Aplikasi Visa Student UK Tier 4 Ternyata Mudah

Grup pre-departure UK mendadak ramai sekitar bulan Mei – Juli, sekitar 3 bulan menjelang Fall semester intake dari hampir semua universitas di UK. Aplikasi visa student UK seolah momok yang lebih menakutkan dibandingkan seleksi wawancara LPDP. Beberapa calon pelajar bisa tenang dan bersantai karena menggunakan jasa pengurusan aplikasi visa yang ditawarkan agen pendidikan terkenal seperti SUN, IBEC, atau IDP. Namun bagi yang mengurus sendiri dan first timer aplikasi visa UK, rasa takut gagal pasti ada mengingat biaya aplikasi yang relatif mahal dibanding visa ke negara lain. Saya ingin berbagi pengalaman saya mengajukan aplikasi visa PBS Tier 4 Student tanpa menggunakan kartu kredit untuk pembayaran online namun menggunakan kartu debit.

Perkenalan singkat, saya Ronald Sukianto merupakan salah satu awardee Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia LPDP PK-66 Laskar Dewantara yang akan melanjutkan studi tingkat magister di Sustainable Energy Futures, Imperial College London. Share mengenai aplikasi postgraduate di ICL dapat dilihat di Aplikasi Taught MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures, Imperial College London.

Dokumen yang dapat dipersiapkan

Dokumen terpenting yang perlu didapatkan adalah CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance Study). ICL hanya akan menerbitkan CAS paling cepat 3 bulan sebelum official course starting date dari program studi kita. Misalkan saya di SEF, dimulai tanggal 1 Oktober 2016 maka CAS diterbitkan tanggal 5 Juli 2016. Sambil menunggu CAS, dokumen yang dapat dipersiapkan:

  1. Sertifikat bebas TBC dari RS Premier (Jakarta, Surabaya, atau Bali) yang berlaku 6 bulan dari tanggal tes. Tata cara Tes Bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara.
  2. Terjemahan KK dan akta lahir yang dikeluarkan oleh Sworn Translator yang diakui oleh British Embassy. Daftarnya dapat dilihat di fadfafa . Saya pribadi menggunakan jasa penerjemah Tjan Sie Tek, hasilnya memuaskan.
  3. Paspor yang masih berlaku.
  4. Ijazah dan transkrip akademik pendidikan sebelumnya dalam bahasa Inggris (tidak perlu diterjemahkan oleh sworn translator).

Dokumen yang tidak wajib tapi boleh disiapkan:

  • Pas foto berlatar belakang putih, mulai 2016 foto dilakukan saat sesi pengambilan BRP sehingga tidak perlu membawa pas foto lagi.
  • Sertifikat IELTS, karena biasanya pihak kampus memberi keterangan dalam CAS bahwa kemampuan bahasa Inggris kita sudah di assess sesuai kriteria mereka. IELTS tidak wajib namun boleh saja dibawa saat appointment visa.
  • ATAS bagi yang wajib melampirkan, kebetulan jurusan saya tidak membutuhkan ATAS.
  • KTP tidak perlu dibuat terjemahan.
  • Kartu kredit untuk membayar aplikasi visa dan asuransi kesehatan. Saya bukan pengguna kartu kredit, saya tetap bisa membayar menggunakan kartu debit.
  • Booking flight ticket . Saya tidak menyiapkan ini, nyatanya aplikasi visa tetap sukses.

Bagi awardee beasiswa dokumen yang perlu dipersiapkan adalah Letter of Guarantee (LoG)atau Letter of Scholarship (LoS) yang memeberikan jaminan sponsor pembiayaan perkuliahan kita selama di UK. Awardee LPDP dapat menggunakan LoG maupun LoS, namun saya pribadi menggunakan LoG.

Online Application VFS Global

Aplikasi visa UK bisa dilakukan di https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/account/register. Setelah mendaftar, segera isi form mengenai detail paspor dan data diri. Progress aplikasi dapat di save sehingga bisa dilanjutkan kapan pun kita mau. Poin-poin dalam pengisian yang perlu diperhatikan:

  •  Nama lengkap dan nomor paspor harus sesuai dengan CAS.
  • Starting and end date course harus sesuai dengan CAS.
  • Tipe visa Tier 4 General (Sponsored) jika kita dibiayai oleh beasiswa, dalam kasus saya beasiswa LPDP. Namun pengalaman teman-teman penerima beasiswa LPDP yang memilih tipe visa Tier 4 General juga di-granted visa nya.
  • Masukan detail visa yang pernah didapat dan negara yang pernah dikunjungi. Paspor lama saya yang sudah dimusnahkan pihak imigrasi tetap saya tulis di aplikasi namun saya pilih “not in possession” sehingga saya tidak perlu membawa paspor lama, hanya paspor terbaru yang saya bawa.
  • Masukan lokasi pengambilan BRP setelah sampai di UK dengan benar karena BRP kita harus diambil dalam jangka waktu tertentu di tempat yang telah kita pilih. Saya memilih lokasi pengambilan BRP di Imperial College London sesuai petunjuk.
  • Tier 4 sponsor diisi dengan pihak kampus yang mengeluarkan CAS kita, dalam kasus saya Imperial College London.
  • Official financial sponsor diisi dengan lembaga yang membiayai studi kita, dalam kasus saya Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education.

