger, MECAS, Clear Water, Weatherford etc.
ii. A Technical Engineer for a service/product company selling heat exchanger. To be exact, I would like to work for Alfa Laval.
However, I would also like to be in the academic line and involve in research and development. But, I'm not sure yet about that. Let's just see how my career is going to be...
What about you? Are you working your dream job?
Are Our Local Universities Producing Poor Quality Engineers
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I stumbled upon this article from the Star Online Newspaper. It covers the frustration of an employer towards the fresh chemical engineering graduates released from local universities. This is a very interesting fact that we should seriously address. Our young engineers must be equipped with soft skills and able to deliver when they are expected to do so... Check out the article and tell me what do you think about it...
Engineers of Poor Quality
I AM a manager in a chemical manufacturing firm in Malaysia. We often have vacancies for mechanical and chemical engineers, and occasionally electrical engineers. We do take in fresh graduates to train and develop for the future of our company.
In recent years, I have noticed a marked reduction in the quality of the engineering graduates. I would like to suggest that our local universities work with professional bodies such as Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) to address the weaknesses.
Some of the courses should be tailored to suit industrial requirements. BEM and IEM would be in the right position to work with the many universities we have here. Alternatively, they could come up with modules to be included in the engineering curriculum at our local universities.
With the advent of computers and simulation packages, another new problem is that fresh engineers seem at a loss to conduct design calculations from basic principles. They are over reliant on such computer packages.
When they start work, they are at a loss to do design work because some companies may not have such computer packages. Hence, even basic engineering calculations to determine the optimum pipe sizing and pump selection are beyond them.
These are basic engineering calculations, and without the necessary skills, we are left with design works that are sub-optimal, resulting in high operating costs for the users.
Alternatively, everyone would be running to consultants to get even the most basic of engineering work done for them.
In many of the plants I have been to, there is much that could be done to improve efficiency by just going back to good basic engineering practice. And in some cases, it’s just using good common sense.
I think there is a need to teach and emphasise on such basics. We should ensure that our young engineers are provided with good foundation knowledge for the future of our country.
After all, it is upon solid foundations that skyscrapers are built.
In this aspect, I must take my hat off to University Technology Petronas (UTP), which has formed an Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), and invites professionals from the industry to review their curriculum and suggest areas for improvement. UTP is serious about this and has implemented many of the suggestions introduced by its IAP.
UTP also has an adjunct lectures series where professionals are called in to give lectures to the undergraduates. I think these are good initiatives that other universities would do well to emulate.
Adopted from the StarOnline Thursday April 17, 2008
My two cents:
From my observations, a lot of newly graduated engineers are lacking of the confidence they are supposed to possess. Engineers come and go from various work places. Most of them resigned because they cannot perform, cannot cope or cannot stand working. They are not mentally tough. Two years plus ago, a group of engineers including me was scolded badly by our big boss. The next day, one of us resigned. He simply said that he could not work in that kind of environment. He cannot work under immense pressure from the superiors.
However, some of the newly graduated engineers are well performing. I admit that. I am so impressed with a few colleagues of mine who performed very excellent as an engineer. They adapt and communicate very well. They effectively coordinate and manage project and work.
As for myself, last year, I supervised a practical student. I told him that we are going to communicate in English all the time. He was not allowed to converse in other language or our mother tongue language. The reason was for him to practice conversing and communicating in English fluently. We did talked and discussed in English. I think he was a good student and perform all the exercises and assignments given to him by me. I bet he'll become a good reliable engineer someday.
Being a Malay working in a Chinese company seems quite challenging. However, I have no fear and problem with that. Although I can't speak or understand when they converse in Mandarin, I ensure myself conversing in English with all of them. On a daily basis, I will attend a meeting with a group of Chinese executives, engineers, chemist and managers and I'm the only Malay in the group. When they talked to me in Malay language, I replied in English. I don't give a damn. Some suppliers also acknowledge this. They were impressed on me because I still converse in English and forced them to talk the same language with me.
Well, those discussed above are mostly related to the soft skills. When it comes to the technical skills, as engineers we must show what we are capable to do. We must be able to do all those basic calculations and engineering work. Most of the time, we will have to learn more simply because we have not been exposed to those new areas or knowledges while at the university. We have to learn and show that we can pick up what ever projects or tasks assigned to us. My previous boss will always encourage me to meet up with suppliers because they are the expert in their field. We can call and meet up with them, discuss and increase our technical knowledge. Frankly, I learned a lot from my suppliers. I think it is not to harsh if I say, we utilized and used them for our sake.
OK, so bottom line, new engineers or present engineers... we need to work out on our soft and technical skills. Do not disappoint our boss although sometimes you might hate him... After all, we must show that we are worth what we are being paid. At the end of the day, if we perform, we'll get a good increment and bonus!!!
