Industrial visits enhance Curtin Sarawak technical students’ learning experience

Group photo following visit to Shell MDS.

Group photo following visit to Shell MDS.

Miri – 7 November 2014 – Technical students from the School of Continuing Studies of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently went on industrial site visits in Bintulu and Miri as part of their learning experience.

The visits enabled them to observe the operations of industrial workplaces, as well as the challenges experienced by their employees.

40 students from the Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety programme, accompanied by technical lecturers Daniel Tang and Abdul Hamid Abdullah, visited the Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (MDS) plant in Bintulu.

The plant was chosen as it is the first of its kind in the world, pioneering the use of alternative raw materials to produce fuels and specialty chemicals such as waxes.

From the visit, the students were able to acquire a fundamental understanding of the plant’s operations and related occupational hazards. They also gained an understanding of how health and safety, including risk control, emergency response and accident investigation procedures, is managed at the plant, as well as how statistics related to health and safety is used in managing health and safety issues.

Present to welcome the group was Communication – Social Performance Advisor of Shell MDS, Khajizah Rapaie. Following a welcoming speech by Khajizah, a safety briefing was given by Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Advisor – Emergency Response Bilong Siting.

Section Head of Operational HSSE Syahrizul Fadly Madelli then gave a talk on Shell MDS’ corporate profile and operations; HSSE plan; health and safety management and emergency response procedures.

The visit also included a tour of the plant’s control room, where the students were able to observe the use of state-of-the-art technology with sophisticated safety features in process control.

Another group of 28 students made a similar site visit to the Shell Training and Development Centre in Lutong near Miri. They were accompanied by the head of the School of Continuing Studies, Bibi Aminah Abdul Ghani; head of the Department of Diploma Studies, Chew Ing Ming; and technical lecturers Jaffrey Naan, Abdul Hamid Abdullah and Natallee Faith Kwan.

The main objective of the visit was to widen the students’ perspectives on careers in the oil and gas industry.

The group was welcomed by Learning Manager – Shell Upstream International Asia, Mak Met, who was accompanied by trainers Pandang Semat and Richard Lu, and taken on a tour of the training centre’s electrical, distributed control system and instrumentation sections, as well as its mini platform.

According to Mak, such site visits give students a clearer view of work conditions in oil and gas plants and offshore installations through the equipment, instruments and control systems used for demonstration and practical training at the centre.

He observed that the students’ perspectives clearly reflected their understanding of their technical learning as they participated actively in discussions with the trainers throughout the visit.

Meanwhile, the students appreciated the opportunity to not only understand the theories behind the different equipment and instruments, but also how they are used in real-life situations.

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