Kartu debit – Virtual Credit Card

Saya menggunakan fitur Virtual Credit Card dari BNI, biasa disebut BNI Debit Online. Saya adalah pemegang kartu debit Mastercard dari BNI Taplus Muda. Kita dapat membuat kartu kredit virtual dengan memanfaatkan fitur sms banking. Prinsipnya VCC adalah kartu kredit virtual yang memiliki nomor unik yang dapat digunakan untuk melakukan pembayaran layaknya kartu kredit pada umumnya. Namun setelah pembayaran dilakukan, biaya akan langsung didebet dari rekening anda seperti layaknya transaksi menggunakan kartu debit. Setiap kita melakukan request pembuatan VCC, kita diminta memasukan nominal uang yang dijadikan limit transaksi kartu kredit virtual kita. VCC ini relatif lebih aman dibanding kartu kredit konvensional karena nomor kartu yang sekali pakai sehingga lebih aman dari ancaman carding.

Contoh jika menggunakan SMS banking BNI:

Ketik REQ(spasi)VCN(spasi)5000000 artinya kita meminta dibuatkan kartu kredit virtual dengan limit transaksi lima juta rupiah.

Berikut gambaran proses request VCN:

VCC BNI
VCC BNI

*Hati-hati dengan informasi nomor kartu (16 digit) dan verification code (3 digit) serta masa berlaku kartu. Dengan tiga informasi itu, siapapun dapat melakukan pembayaran online asalkan memasukkan data tersebut dengan tepat. Jaga agar informasi tidak diketahui orang lain.

Jika limit kartu debit hanya 10 juta rupiah, pembayaran IHS dan aplikasi visa tidak bisa dibayarkan langsung. Lakukan pembayaran IHS terlebih dahulu sekitar jam 11 menjelang tengah malam, kemudian setelah hari berganti baru lakukan pembayaran aplikasi visa. Jika limit kartu debit belum di-reset maka VCC tidak akan bisa digunakan. Pengalaman saya IHS membutuhkan biaya 342 USD (4.579.397 IDR) dan aplikasi visa 499 USD (6.681.635 IDR). Keduanya saya lakukan pada tanggal 5 Juli dan 6 Juli 2016. Kurs VCC sedikit diatas kurs jual bank BNI, mungkin selisih kurs tersebut yang menjadi keuntungan bank maka dari itu tidak ada biaya untuk penggunaan BNI debit online.

Lolos tanpa Wawancara bukan sekadar Mitos

Saya tidak mengikuti tahapan wawancara karena jam appointment saya jam setengah delapan pagi sehingga interviewer belum tersedia untuk wawancara. Petugas VFS membebaskan saya untuk melakukan wawancara yang bisa dilakukan mulai jam 12 siang, namun tidak diwajibkan. Saya memutuskan untuk tidak mengikuti wawancara karena menurut petugas, wawancara tidak menentukan lolos tidaknya aplikasi visa namun kelengkapan dokumenlah yang lebih penting. Nyatanya aplikasi visa saya sukses tanpa wawancara, ternyata perkataan mbak-mbak VFS benar loh! Total waktu proses visa saya adalah 11 hari kerja, dimulai tanggal 8 Juli 2016 dan selesai tanggal 25 Juli 2016.

 

Semoga cerita saya bermanfaat untuk teman-teman yang ingin mengajukan visa Tier 4 UK. Semua bisa dilakukan sendiri tanpa bantuan biro jasa atau lembaga pendidikan. Lumayan kan biaya biro jasa yang ratusan ribu rupiah. Nyatanya saya tidak dipersulit kok selama dokumen kita lengkap dan mengikuti aturan yang benar. Good luck!

Jakarta, 26 Juli 2016

 

What I learned from working in an oil and gas service company

I used to dream about working in an oil and gas company during college years. Firstly, oil and gas industry statistically gives the highest amount of salary for fresh graduate engineers. Secondly, oil and gas company offers enticing employee training program that mostly overseas. Lastly, I thought that I can apply my knowledge gained from engineering course into the real industry. In conclusion, oil and gas offers a very competitive package and growth stimulating yet challenging work environment. A dream job for almost all engineering students.

Joining in ‘not so good’ time for the industry

I joined a renowned oil and gas service company. It is said as a second biggest service company in the world, as known as the Reds. The Reds once tried to merged with a fellow American oil service company, but in 2016 the merger plan fell through. You may guess which company I am talking about.

It was kind of sad on my early year there. November 2014 should be commemorate as my first month, but more remembered as the month when oil price stumbled. The downward trends continued further until oil price reaching the lowest in 20 years, followed by slowdown in the industry that leads to mass lay-offs. I consider myself lucky to enter the industry right before it stumbled. I get to know much about the industry which I know nothing about before. What a lucky coincidence… What an unfortunate scenario…

What salary can get you

People works for a myriad of purposes. Some works so they can eat for the day, while the others works to fulfill their lifestyle. As a young adult who just entered the real life, those are the things I can observed on.

