Curtin Sarawak’s Petroleum Engineering Department keen to enhance ties with other institutions and industry

Associate Professor Sharul (right) presenting a gift to UiTM Shah Alam’s Associate Professor Zulkafli during the latter’s visit to Curtin Sarawak.

Associate Professor Sharul (right) presenting a gift to UiTM Shah Alam’s Associate Professor Zulkafli during the latter’s visit to Curtin Sarawak.

Miri – 5 February 2015 – The Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Science of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is keen to enhance its links with other institutions of higher learning and industry players.

Associate Professor Sharul Sham Dol, who heads the department, said it is particularly interested in collaborations in research and benchmarking exercises with them, as well as creating internship and employment opportunities for its students and graduates.

He said that, in addition to enhancing the department’s profile, it will be vital in ensuring that the Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum Engineering) course delivered by his department is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Council Malaysia (EAC) this year.

As part of these initiatives, Associate Professor Sharul recently presented a public lecture at Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) Centre for Advanced Material and Energy Sciences (CAMES) to promote Curtin Sarawak’s research activities. The CAMES is a newly established research centre and, according to Associate Professor Sharul, Curtin Sarawak is interested to collaborate with it on energy management research.

Curtin Sarawak also recently hosted a visit by a delegation from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, during which the two institutions discussed joint research in flow assurance. The delegation was led by UiTM Shah Alam’s Head of Oil and Gas Engineering, Associate Professor Zulkafli Hassan.

Following the visit, Associate Professor Sharul and his team paid a visit to UiTM Shah Alam for a benchmarking exercise on the university’s Oil and Gas Engineering course.

To further enhance the employability of Curtin Sarawak’s petroleum engineering students, academic staff of the department headed by Dr. Raoof Gholami has initiated discussions with the Wells Department of PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd for internship and job placements for its students and graduates. They also discussed research opportunities and funding for the university’s Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students.

To meet growing enrolments in the Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum Engineering), currently the Faculty of Engineering and Science’s fastest-growing course, the Department of Petroleum Engineering has increased its number of academic staff from only two in 2013 to 12.

The highly-specialised 4-year course, which is equivalent to the one offered at Curtin’s main campus in Perth, Western Australia, was developed in collaboration with global players like Chevron, Woodside, Shell, BHP Biliton and BP, which continue to support Curtin’s petroleum engineering programme.

At Curtin Sarawak, the course has been further refined to meet the technical needs of the Oil & Gas sector in Malaysia with the involvement of industry players like Petronas, Shell, Nippon Oil, Murphy Oil, Schlumberger and Talisman, which operate extensively in East Malaysia.

The course is suited to those seeking lucrative careers in both the national and international Oil & Gas industry. While it is in many ways geared towards meeting Malaysia’s needs, it maintains a global perspective and is applicable anywhere in the world.

“Career opportunities abound for petroleum engineering graduates who can pursue a range of professions in the industry, such as reservoir engineers, production or operations engineers, and drilling engineers, either on rigs or in an office environment,” said Associate Professor Sharul.

He added that now, with news of discoveries of new potentially producing fields in Malaysia, there should be heightened interest in the oil and gas industry and hopefully in careers in the industry as well.

Furthermore, as the course at Curtin Sarawak adopts the same course structure as that of the main campus in Australia, students are assured of the quality of the petroleum engineering curriculum delivered here.

Associate Professor Sharul also said that Curtin Sarawak’s location within the hub of the Oil & Gas industry in Sarawak offers distinct advantages to its petroleum engineering students. Due to the practical and applied nature of the course, and the university’s strong links with industry players, they have a lot of opportunities to develop practical skills and gain valuable work experience interacting with industry professionals.

In addition, the course’s teaching staff have extensive professional experience in the field and offer practical relevancy to student learning. Industry specialists also provide regular guest lectures, ensuring content is up-to-date with the latest developments, and lectures are often accompanied by lab work and field trips.

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