As a young boy, every time my father took me to Port Dickson, a coastal town in Negeri Sembilan, I would spend the time watching the ships sailed by. I would imagined myself navigating the ship across the oceans. The sight of gigantic-sized ships never fail to excite me and the smell of the ocean fueled my fascination with the sea. That was when I set my heart on becoming a seafarer. When I was in Form Three, my school held a career day. The school invited several higher learning institutions to set up booths and gave talks. One of them was the Malaysia Maritime Academy (ALAM).
The officer gave a refreshing talk on the courses offered and job opportunities. That spurred my ambition and I became more focused on my studies because I had to excel in the examinations in order to be accepted into the academy. After the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia’s (equivalent to O level) results were announced, I quickly applied for ALAM. Crossing my fingers, I spent my days anxiously waiting for the results. The day did come finally. I was over the moon when I received the letter from ALAM. My prayers had been answered. I chose to undergo Diploma in Nautical Studies.
The three-year course had exposed me to immense knowledge and information about maritime industry and technology. In addition, my training onboard a VLCC had introduced me to the technology involved in keeping the safe operation of oil transfer around the world. It really caught my attention in seeing how engineering technology helps in daily operation of a vessel. The training also fulfilled my dream of travelling abroad. I had the chance to discover new places and new cultures. My sailing experience had taught me that negligence is among the causes of maritime accidents.
I have seen oil spills, vessels rolling upside down due to incorrect stability calculation which cost shipping companies up to millions, not to mention the litigation filed to compensate the damage caused to the environment. For that, it has to come to my attention that I need to equip myself on areas of expertise and to coalesce with researchers around the world with the aim of building up the maritime industry to its highest possible standard. Thus, I have decided to pursue naval architecture and ocean engineering in the University of Strathclyde.
The subjects offered in the course will help to improve my knowledge on ship stability and ship construction. My experience with drydocking had opened my eyes to a whole new level of ship construction and engineering that further ignited my interest in the subjects. The presence of the university’s state –of- the- art laboratory and hydrodynamic facilities will enable me to design a prototype of a vessel. The data obtained will allow me to study the behavior of a vessel in various conditions. Being able to sail on a tanker had provided me with the opportunity to see various offshore structures.
I was also impressed with the technology used for subsea structures, oil and gas operations.. Thus, by enrolling myself in the naval architecture and ocean engineering course would enable me to gain deeper knowledge on various fields of construction and design of offshore structures. Consequently, I would be able to pursue a career in offshore and gas field. A degree in naval engineering is not offered in Malaysia. Therefore, by enrolling myself in the university will give me the opportunity to become a member of renowned, prestigious bodies like Naval Architects(UK) and The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).
This would fortify my job portfolio and open doors to worldwide employment opportunities. Finally, I chose to study in the university because the presence of state –of- the -art engineering research facilities and highly -trained and qualified professionals as lecturers would help me to realize my dream, my ambition. I would also be able to exchange knowledge and experience with undergraduates and professionals with different backgrounds from all over the world. My stay in the university would also widen my circle of friends and help me to brush up my English.