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The School Of Chemical Engineering’s Industry Advisory Panels Urged The Undergraduate Students To Broaden Their Minds With Global Issues

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16 November 2016, the School of Chemical Engineering is very honoured to receive three out of five of its Industry Advisory Panels (IAP) to the Engineering Campus in an annual IAP meeting to discuss the issues pertaining the requirements as well as revision of the curriculum of the Chemical Engineering programme offered by USM.

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Project Director for Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID), Datuk Nur Iskandar Abd. Samad, a former Managing Director, Shell Trading Sdn. Bhd., Dato’ Hj. Azman Ismail together with Mdm. Khalidah Ambiah of Petronas Chemical Fertiliser, Kedah and an alumni of the School of Chemical Engineering joined the morning discussion with USM’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Industry and Community Network), Professor Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed as the first agenda of the visit.

Looking at the current scenario of the oil and gas sectors, the undergraduates should not entirely rely on such fields after they graduated as the oil price is currently at its lowest, said Azman. In a subsequence discussion, he was also proud to be associated with the School due to the recent QS World Ranking report, which placed Chemical Engineering at 46th.

However, in order to become more relevant to the presently competitive job market, the graduating students must also have value-added skills, which could be a selling point to employers. Nur Iskandar then added that the entrepreneurial skill could be one of the criteria where students might want to venture into.

Being part of Petronas for nearly 20 years and PCFK for nearly 10 years, Khalidah reiterated that technical skills in the form of CGPA is not the sole element that a company is looking for during the recruitment process, but rather they are more interested in the ability of the candidates to express ideas, to work in a group of people and ultimately the ability to lead a team in a given project. As the Head of Technical Service Department at PCFK in Gurun, she has a vast experience, particularly in the selection of the most suitable engineers to join her team.

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The panels were then joined by all the chemical engineering undergraduate students in a forum session at the Auditorium Hall as the second agenda of the visit. This would give a direct opportunity to students to closely interact with the industrial representatives so that they are more focus during their undergraduate years.

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The forum moderated by Associate Professor Ir. Dr. Zainal Ahmad managed to open the minds of the students, especially in choosing their careers in the future.

The School of Chemical Engineering is very much appreciated to all the IAP members for the advice, suggestions and comments given to the current programme on how it could be made relevant to the rapidly changing world scenario nowadays.

It is hoped with the advice the School will continuously prepare chemical engineers whom technically equipped with good soft skills for their future endeavour.

Text: Dr. Mohamad Hekarl Uzir
Photo : Hisyam Adnan.