I was excited when earning my first salary. The excitement then continue to reappear once a month on payment day. Truthfully, it was the only things that keep me doing my job. Working in a drilling rig is harsh. Remote area, high working hour, laborous works, high social pressure, high client pressure are several hardships of working in the drilling field. Beyond that, the compensation payment in oil and gas service company is rewarding. Uncle Ben once said that with great salary comes great responsibility. That is why salary sometimes said as a compensation benefit, meaning to compensate all of your hardship you’ve endured on that month. In the oil and gas service industry, you must prepared to sacrifice some of your life including your time with your family.

I met a lot of people. Some had a price tag of $911 a day, where others labouring to earn $400 a month. Some people have to climb the career stairs by drudging in the rig floor, flexing their body muscle connecting drill pipes for 5 years so they can be a driller or toolpusher. Some people by their privilege does not need to pass through the labouring and physical works. They are the engineers who graduate from university, I belong to this group.

I saw the difference between the $911 a day and $ 500 a month man, their lifestyle. Apart from the lifestyle they pursue, there was nothing significant. I notice most man pursue their lifestyle based on their salary. Higher salary means more sumptuous lifestlye. The 500 dollars man are living modestly with proper life standard. They satisfied with their life. In the contrary, 911 dollars man tend to live happier but with great dissatisfaction. In a rare case, I found some of them did not really enjoy the life. They keep chasing more money to get, no matter how much they already had. Surely he can live a humble life with the money, but it is not the usual case.

I used to think that having much money will lead to happiness, but now it seems to be invalid. Our satisfaction of life merely based on how high we set our lifestyle.

* Thank you for all people I met on the rig site, I learned much about life from you guys.

It was such a small world, the oil and gas industry

Oil and gas industry is small, workers have very specific skills here. Turn over rate is high in the industry, so you may meet your ex co-workers in other company in the future. It is important to keep good relations with all people in such a small industry. I am not an amiable people, it is difficult for me to engage with new people. However in the industry, I was forced to meet and working together with new people. Some of them were hard to handle with, but fortunately I met more good people back there. Works with an annoying and bossy person is such a pain in the ass, because our work environment is very small and restricted. Becoming a nice co-worker is very important in oil service company. We have enough stress from the environment, we want no more addition of irritating co-worker. At least be nice in the work site even if you cannot be nice outside works.

The conclusions

Working in oil and gas service company is very demanding, that is why they pay you hefty salary. I believe salary will equal to your compensation you deserve on the job. If you decide to starting a career in the industry, you have to be ready to survive in a volatile and specific industry. On a bad business time, many laid-off employee have struggled to get a job. When the demand of oil and gas decreasing, the demand of oil service workers also diminshed. That means oil service workers more likely to be affected badly than oil company employees.

For fresh graduate engineer pursuing the career in the job because of the high salary and expecting an easy job, I advise you to reconsider your choice. Please do not see a career merely based on how much it pays you. The job is very demanding, both physically and mentally. Mostly you may miss important dates for your family and countless holidays. On the other side, you have unlimited freedom on your days off.

 

Many thanks for my former employer for such a worthful experience for 1 year and 8 months. For all my work colleagues and friends, I wish you all good luck and prosperity. May we see in other opportunity in the future. 

Best regards,

 

Disclaimer:

For anyone who may perceived my post as a discouraging one, I do not intent to discourage anyone to pursue the career in oil service company. I am writing truthfully as an ex oil service worker. I strongly encourage anyone who fits in the work ethics and lifestyle of oil service worker to pursue the career in the industry. 

Application for Imperial College London – MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures 2016

Hi there, I want to share about my application process for Postgraduate program at Imperial College London. Hope this post enlighten your mind about applying for Imperial MSc program. I will tell the story in chronological order.

8 February – 1 March 2016

I started studying about Imperial College since 2015 and applying for the program on 8 February 2016. You can scrutinize the program description in the website. They made the program handbook, course description, program specification, and the FAQ available for download. SEF also has released a blog at http://energyfutureslab.wordpress.com where students and lab members write their opinion and story. You can also request a prospectus to Imperial Graduate Admissions to learn more about the postgraduate program. All aplication for Imperial College London made via the online admission system.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures program itself had opened the application since late 2015. However the deadline for application is 31 March 2016. The deadline means you have to complete the application documents not late than the specified date. The application documents include two letter of recommendations, only if both LoR are submitted and accepted then the application status would change into completed. Please mind the uncertainty for letter of recommendation submission from your reference so your application would complete in time. Mind that this program is quite competitive, every year around 50 students accepted amongst around 350 applicants from all over the world. Timing is vital, the early you applied, the success chance is higher than later application. I completed my application on 1 March 2016 because my second recommendation came at 1 March, even all application form had been filled and first recommendation already given. I waited almost one month just for recommendation. Luckily I still have time before the deadline application day.

