Position: Lead Mechanical Engineer and Rotating Equipment Specialist
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Year joined in: 2014
Can you tell us about your job?
I’m a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Mechanical and Rotating Equipment. As a specialist, I provide expert advice on the selection of mechanical equipment and sets the standards for project specifications and contractors’ activities on mechanical equipment engineering.
I also provide expertise, technical assurance overviews and support for rotating equipment systems to ensure safe, reliable, and cost effective operations and maintenance on our projects. I help ensure that all new and existing rotating equipment installations are completed in accordance with applicable standards.
What inspired you to become a Rotating Equipment Specialist?
Since university, I’ve always wanted to work with high-speed machinery such as gas turbines, compressors and pumps. It was a discipline that I discovered when I was required to study thermodynamics, a subject within turbomachinery.
Even though thermodynamics was a ‘killer subject’ avoided by most students, I found that I had a natural inclination for it. There is a beauty in thermodynamics and understanding how power is produced. Usefulness and beauty are two outstanding features of thermodynamics.
What excites you about the work you are doing now?
I love working on something that I have always been passionate about and I enjoy the opportunities to contribute my expertise in the discipline.
Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on at Petrofac.
When I first joined Petrofac, I was tasked with leading a team to deal with the time-sensitive challenge of commissioning the gaslift compressor on an FPSO. My team and I developed a strategy to start the gaslift compressor outside of the operating envelope.
I also took a lead on the gas turbine dual fuel upgrade, overseeing the new engine being built in Texas and all the way through to a factory acceptance testing.
We dealt with various challenges that could significantly delay the project, but with the extra effort and time put in by the team members, successful start-up of the gaslift compressor was achieved, which also resulted in doubling oil production.
I’m currently working on a facility enhancement project to increase production on the FPSO.
What has been the highlight of your time at Petrofac?
The successful gaslift compressor start-up and doubling oil production, which resulted in the team and I winning an EVE Award in 2016 in the Driven to Deliver category. This success is indeed testament to our capabilities, determination and resilience on what is a challenging asset.
How has Petrofac supported your ongoing development?
Petrofac encourages engineers to develop their knowledge and share it within the company and the wider industry through writing publications, delivering seminars and workshops, and presenting at conferences. I’ve benefitted from these as well as enjoyed the opportunity to present on my own specialism. I’ve provided in-house technical training on compressors and gas turbines and last year I presented a technical paper at an international conference, Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
Since joining Petrofac, I’ve been elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) UK, the highest level of professional recognition from the Institution. In fact, I’m currently the only Fellow IMechE in Petrofac Malaysia.
I’ve also been appointed an IMechE Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO).
What has been your key learning at Petrofac?
Safety is a way of life. Petrofac encourages each employee to take personal ownership for safety by demonstrating personal commitment and competence throughout the organisation. The Company has a global safety campaign called ‘Horizon Zero’ where it’s committed to a future with zero safety incidents.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
I hope to have more opportunities to work on high capital value and technically challenging projects that will enhance my technical capabilities.
What advice would you give someone thinking about a career in engineering at Petrofac?
Embarking on a career in engineering at Petrofac is a good decision. There are many opportunities to get involved in exciting projects, contribute new ideas and build on your capability. Petrofac also recognises and appreciates employees who go over and above their daily job and achieve outstanding results.