Sembcorp Marine is a leading marine and offshore engineering group specialising in a full spectrum of integrated solutions in ship repair, shipbuilding, ship conversion, rig building and offshore engineering & construction. Offering one of the largest marine and offshore engineering facilities in Asia, Sembcorp Marine’s operations span the strategic hubs of Singapore, China, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and USA. Its yards in Singapore are Jurong Shipyard, Sembawang Shipyard, PPL Shipyard, Jurong SML and SMOE Pte Ltd.
Sembcorp Marine is committed to fulfilling the needs and aspirations of its employees by giving them opportunities to learn and excel to their fullest potential. Scholarships are frequently awarded by the Group to groom talented individuals for promising careers within its yards.We find out from two Sembcorp Marine scholars,
Kelvin Kang and Ang Joo Hock, their thoughts about being part of the Group’s marine and offshore engineering operations.
Kelvin Kang, 25 years old, is an Assistant Project Manager at Jurong Shipyard, a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine. Kelvin joined Jurong Shipyard in July 2007 as a Project Engineer and was promoted to Assistant Project Manager in July 2008. Sembcorp Marine also sponsored Kelvin to pursue his studies for a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture at University of Michigan (2006), and a Masters of Science in Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture, also at University of Michigan (2007).
Kelvin, why did you choose to take up a scholarship with Sembcorp Marine?
Sembcorp Marine is an established industry player and the marine industry is an exciting and challenging sector with lots of potential as well as opportunities for learning and growth. I did my bachelors and masters in naval architecture and marine engineering at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) under a Sembcorp Marine scholarship. During my studies abroad, I had the opportunity to be immersed in different cultures. At the yard, I went through the SIC SRM (Safety Instruction Course for Ship Repair Managers) course to be grounded in managing the safety aspects of a project.
What attracted you to join the marine and offshore industry?
I enjoy engineering and have always been fascinated with the way things work. In the marine and offshore industry, you work with mega-machines and structures. The rigs, jack-ups, and Floating Production Storage and Offloading(FPSO) , are engineering marvels and I knew it would be extremely challenging and rewarding to work in such an industry.
What are some of your key job roles?
I manage various aspects of a project such as organizing, mobilizing, and supervising manpower and resources and overseeing the day-to-day production onboard. Sometimes I have to chair the VSCC (Vessel Safety Co-ordination Committee) meetings which can involve up to 30 people, comprising customers and colleagues from different departments. I make decisions and resolve issues that may arise from differing elements of the various disciplines, i.e. machinery, painting, piping, outfitting, structure and Quality Assurance/ Control.
What is a typical day at work like?
There are new challenges everyday. Activities in a work day involve managing outstanding issues and production status of critical areas; going onboard the vessel or rig to personally check the production status; attending a safety meeting; reviewing and tracking the progress of the project. You need to think fast on your feet and respond quickly.
What are the challenges in your job?
Coordinating and motivating multiple disciplines, different people, different engineers – all from different backgrounds, cultures, interests – to work towards a common goal, these are the challenges on the job. To get the job done well, it is important to be approachable, and honest about your needs and expectations.
Our team recently completed a semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling rig. This rig, the second unit of a series of 10 high-performance 6th generation semi-submersible rigs, was built using a very innovative and revolutionary technique developed by Jurong Shipyard, known as the “Load-out & Mating-in-dock” & “Transverse Skidding” method that enables multiple rigs to be simultaneously constructed and sequentially assembled in close succession.
What gives you job satisfaction?
The results are very tangible. When you see a steel structure being erected, or a major piece of equipment being installed, it is physically there, so it is immediately rewarding and visible for all to see.
What’s the work culture like at Sembcorp Marine?
At my workplace, there is a good amount of liberty to exercise one’s creativity. While there are fixed ways of doing things, people are always open to suggestions towards better ways of executing a job. You are allowed to innovate ways to improve the production process.
In your opinion, what are the traits of a successful professional in this industry? What skillsets do you need?
Important traits are adaptability, a willingness to learn, innovativeness, ability to think out of the box and find unique solutions to complex problems. Good observational skills and attention to detail are also vital. It is also important to be humble as there are many experienced men in the yard who have been working there for more than 30 years.
Ang Joo Hock, 31 years old, is a Deputy Production Manager at Sembawang Shipyard, a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine.
Joo Hock joined Sembawang Shipyard in 2001, under a Sembcorp Marine scholarship for his Diploma in Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and was further sponsored for his Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) in Naval Architecture, at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. Joo Hock is also currently sponsored by Sembcorp Marine to pursue a Masters in Management of Technology at the National University of Singapore.
I have always been interested in and fascinated by engineering. Ships, rigs and offshore platforms are like floating factories with specialized functions. It is also a place where people work and live in. As such, marine and offshore engineering is a synergy of engineering disciplines such as marine, mechanical, electrical, structural, chemical and environmental engineering all rolled into one specialized field.
What’s it like working at Sembcorp Marine?
I was given many opportunities to learn through work rotation and gained many valuable experiences during the course of my work. When I first joined Sembawang Shipyard after graduating from polytechnic in 2001, I was assigned to the hull department as an Assistant Engineer handling the planning and coordination of steelwork repair activities with our workmen, contractors, surveyors and project managers.
During this period, I was attached to an experienced mentor and I gained a good understanding of the steelwork trade, work methodology, and coordination with various parties.
In 2002, I was very fortunate to be granted a sponsorship by Sembcorp Marine to pursue a 1-year Advanced Diploma in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, progressing to a final-year Bachelor of Naval Architecture degree course at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.
Following my graduation in 2004, I rejoined the yard as a Project Engineer. I was assigned to the Project Management Department for 3 years where I managed various Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) repairs and Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) conversion projects. I was first attached to the project manager to learn the basics and gain sufficient experience before leading my own project. In project management, our main responsibility is to lead the entire project by managing all aspects including cost, schedule, production and safety. This requires plenty of coordination with various departments, owners and contractors.
After three years in project management, I was posted back to the Hull department as an Assistant Production Manager and promoted a year later to Deputy Production Manager. As a Deputy Production Manager, my responsibilities include overseeing the department’s steelwork operations in the workshops and onboard as well as the entire yard’s steel fabrication. I was able to apply what I have learnt in project management to the Steel Production department after understanding the entire operation flow and the ‘big picture’.
What is your current job like?
My main responsibility as Deputy Production Manager involves overseeing the structure fabrication work for repairs, conversions and newbuilds, and to ensure that the structures meet high quality and safety standards before installation & assembly. Other than supervising daily workshop operations, I am also involved in the development and expansion of the yard’s production facilities as well as continuous improvement to our work processes to achieve better productivity.
My job is interesting and challenging because every day is exciting and varied. Being able to effect positive changes to the work processes to continuously improve standards of quality, safety and reliability in our working environment is another aspect I particularly enjoy. I also enjoy the teamwork involved in the yard, with everyone working together towards the common goal of achieving customers- unique requirements and delivering the project on time and on target.
Several interesting projects I’ve worked on are managing the conversion of the FPSO Yùum K’ak’náab – the FPSO with the largest oil throughput, and Sapura 3000, a newbuild heavylift pipelaying vessel.
There are many opportunities in the marine and offshore industry to advance your career, both in the technical and non-technical areas. It is important to have a positive attitude, be proactive and keen to learn. Stay focused, pursue your dreams and your hard work will be recognized and rewarded.
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