When you apply using the online application, you should get a CID (College Identification) Number as log in ID in Imperial College Student e-services website. Activate your account and make a password. You can save your progress while filling the forms and continue whenever you want. You cannot continue further if the required box still not filled. If you have completed the application, you can monitor the progress using student e-services web. However if the decision has been made, you should get a notification in your email. I got an email on 11 April 2016 (about 5 weeks from the completion of application) for the decision notification. Later I found out I was conditionally accepted for the MSc program. You should respond to the offer whether to accept or defer it.

11 April 2016 – Decision on the application

How to change the conditional offer to unconditional?

In the student e-services site, there should be a list of outstanding* items need to be submitted to ICL. In normal case, they might ask for proof of bachelor completion alongside the academic transcript. They also might require a deposit to be made, however this can be substituted by letter of guarantee or letter of scholarship. In my case as Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, I submitted a LOS and it worked as a magic. I need only to submit the bachelor certificate and academic trancript by air mail. I was using Indonesia mail service, EMS POS Indonesia to transfer the documents. The damage cost was only around 300 thousand IDR. Just for information, using DHL services might costed around 600 thousand IDR.

For LPDP awardee or any of you intending to attend ICL as LPDP awardee, I suggest to apply for ICL after you got the LOS from LPDP. In some case, ICL is strict about deposit payment. It would be better if you already have the LOS to guarantee your payment, so deposit does not need to be made. I apply for LPDP in January 2016 and accepted in March 2016. The timing was just perfect for me.

*They require me to send the original documents, however after consult with my fellow friend I decided to send the copy documents with legalized stamp. The registry did not complaint and 1 day after the arrival of documents, my status altered to unconditionally accepted.

What to do after I unconditionally accepted?

You might prepare the documents needed for visa application. It depends on your country, should you see the visa and immigrations of UK website about that. I got a long period of waiting my CAS* number to be generated by ICL because regarding to the course starting date at 1 October 2016, CAS will not be generated early than 1 July 2016. In a period of time between late April 2016 until July 2016, I could only prepare for documents for visa application waiting on the CAS to come. If you need a Letter of Acceptance, just contact the registry for your study program and soon it will be sent to you. However you should on unconditional offer to have that.

*CAS is Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, required to make UK Visa Tier 4 type. It accounts for 30 points in your total visa points of 40. The other 10 accounts for maintenance fee during your study in UK.

For any of you applying for the ICL postgrad program, I wish you good luck!

CHEVRON UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM 2013

I am a participant of Chevron Pacific Indonesia University Partnership Program 2013. Chevron Pacific Indonesia or CPI are one of the biggest Oil Production Sharing Contract in Indonesia. They manage big oil and gas blocks in Indonesia, such as Riau and East Kalimantan. Chevron also manage geothermal plant in West Java, the Salak and Daradjat field. Chevron University Partnership Program is one of their CSR program to foster university student participation on internship program in oil and gas company. On 2013, it was exclusive only for ITB and UGM students. Hope the program continue to give equal opportunity for all university in Indonesia.

In short, I applied for Facility Engineer Intern and got accepted as one of participant. First is administration selection, followed by psychology and aptitude test. If you passed, you will invited to panel interview section. Medical check up invitation will arrive if you pass the interview section. Induction day was held for all participants before assigned to specified operations. As for me, I was assigned to Sumatera Operation where the Duri and Minas oil field are existed.

Power Generation and Transmission Department

As a Facility Engineer Intern in Power Generation and Transmission Department, I was supervised by a lead mechanical engineer and a reliability mechanical engineer. Bang Albert Marihot was a lead mechanical engineer at that time, he had more than ten years experience in facility engineering field as he worked in Freeport (copper and gold mining company) and Indonesia Power (power plant) before. Pak Hendra Oktawira was a new reliability engineer, had experienced many years as reliability engineer at a petrochemical company.

The responsibility of PGT department is to supply and sustain electricity power for all Sumatera operation. That is including drilling and residence facility. If the power goes out, that means a reduced PGT’s key performance index. The department mostly habitated by electricity power engineers, project engineers, and mechanical engineers. Mechanical engineers mainly acted as reliability engineer of all equipments involved in power generation, transimssion and distribution process. I was assigned on the implementaion of Risk Based Inspection method on the transmission and distribution equipment. The equipment is steam turbine, gas turbine, heat exchanger power pole.

Power Pole

Electric Power Pole

Do not mind the electric things appear above, even at that time I did not really understand about the how electricity in power pole works. As a mechanical reliability engineer, our task is to maintain the mechanical integrity of the pole that sustain all electrical equipments. The pole sustain all mechanical loads from the weight of equipment and external load from wind forces. One pole falling down could cause disruption of the transmission of electric power for the operation, that means NPT that cause loss of money. Loss of money = blamed employee.