Baker Hughes Cathodic Protection Tool
Monday, April 14, 2008
If you are in the pipeline and gas technology, you might want to check out this new innovative Cathodic Protection Tool. Previously, when I was in the oil and gas industry, working with a local servicing company, we used cathodic protection to minimize corrosion, but not like this piece of equipment which can be used from the internal part of the pipeline. For those of you who are not familiar with Cathodic Protection, check out about it HERE. The following information was adopted from Pipeline and Gas Technology Ezine.
Baker Hughes Pipeline Management Group (PMG) has introduced the CPCM in-line inspection (ILI) service, the industry’s first method of assessing the effectiveness of a pipeline’s cathodic protection system from inside the pipe. Now pipeline operators can utilize an ILI tool to proactively identify gaps and flaws in their cathodic protection systems before corrosion damage can occur. The CPCM service utilizes a smart pig traveling through the line, performing high-resolution cathodic protection measurements of the entire pipeline, minimizing valuable time and resource requirements. There are no gaps in the data stream due to rough terrain, lakes or streams, city streets and other inaccessible areas, and the quality of the data is maintained regardless of right-of-way conditions. The system can also be used for assessing offshore pipelines.
A bunch of chemical engineering students gathered in the Wu Conference Center at University of New Brunswick Fredericton, Canada to show case their projects in the Innovations and Opportunities Atlantic Canada Engineering Conference. the project carried out by those students were very interesting. One of the projects which was converting coal to fuel was pretty interesting. I know the basics of this technology while doing my masters few years ago (I did converting gas to liquid technology before). The coal to fuel was first develop by SASOL in South Africa. For them, they managed to create a process which is commercially viable. Now, the students have presented their ideas to establish the coal to liquid plant in Canada and it will be truly rewarding if their ideas will be executed. Continue reading the full news below:
FREDERICTON - From producing synthetic oil from oil shale to making diesel from coal, energy production projects dominated the Innovations and Opportunities Atlantic Canada engineering conference.
More than 130 university and high school students, faculty, government officials and industry representatives packed the Wu Conference Centre at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton recently to hear about nine capital projects designed to bring major investments and jobs to the province.
Altogether the student projects, if they were all built, would represent more than $6 billion in capital investments and would create more than 1,700 jobs.
Among the most intriguing ideas presented at the one-day event was a plant designed to turn coal from Minto into ultra-low sulphur diesel.
"Our economic analysis shows this plant is extremely profitable," said Blair Kelly, one of the three students who designed the $1.1-billion facility.
The plant, designed by Kelly, Stephanie Guay and Rebecca Appleton would produce 10,000 barrels of diesel fuel each day from 1,400 tonnes of coal. If built, it would be the first coal-to-liquid fuels plant in Canada.
The technology was first developed during the Second World War and is in use in South Africa as well as China.
Continue reading the full article HERE.
Photos: Rebecca Appleton, Blair Kelly and Stephane Guay, chemical engineering students at the University of New Brunswick, have designed a $1.1-billion coal-to-liquid fuels plant which could be built in Minto. The plant would produce 10,000 barrels per day of ultra-low sulphur diesel.
There are simply a lot of problems in a processing or a production plant. I did mentioned a broad or general ideas on the problems before this.
It will be very frustrating if a problem arises from an uncontrollable source. For example, today, there was a power surge which came from the local power supply. It happened so fast and we felt the power interruption in a split second. Immediately, I looked through the CCTV and checkout what was happening from inside my office. The plant operators were running here and there checking the valves, pumps and other equipments. Three units of boilers which are supposed to supply steam to the plants shut off. The boiler man worked very hard to start up the boiler step by step. My colleague, a charge man, swiftly checked the LV (Low Voltage) room to checked on any problem or tripping on our site. Fortunately, everything was in perfect order. It was the 1 second power surge that affected us and definitely resulted in a terrible downtime to our production.
How to avoid such downtime?
For our side, we cannot avoid this. It must be control from the local power supplier, in our case, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). They must ensure their local power station is performing well and delivering sufficient power to surrounding factories and plants. Well, that's one kind of downtime that is very costly and unavoidable. A problem that is beyond our control.
Manchester - Successful Contractor Management 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Today I received an email from EngineerLive.com that I think should be shared with you guys who do not received those informations. It is about an event related to successful contractor management. Those who are in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction field or industry should take note on this. Following is the exact email I got from them:
Join us at this year’s “Successful Contractor Management 2008” conference on the 20th and 21st May 2008 in Manchester. Effective contractor management is an essential issue today within maintenance management and technical projects. Ensuring your contractors meet Health & Safety standards is critical; getting the most out of your contractual relationships can be challenging; guaranteeing trained, competent and professional contractors problematic; and, measuring contractor performance is both complex and time consuming. And that’s just scratching the surface. If you also consider key topics like risk management, training, partnership models, planning and scheduling, contractual monitoring and IT it’s hardly surprising that the issue of contractor management is becoming increasingly important.
