Lessons Learned from Industrial Visit 2014

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This year I’ve managed to spend my time with some companies for the purpose of formal annual industrial visit, arranged by the university. Last year the most notable company was North Port Berhad (they would like to see Malaysia to develop its own underwater robots and systems). This year I manage to sat down with important people from Katsu Engineering, KJB Sdn Bhd, Sinco Automasi, TGS Maritime Technology and Malaysia Marine Heavy Engineering (MMHE).

Based from the meetings, there are some important lessons that I would like to note:

1- Malaysia used to be the best marine builders (ship, coastal & offshore) in the early 1990′s to 2000. Nowadays, the better services come from Singaporean companies. This is due to the advancement of technologies, the increase of efficiency in sourcing and innovative business strategies. Our undergraduates in School of Ocean Engineering in UMT should be exposed with these knowledge through case studies and practical research in order to match with such capabilities offered by our neighbour.

2- With that said, we should realize that technologies will come and go. However, experiences are things that could not be bought, and needed to be accumulated with time. Therefore, an age well spent is very important to the young engineers.

3- Age itself is something that could not be bought, but a young company can bring in experienced engineers (age 55 and above, post-retirement age) to come and mentor the operational and business aspects. This will introduce the use of best practices, especially regarding the importance of time-keeping, ledger records, work documentations and the dynamics of pricing.

4- Today, a young company could have a mentor, but how about the future? During the establishment of a young company, a system needs to be developed in such sense that if the mentor is not available, the company shall be able to steer itself automatically and maintaining her pace and directions. Therefore the need to have proper web-based data records, marketings, lead and sales in and out, expenditures and closures are critical.

5- Finally, a company should have some modes/strategies for it to at least, survive. It should have long-term vision for 20-40 years ahead in order to develop a culture of success.

Ceramah Asas Robotik di SMK Padang Kemunting

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Hari ini saya telah dijemput untuk datang ke SMK Padang Kemunting, Kuala Terengganu untuk menyampaikan ceramah berkenaan Asas Robotik. Seramai 60 orang pelajar di kalangan penuntut Sains Tulen dan Perakaunan hadir. Ceramah ini juga turut dibantu oleh dua orang pelajar pasca-siswazah saya, Ahmad Israr Ihsan Mainong dan Tengku Hafidah Tengku Hussien. Kami mengakhiri ceramah pendek ini dengan memberi peluang kepada para pelajar untuk menerbangkan AR Drone di dalam perpustakaan SMK Padang Kemunting.

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Penerimaan para pelajar dan guru adalah sangat memberangsangkan. Kami sempat beramah mesra dengan guru Kaunseling, Cikgu Fadhlina, guru Fizik, Cikgu Fauziah dan guru bahasa, Cikgu Aida. Kami difahamkan bahawa Cikgu Fauziah adalah sangat aktif dengan aktiviti pertandingan rekacipta kreatif dan inovatif. Pada tahun lepas, SMK Padang Kemunting berjaya merangkul Johan di pertandingan Sains dengan produk mereka, Kereta Solar.

Pada tahun hadapan, SMK Padang Kamunting akan menyertai pertandingan robotik, insyaAllah kumpulan penyelidikan kami, Ocean Robotics Group akan memandu pelajar-pelajar ini dan berkongsi kepakaran semoga mereka berjaya di dalam pertandingan ini.

Zoysia Grass, day 14

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It’s day 14! The practice of 5 minutes watering in the morning and evening is still on, and as we can see there are some uneven patches that are trying to establish themselves. Hopefully those are the Zoysia grass. I observed that there are some pearl grass near the sprinkler, but let’s just leave them there at the moment.

I just want to see greens on my yard, and will weed out unwanted species later on :-)

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Zoysia Grass Appear On Day 7

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Here in my place, the temperature were constantly hot at about 37-39 Celcius. Following some advices from the forum, I began the seeding process of the Zoysia grass that I obtained from SeedRanch via EBay.

I’ve made sure that the top soil was smooth and level, and evenly spreading the grass seed. Afterwards, I’ve used the back of the rake to softly mixing the seeds and the soil. The seeds were approximately resides at about an inch in the soft top soil.

Next, I’ve used a helicopter sprinkler to evenly water the soil. Since I’m always at work, I spent about 5 minutes watering the soil at 7.30 am, and later another 5 minutes at 5.30 pm.

I was a bit nervous, thinking whether the grass will survive or not. However most of the materials that I’ve read outlined that Zoysia grass is probably one of the type that is very robust and aggressive. The photo below shows the grass development at day-7.

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Take note that the grass seeds started to germinate probably in between these 7 days. So no rush, and don’t worry if you’re just started.

Next, I’ll just keep on watering the grass morning and afternoon till the root network is strong then I can water it once a week.

Will post more on the development of the grass. Thanks for reading!

Your brain is like a toddler and you need to know how to handle it.

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I found a nice write-up that I can quote today [1], read on below:

… read about everybody’s problems and you realize we all have a lot in common. Our brains abhor boredom and are completely addicted to stimuli. I’ve heard it said that dreams are the way our brains get our stimuli fix when we’re asleep. Maybe that’s accurate, maybe not. Either way, your waking brain is a stimuli junkie and acts like an immature toddler.

I see a lot of posts here about people saying, “I can’t stand busy work”, or “I just end up wasting time playing x or browsing y” or “I just like sleeping into noon so much”.

You try to do something productive, and your toddler brain has little patience and 5 minutes into it it screams,”JUST QUICKLY CHECK FACEBOOK, I NEED A FIX” or, “JUST LIKE 15 MORE GAMES OF 2048″. You can’t stand the thought of having to do something challenging and not as easily stimulating. Instead of getting a high from the accomplishment and endorphins from running for an hour, you instead opt for your vice of choice. You give in to your screaming immature toddler brain.

We all have it. We all know what it’s like. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t understand it this feeling. You lack self respect because you are the parent of that toddler and you’ve just given up and give in to all of that toddler’s needs. That toddler screams, “JUST 2 MORE GAMES THEN I’LL STUDY” and you let it win.

Discipline starts by realizing that you have to live with this primitive part of your brain for better or worse. I’m convinced there isn’t a single person out there who’s brain doesn’t demand they indulge in vices. Discipline is all about taming the toddler. Instead of just giving in all the time, you come to a mutual agreement with your primitive brain. “I study for 2 hours FIRST then I play video games. That’s the agreement, you don’t get to call the shots.” These are the kinds of boundaries you need to set up.

Doing this over time, you and that toddler brain of yours come to a mutual understanding. The toddler realizes that you are actually better off if you don’t succumb to every short-term desire and your rational, mature brain realizes that you can enjoy your vices better in moderation and that there’s much greater pleasure to be had from long-term investment. From this understanding is the birth of self-respect. You are now taking control of your life and not allowing this self-serving toddler to run around controlling your life.