The unusual things done here are the Risk Based Inspection applied for the power pole equipment. RBI is usually applied for pressurized oil and gas equipment with high risk consequences. However, we applied the RBI methodology to the maintenance process of power pole. As you know before that RBI is documented in American Petroleum Institute (API) 580 and 581. They are standard which widely used for oil and gas equipment throughtout the industry. In RBI, we assigned each equipment a risk value and then group them based on their risk level. Each risk level might need different mitigation and maintenance effort. Risk defined as probability of failure (PoF) times the consequence of failure (CoF). In a more simple way, we sometimes use risk matrix to define the risk value. There is 3×3 matrix, 4×4 matrix, or 5×5 matrix which more complex. There may be an equipment that has very low probability of failure but might cause disastrous consequence when failure happen. RBI tried to accomodate the effects of both probability and consequence to make a proper preventive maintenance process. As for example: power pole in several Chevron areas were more susceptible to corrosion due to high H2S gas in the enviroment will raise the PoF. If we compare the poles to other in lower corrosion level area, those poles should be assigned a higher risk level so the maintenance treatment will be different. They might need extra thermal, NDT, or thickness inpsection more frequently than the lower risk one. That sums up my works in the internship period. Mostly I learned how maintenance engineer works. I sometimes attended meeting with the inspection vendor, weekly meeting with director, presenting my assessment and giving recommendation. I also gain knowledge of electricity generation process with their transmission and generations equipments.

Such a wonderful experience for a summer internship as an Facility Engineer! *Of course the money was also very good for a college student.

UPP 2013 Alumni – Facility Engineer Intern – SMO Area

 

 

Sarulla Geothermal Operation – Powering North Sumatera

Hi there, right now I am writing this post while laying on my bed during my off day. During on duty day, I commute to North Tapanuli area, North Sumatera, Indonesia. I have worked on the drilling project of Sarulla Operation Ltd. geothermal power plant for 1 year since April 2015. The project actually commenced at the end of 2014, had objection to drill sufficient production and re-injection well to supply the phase 1 geothermal power plant. Sarulla Operation Ltd. or SOL (which I will be saying for it from now) would supply a total of 330 MW power, which project divided into 3 phases with 110 MW each. Sarulla Operation Ltd. is a consortium of three companies from USA, Japan, and South Korea. Japan, represented by Kyushu Power mostly participated on the later project for power generating technology. South Korea, represented by Hyundai Construction started early as the main contractor for infrasructure for power plant and drilling pad infrastructure. USA with Ormat Technologies contributed mainly on drilling and exploration project, and also contributed to power plant technology.

There will be two power plants, Silangkitang (SIL) power plant and Namora I Langit (NIL) power plant. Right when I write this post, SIL power plant is in the middle of construction. Whereas the steam production well had been drilled and tested. During early 2015 until early 2016 I served as MWD Engineer of Sperry Directional Drilling Services to drill 3 production wells and 2 re-injection wells. Last time I visited the site was on January 2016, last time I took a peek on the site on April 2016 the drilling rig had been gone. The central heat exchanger (probably condenser) has been in place, with piping has been installed on the well head. Just for information, UNOCAL (now: Chevron) drilled 3 wells back on early 1990s which well will also be utilized for the SIL power plant. From the news I heard from the wind, one of SIL production well gave around 30 MW capacity when tested. For a single well, it is kind of enormous. I hope the test result turn to be true to make Sarulla as the first biggest geothermal power plant in the world. Hopefully this power plant could overcome the electricity supply deficit in the North Sumatera province.

The rising of geothermal project in Indonesia

Before SOL, there were some company participated in geothermal project in Indonesia such as Supreme Energy on South Sumatera Province, Star Energy on West Java Province, Chevron Geothermal on West Java Province, Pertamina Geothermal Energy on several provinces across Indonesia. However, SOL has proved the rising trend of Indonesia geothermal project investment from foreign investor. In Sabang, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam it is rumored that Turkey company invested for geothermal drilling project there. Also on West Java, Sukabumi it is also stated that PT Jabar Rekind Geothermal (a province owned company) will started drilling for geothermal. Those project has became one of way to fulfill the target of 35000 MW electricity supply target, set by Joko Widodo the 7th President of Indonesia. President Jokowi indicating commitment about sustianable energy in Indonesia, asking several percent of 35000 MW coming from non-fossil and non-coal source. I predicted the trend of geothermal drilling project will be bullish in upcoming year.

I hope SOL project become a huge success, which then initiate other private and public investor to invest in geothermal and other renewable energy sector in Indonesia. In demand of electricity on rural area across Indonesia, renewable and sustainable energy project also boost the economic wheel. In the end, equal development would be achieved. Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua also have the rights to develop. Starting from electricity and infrastructure and in the end the human resource. Let’s see North Tapanuli in several years ahead the SOL project. I am curious to see the transformation that a geothermal project could make to a rural area.

Jakarta, 14 April 2016

What Would a MWD Engineers Do at Works?

Have you ever wonder about what is a MWD engineer and what do they do? I have never thought of that until I became an MWD engineer trainee last year. It has been 3 months I worked in the field as a MWD engineer in a drilling service company, moreover I already know what a MWD engineers do at works. I will try to fill your gap about what really MWD engineers do on the duty.