This conference will cover these topics, and more, and will give you all the tools and techniques you need to overcome these challenges. With best practice case studies from Halliburton, London Underground, Merck, OMV, Ontario Power Generation and Rolls-Royce this is a once in a lifetime chance to learn from those at the “coal face” of contractor management. You will also hear from the contractors themselves, getting their essential view on issues like relationship building, health and safety and performance measurement.
To download the conference brochure, and for more information please go to www.tacook.co.uk/cm2008
Packed with networking opportunities where you can thrash out your own challenges with the experts, this event offers you the most comprehensive platform to discuss these crucial issues.
You can also benefit form attending a pre-conference workshop. Gain a more comprehensive view of the individual issues being addressed, in a relaxed and informative environment. The workshops available at this event are:
Workshop A: Leading and Motivating Contracted Crews
Workshop B: Creating Value: Contract Management – A Wider View
For more information or to register please visit www.tacook.co.uk/cm2008 or contact the events team at email@example.com or +44 (0) 121 616 0190.
We look forward to meeting you in Manchester.
Events & Marketing Manager
T. A. Cook Conferences
Fabrication of Pressure Vessels
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
These are two very interesting videos that I would like to share. It's about pressure vessels that are normally available in any production plant from various industries. For me, I have numerous pressure vessels installed in the plant I take care. I never really pay attention on those vessels which include oil heater, boiler, distillation column, shell and tube etc. I only care about those vessels during the annual plant inspection shutdown and maintenance. That time, we have to open the manhole(s) of the vessels and clean the internal part of it. However, I have never thought or imagine how those pressure vessel are fabricated! The following videos reveals hot those equipments are made. Check out the videos - Part 1 and part 2.
The following texts are the description of the videos above that came along with the video in youtube.com:
A pressure vessel is a closed, rigid container designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure different from the ambient pressure. The end caps fitted to the cylindrical body are called heads.
In addition to industrial compressed air receivers and domestic hot water storage tanks, other examples of pressure vessels are: diving cylinder, recompression chamber, distillation towers, autoclaves and many other vessels in mining or oil refineries and petrochemical plants, nuclear reactor vessel, habitat of a space ship, habitat of a submarine, pneumatic reservoir, hydraulic reservoir under pressure, rail vehicle airbrake reservoir, road vehicle airbrake reservoir and storage vessels for liquified gases such as ammonia, chlorine, propane, butane and LPG.
In the industrial sector, pressure vessels are designed to operate safely at a specific pressure and temperature, technically referred to as the "Design Pressure" and "Design Temperature". A vessel that is inadequately designed to handle a high pressure constitutes a very significant safety hazard. Because of that, the design and certification of pressure vessels is governed by design codes such as the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code in North America, the Pressure Equipment Directive of the EU (PED), Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS), CSA B51 in Canada, AS1210 in Australia and other international standards like Lloyd's, Germanischer Lloyd, Det Norske Veritas, Stoomwezen etc.
Room Temperature Superconducting Material
Sunday, April 06, 2008
A friend of mine, Mael, gave this link to me. It's a very interesting article about a new breakthrough regarding superconducting material fabricated by a Canadian-German team which has been made out of a silicon-hydrogen compound and does not require cooling. The implications of the discovery are enormous and could transform the way people live by cutting power usage from everything from refrigeration to cell phones.
Instead of super-cooling the material, as is necessary for conventional superconductors, the new material is instead super-compressed. The researchers claim that the new material could sidestep the cooling requirement, thereby enabling superconducting wires that work at room temperature.
Continue reading the full article here.
Labels: Learning Curve
For final year chemical engineering students, any final year students or any engineers who want to create a resume, check out 36 Beautiful Resume Ideas that work. Resume is very important when getting a job and it provides the first impression to your potential employee (future boss). Hence, it will be useful to check it out and try to use one of them
The next National Chemical Engineers Symposium (NACES) 2008, will be held in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) from 1st to 3rd of August 2008.
What is NACES?
National Chemical Engineers Symposium (NACES) is an annual gathering for all chemical engineering undergraduates from both public and private universities from all over Malaysia. This program can enhance the integration among chemical engineering undergraduates from different races. Apart from that, this program can provide exposure on the issues and challenges faced by chemical engineers in the era of globalization in their effort to develop the country.
