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Chemical Engineering World

Sharing Chemical Engineer's Challenging, Exciting, Interesting and Stimulating Life...

Can I Learn and Master Everything?

My original ambition was to be an architect! My father, my mother and my uncle knows about this. I love sketching and drawing. I drew modern buildings, I imagined a sky scraper university and sketched too. After my secondary school, I had to made a decision whether to choose architecture or something related to chemistry. If you want to know how I develop my interest in chemistry / chemical engineering, feel free to read my about me story.

I have to choose the direction of my tertiary education (end 1993). I'm confused... Should I choose architecture or Chemical Engineering? I love them both. I want to make a career out of both of them.

Then, I made my decision. I'll study Chemical Engineering and learn Architecture (on a part time basis). The place where I studied before, Pusat Pendidikan Persediaan Institute Teknologi Mara (PPP ITM), that time, also offers architecture course on top of engineering courses. I thought I can learn architecture on my free time while being an engineering student.

Luckily, the class I was in combined 6 architecture students with the rest of the engineering students (about 25 of us). This was such a great opportunity for me because I have architecture students friends at class and at my hostel. This means I can easily learn architecture from them. Once in a while, after completing my engineering tutorial, I went to my architecture student friend apartment and browsed through their books, flipped pages, checked out his sketches and drawing. I made few drawings as well and they acknowledged my work. I was very delighted with that.

But then, as time goes by, the engineering subjects became tougher and tougher. I had to pay more attention on pure mathematics, mechanics, physics and chemistry subjects. I need to get a good grade for my A-Levels, if not, I'm not going overseas. So, there goes my architecture dream... drifting away...and away....from me. I no longer have the time to entertain my artistic desire. I have to focus and work hard on my chemical engineering degree.

I am those type of person who don't spend money for fun or leisure. My pocket money was always channel to buy books, magazine or any reading material that I'm interested in.

Well, that was about 13-14 years ago. Now the same issue emerge again.

I graduated as a chemical engineer, got a masters degree, work few years in the industry and now I'm an academician. I still have the same desire - to learn and master everything. I want to be good at almost everything. I want to be good in lecturing, research work, consultation, web 2.0., professional involvements, sports and many more. The fact is I'm just a normal human being. I need to be realistic. I can't learn everything even if I spend 24 hours a day. I have limited hours and I need to wisely manage my time to do all my activities especially the learning stuffs that interest me. I need to prioritize what I should learn.

Believe it or not, I have tonnes of ebooks. Some related to chemical engineering while the rest not related. I also have hundreds of technical paper in my hard disc. I'm not sure when i can read them. It's just too much. Short answer is I need to again - prioritize.

So the conclusions:

1. In our life, we have a lot of responsibilities and good desires.
2. We only have 24 hours a day.
3. We have to be realistic on what we want to do.
4. So, we need to prioritize our tasks. We need to focus on certain areas. Establish your own skill
and area.

I'm sorry ramble. There are too much inside my head. I want to do a lot of thing but I can't. i have to do it one at a time. If only I can duplicate myself...


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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 9:58 PM,


At Wednesday, November 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been receiving feeds from your blog to be aware of the chemical engineering field. I liked this post because I'm the same way you pictured here. I have a bachelor on biotechnological engineering and I headed to a chemical and biochemical engineering masters. I've been enjoying pretty much this field but I have much to learn. I felt comprehended with this post because I'm interested on lots of things, I when I read this to the end I just thought... life's too short. Continue with this blog because I think it's very interesting and valuable.
Best wishes

At Thursday, November 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A familiar story! I graduated as a Chemical Engineer (1977) but had a strong electronics hobby, so got a Masters in Electronic Instrumentation. This led into embedded software development and my current employment in designing high-speed industrial inkjet printers. I have maintained my interest in all these things, which includes gigabytes of interesting articles, texts, reference material, etc. I know my life is too short to "read" it all - BUT if it is in searchable format, then I can let the computer find relevent information for me. So where possible, I download searchable versions, or scan and OCR articles. If OCR isn't practicable, then I associate a brief text description. And enjoy a browse once in a while. Much of the information IS on the internet, but it is often of doubtful quality, whereas my accumulated material is normally peer-reviewed and/or from reputable sources and/or familiar, tried and trusted from my past.

At Thursday, November 06, 2008, Blogger Kipas Repair JB said...


Thanks a lot for your comment.

Philip g spenser,

Wow... you are a senior...and your interest is uniquely interesting too as a chemical engineer....
Thanks for sharing your story :)


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The Author


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!

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