I wear coveralls and fancy Red Wings shoes to work everyday. What I wear inside the coveralls are basically a worn t-shirt and a short, so we do not wear fancy shirt and slack pants to work as MWD engineer. You would not even need that a bit as you work as MWD Engineer, even in the interview I wore dark jeans and oxford shirt. That is one advantage though that we do not need expensive clothes to work. But because you work in oil field, you have to wear hard hat everytime. The hard hat is not fancy, for me it’s kind of wussy. In fashion’s point of view, there is no way to look stylish if you work in the field. There’s a pro and cons about the working outfits though.

Basic job desc: providing real time measurement data of directional drilling activities. We obtain the measurement data using our downhole tool via telemetry system. There are two common telemetry systems: positive pulse (mechanical) and electro magnetic system (electrical). The measurement data is very important for directional drilling because it tells our trajectory well’s position relative to our target. Sometimes there are nearbies well and surely we do not want to collide with them. That is one of the importance of directional data, to avoid well colliding. To guide our bit drilled the right trajectory surely needs a compass or navigator to make a right move, and the measurement data are the hints. MWD engineer install the measurement sensor inside the Bottom Hole Assembly. During the BHA goes along the drilled hole, MWD acquire real time data for temperature, pressure (sometimes), toolface (motor bent sub direction), and survey. Survey conducted every 30 metres or 100 feets of drill pipe enter the hole. That 30 metres summed to the drill pipe tally known as measured depth (MD). Others depth known as True Vertical Depth, defined as vertical depth from surface to the bit. The more inclination of the well, the TVDs are getting smaller compared to the MD.

Work shift: 12 hours working hour everyday as long as the drilling process runs. As long the drilling has not reached its target, we work 7 days a week. Your ON time in the drilling site may reach 1 months or more, and you can get OFF time for maximum 1-2 weeks. You will be payed a “rig day bonus” counted from the day you arrived at the site until you leave the site. The more days you work, the more the pay check at the end of next month. The hardest part while working on the rig site is withstand the pressure of outcast working. Almost all drilling rig located on rural and secluded from civilization. Your day filled only with working and working all days. I read a lot while standby (we have much stand by time) or playing games on laptop. MWD engineers has free time when the drilling has no problem, we just have to stand by for the survey until next Stand Down pipe. During that time we could change into Movie While Drilling crews, killing free time by watching movie. There always positive matters to be seek among the mundane activities as MWD engineers.

Career path: working with specialized and distinctive tools make MWD engineer could be categorized as specialist career. After working several times with the tools, you will mastering the tools. Just mastering does not mean you understand the inside of the tool. You are more of a operator than engineer though. You can become Directional Drillers (DD) or working in the office as MWD coordinator.

 

 

BP Challenger Program 2014 Selection Process

BP or commonly mistaken as British Petroleum (they changed the name several years ago) is one of the oil company that has operation facility in Indonesia. They are commonly known for their gas facility in Tangguh, West Papua. From the information I got at the recruitment day at Institute of Technology Bandung back in March 2014, they were looking for many new graduate engineer to compensate their plan of Tangguh train expansion near in the future. Challenger Program for what they named it, is a more like management trainee program where fresh graduate engineer will have exposure of on the job working and numerous training to make them a globally competitive engineer in the future. On 2014 they opened almost for all position in engineering including drilling, completion, mechanical, electrical, process, petrophysic, and petroleum. On this post I will give a glimpse of BP’s selection process for Mechanical Engineer Challenger.

I attended BP’s campus recruitment day around March in 2014. Interested student could apply by drop their CV and the interview with HR will conducted directly afterwards in the afternoon. The campus recruitment day was very advantageous aside from the conventional process from BP’s brassring website.

Conventional:

Online apply – online aptitude test (Saville) – HR Interview – User Interview – Assessment Day

Campus day:

CV – HR Interview – online aptitude test – user interview- assessment day

Well, there is no difference on the process but the swapped online test – HR interview. But that was really matter. FYI, BP hired Saville Consulting for the aptitude test. But the Saville aptitude test was hard and very competitive. The time available was very-very lacking. Sure they want to get the engineer who can think fast under pressure using this test. Shortly, it was very hard to be outstanding in the online test. But if you attend the campus day, you will be getting a HR interview first. If you had a good interview session, you will considered even you just got average mark in the aptitude test. True story. Been there before, and I got lucky to passed the aptitude even with my moderate mark. Be sure to participate in the campus recruitment day!

The process

  1. HR Interview

On this interview I faced two assessor, one HR team and one Mechanical Engineer which just graduated from the Challenger program. Interview. We talked about my activities and achievements in college and none of technical related question.

  1. Saville Online Test

There were three assessment; diagrammatic, verbal reasoning, and numerical. Time was very restricted so fast and steady internet connection really needed. Google saville online test about the image of question will be asked.