In year 2005, NACES was held by Universiti Malaya (UM) in collaboration with Institute of Chemical Engineers Malaysia (IJKM). In year 2006, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) became the host for this program. Last year, NACES 2007 was held successfully in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
There are all together 4 very good objectives for NACES 2008. The objectives are as follows:
2. To draw interest and concern of the undergraduates over the importance of chemical and petroleum-based industries, and highlight chemical and petroleum engineers as potential driving force to the country’s development.
3. To create a venue for all universities in Malaysia to gather their thoughts and ideas for enhancement of our future as chemical engineers.
4. To provide an opportunity for participants and committee members from various social backgrounds to interact with each other and build new friendships.
The key to restoring climate stability is shifting from a fossil-fuel- based energy economy to one based on renewable sources of energy and hydrogen. The good news is that this shift is well underway. The bad news is that it may not be happening fast enough to avoid a climate- disrupting buildup of pollution.
The burning of coal, the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, peaked in 1996 and has dropped by 6% since then. This historical peak marked the first decline in the use of a fossil fuel. It may be followed by a similar peak in oil use within the next five to 15 years. In contrast, renewables, starting from a small base, are growing at an extraordinary pace. Worldwide, wind electric generation grew by 32% a year from 1995 to 2001. In 2001, it grew by a robust 36%. And in the United States, wind electric generating capacity jumped by a phenomenal 66% in 2001.Continue reading about the theme here.
I seriusly urge junior chemical engineer to attend this symposium for to gain more exposure on the industry. Personally, I've attended the previous NACES 2007 hosted by the Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering (FKKSA), UTM as a judge for the forum/debate and a workshop moderator. I can observed students actively participating and discussing throughout the session. It was a great event. I'm sure that students attending any NACES program will gain valuable precious input from the event. However, I think it is good if they can include some sort of process or production plant tour in their agenda. It will be really good if the students can see the actual distillation column, heat exchanger, cooling tower, boiler, piping, pump, understand why NPSH is very important, and learn a lot more. Well, that purely depends on the organizing committee. I'm sure they've work so hard to plan and make the whole program perfectly realized. If only there are companies in our industry who can allow students to conduct a brief site visit, that would be very lovely.
Registration deadline is at 11th April while payment are expected to be completed before 18th April. Fees are RM70 and each university are only allowed to send maximum 30 representatives.
For further informations, please drop by their official website: http://eng.upm.edu.my/naces2008/
Download NACES 2008 brochures here.
Some Problems We Find in A Processing & Production Plant
Saturday, April 05, 2008
As a process engineer or production executive, we shall always hope and wish that the plant will be smooth. A processing or production plant will always have a problem whether we like it or not. What will the problem be? Are they thought in the university? Can you get them in the text books? I bet you would not get those valuable informations anywhere there?
So, how can you get them? You'll actually get them when you work and experience those problems yourself. Another way of getting those precious information is by asking and learning it from experience executives and engineers.
I've been working for almost three years in my current work place and I observed all these problems. I think it might be useful if I share all those plant problems with you guys. There are a lot of problems and I shall post it in this blog from time to time. The problems varies and comes from various angles and areas such as (without any particular arrangement):
1. Utilities problems :
power, natural gas, steam, water, chemicals, LFO, diesel, processing aid, air etc. Processing cost can increase the overall production cost.
2. Maintenance & Equipment problems :
Pump, piping, instrumentation, pressure transmitter, level transmitter, temperature indicator, NPSH, cavitation, control valve, steam trap, leakage, insulation.
3. Human resource problems :
Disciplinary, Late coming, absent, failure to obey instruction, negligence, psychology.
4. Report & Documentation problems :
Daily report, monthly report, quarterly report, yearly report, ISO & GMP related documents.
5. Communication problems :
Miscommunication, instruction, network, PC, server, bad relationship with up line, down line and colleagues.
6. Quality problems :
Laboratory, lab checking, quality control, testing error, solution/chemical contamination.
7. Supplier problems :
Raw material - product - goods out of spec, cheating.
8. Supporting equipment problems :
Deterioration of cooling tower performance, heat exchanger performance.
9. Planning problems :
Administration interruption, supply demand, market, margin.
10. Control system problems :
Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Human machine interface (HMI) and PC, IT, network, softwares.
11. Stock, raw material, storage tank problems :
Network, false information, over flow, insufficient storage tank, contamination.
12. Stress, Pressure & Health Problems :
Meeting deadline, lack of time, inadequate knowledge, 24 hours alert and standby, meetings, reports, various crisis, inability to manage pressure from top management.
OK. That would be some very general and surface introduction on what problems we can expect from running a plant. I'll try to update and add more on those details from time to time. I welcome anybody who want to share problems that they faced in their plant. We can discuss it here and share it with the rest of the readers.
I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!