  1. User Interview

Because I applied for Mechanical Static Engineer, the question asked are none other about heat exchanger. They do need a lot of heat exchanger on gas facility. My tips, study about Air Cooled Heat Exchanger because we will talked about that specifically in the interview. You can easily study it in Hewitt’s book about Process Heat Transfer. Air cooled heat exchanger are used for cooling the gas after compression, or so said as intercooler. When I missed with some answer I did not know, Mr. Wisnu (the user) gave a little lecture about heat exchanger. How to accommodate the tube expansion, increasing heat transfer coefficient without cost, and many practical information about engineering works in the real world. I got so much new knowledge and just knew about the spiral heat exchanger type used in LNG industry. What a great interview!

  1. Assessment Day

In the evening after user interview I got a call from HR that I passed to the assessment day section. User interview on Wednesday and assessment day held on next Friday. Such a fast recruitment process due to urgent needs for new engineer for upcoming expansion project. On Thursday evening we met with other assessment day participates and given accommodation by BP. Lodging place provided in Mercure Hotel, TB Simatupang, Jakarta. We also given information about what will we faced on the assessment day and how to prepare it. There was also a presentation for user about the benefits and what will you get when work at BP. There were total of 9 persons competing in assessment day, 3 mechanical, 3 electrical, and 3 chemical engineer for process. That was for Global Project Operation and still a lot from other division (Global Operation and others).

What is assessment day?

It was my first time attend an assessment day for job recruitment purpose. Assessment day is a day or more day where employee candidate will be assessed thoroughly about their likeability to perform well on work. Many test provided on the assessment day(s) ranging from interpersonal skills, communication skills, arguing a opinion, critical thinking under pressure and many others. (Source: googling). But for BP’s I got only 3 activities: FGD, Case Interview, and Personality Interview.

1. FGD

Topics discussed on the FGD was technology to be used on offshore drilling facility. We are given many alternatives within in the case paper and some times to read and think. Then we have to discuss within our group which one will we choose. At the end of the discussion, one voice is expected from the result of team’s discussion. Clue: you have to choose between flare or gas pipeline, conventional drilling or hi-tech drilling, water injection or treatment facility, and others I do not remember. You are in the point of oil company and you have to choose the alternatives which most probably benefitting for the operation. There were no right or wrong answer, as long you have reasonable reason with your choice. At the end of the discussion, we were expected to present our conclusion to assessors.

2. Case Interview

In this interview you had to choose between to alternatives. There were two choices of prospective well location, one is a conflict area in Africa and the other is a relatively safe location somewhere in East Europe. Each of them had their own pros and cons. There were should not be a absolute true answer on this. I chose the conflict area back then whereas other participates had the safe location as their answer. Just ready to prepare your argument on defending whatever your choice of alternative.

3. Personality Interview

This sounded like a normal HR interview but more meticulous. Some questions like how to solve a problem, facing conflict, communication style were asked.

Even I did not pass the assessment day, I still got much valuable experience from it. The assessment day gave a brief description about the working atmosphere of real world. For those who has not heard about assessment day before, I expect this post kind of helpful to you.

Good luck.

Internship at Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, POSTECH

Even this is late post, I hope you can benefitted from this post whether you are interested to join the internship or the graduate program at Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology at Postech.

GIFT mates
GIFT mates

I finished my internship exactly one year ago, at the early day of February 2014. I departed to Korea at several days after New Year, the internship itself took almost two months. Two months felt very short, time flew so fast back there. Common relativity law applies here, time felt so fast when you enjoy something and vice versa. In short, I really enjoyed my internship in GIFT matter two months just passed without notice.

 

How to apply?

GIFT opens internship program semi annually every summer and winter. You can access their page viahttp://gift.postech.ac.kr to find out actual information about the program. Documents required are english proficient certificate (TOEIC, IELTS, or TOEFL IBT), academic transcripts, letter of motivation and research plan, and internship form. I used TOEFL ITP year ago but later I found out that ITP TOEFL is not recognized anymore. GIFT only accept documents sent via air mail, online document submission will not be processed. The announcement of successful applicant will appeared at website and successful candidate received personal email.

In the internship form and research plan, you must submit which laboratory you would attend during the internship.  You can choose 3 alternatives of laboratory with your respective priority. I entered Surface Engineering Laboratory, Material Mechanic Laboratory, and Material Reliability Laboratory as my priority subsequently. Later I was accepted at MML because SEL was no longer available for new student. People said the lab would be shut down soon. MML’s activities were the most mutual to my field, Mechanical Engineering. They did research upon mechanical properties of material during stamping and forming process. Some PhD students even studied microstructure effects to material properties via Finite Element Method. The head professor on MML is a famous person in his field. I did not that he was famous but later I founded out he was celebrity in his field. Unfortunately I only met him for 1 days because one day after my arrival, he went to Switzerland for his sabbatical period.

Material Mechanics Laboratory
Material Mechanics Laboratory

Learning opportunities

Pohang University of Science and Technology is one of leading research institute in South Korea. In engineering field, they main rival is KAIST.  They provide advance technology for research activity besides good benefit to students. Master students on GIFT will received 1 million KRW per month for monthly stipend. It was more than enough to life in Korea with student lifestyle. The motive of their generosity is no other than pushing their research activities to produce more published paper and patent. As you can see in THE, POSTECH has good industry outcome and citation score which make them as rank 66 in the world. For you who seek for good academic and research experience, POSTECH is excellent for you.

My research

It was not a true research anyway, I just helped my senior there for little regression work. I did a comparative study on predicting high temperature flow stress in 22MnB5 alloy steel using Johnson-Cook and Arrhenius constitutive equation models. The 22MnB5 material commonly used as body pillar material of automobile. Its characteristic of strong yet low in weight made this material used. Because the manufacturing conducted at high temperature to form the material easily and quench is applied (cooling of high temperature material with fast cooling rate) we need to know its behaviour for accurate forming process. I also witnessed and participated while obtained the data through experiment. We were using Gleeble quenching machine, and it was my first time experiencing research works. Kinda frustrating when your speciment fail due to small mistake.

Live in Pohang

Pohang is number 9th most populated city in South Korea. Albeit it does not have high modernity compared to Seoul, it was really a nice city to live. Postech located on sub-urban area apart from downtown and crowded city part. Still the downtown and famous city part are easy to reach via bus transportation. Postech has complete facilites for student including football field, gymnasium, swimming pool, library (really cool library though), and student cafetaria. You can buy your daily needs at convenience store inside campus area but big convenience store like HomePlus is also easy to reach, only one bus ride to reach. Final say, location of POSTECH is convenient for students.

The internship offers valuable experience on steel related research which you can really benefit of, specially for you who intend to apply for GIFT graduate program. Internship alumni has better chance of acceptance for the graduate program.

Genetic Algorithm 101

Genetic algorithm (GA) has been a popular technique in engineering optimization problems. It is grouped on evolutionary algorithm class together with genetic and evolutionary programming. GA’s main rivals are neural network and simulated annealing. And yes, the latter is based on annealing concept in metallurgy where heating and cooling are applied subsequently to control the crystal grain in order to reach a more ductile material. I will only talk about the GA for the following paragraph because it is the only method I have been working with.

"In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." Charles Darwin - The Descant of Man.

If you comprehend the meaning of the sentence above, you may understand the main idea already. In optimization process, we expect to get the best result of anything we want to optimize at the end of the result. That is the point of genetic algorithm, where natural selection and genetics take part in the process. Most prominent individual is expected to be selected and reproduce with each other in the population to generate the best offspring.  At the end of optimization process, best offspring should contains the best genes that will make a best fitness value.

Here is the equivalency:

EVOLUTION  : PROMINENT INDIVIDUAL

OPTIMIZATION : OPTIMUM RESULT

Several popular terms on Genetic Algorithm:

  1. Genes : components of an individual which bring each unique value
  2. Allele: value of gene
  3. Individual: consisting of many genes on its body that inherit unique traits
  4. Population: bunch of individuals which become the constraint of optimization area
  5. Mutation: arbitary change of gene which happened to several chosen individual and resulting whether positive or negative effect
  6. Selection: process that netting only the chosen individual with prominent attribute to involve in the next crossover process
  7. Generation: one process of generation including selection, crossover, and mutation. Several generations ought to be involved to reach optimum value
  8. Global optimum: maximum or minimum value of the problem we want to optimize

If someone wants to know the best way to reach Bangkok among some alternative ways, we optimize it to know the CHEAPEST way. At this case the parameters are maybe the ticket price, lenght of route, transit option.

If someone wants to know the best CNC machine parameters to produce best machine components, we optimize it to know the combination that gives the SHORTEST PROCESS TIME and MOST PRECISE. Parameters are cutting speed, cutter material, or process steps.

If I want to know the best thermal efficiency some cogeneration power plant could reach, I optimize it to obtain the working parameter of the fluids that gives the highest thermal efficiency. Parameters are the pressure and temperature of each working fluids.

On the GA term, the parameter that we want to optimize named Fitness. Depends on the objective, sometimes we want the lowest fitness or the highest fitness. Fitness symbolized the global value we want to reach upon optimization problem. Fitness itself symbolized some individual’s capability to survive in the population during the evolution process. During the optimization process, we expect the fitness in each generation will raise until the maximum it could reach. The fitness will be higher if best gen combinations are happening.

I will tell a brief about my project that apply genetic algorithm method for finding the best efficiency of a cogeneration power plant. Basically what I did is doing simulation with simultaneous variable changing to find which combination gives the best thermal efficiency of power plant. Variables that changed are the genes of individual, and for my case they are the state of working fluid on the plant. State of fluid can be described as the temperature or pressure of the fluid. Picture below is my plant subject for the optimization:

cogen
Cogeneration power plant

In this case, I set the optimization variables of six value of working fluid parameters. The sixes are modeled as the genes of individual. After several generation, individuals will evolve to more proficient one. So in the end, we will get the ‘best’  value that resulting higher efficiency.

That is a brief story about genetic algorithm, hope that can enlighten your mind about genetic algorithm.