PETALING JAYA, 13 DECEMBER 2022 – In the third instalment of the Shaping Industry-ready Graduate series by PETRONAS Lubricants International, it marked the first of the series to be held as a physical event. This time, Dr Safwan Hanis, PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer reached out to more than 100 students at Despark International College, a local leading automotive and aircraft maintenance college.
PETRONAS Lubricants International, the global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm of PETRONAS, in collaboration with Despark International College designed the sharing session with Dr Safwan with one objective in mind – to steer passion and shape industry-ready graduates.
Students were able to gain insights into the automotive industry as well as learn from Dr Safwan’s experience as a PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer whose role is to provide technical support to the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One (F1) Team. His role as a PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer also analyses the PETRONAS Primax fuels, PETRONAS Syntium engine oils and the PETRONAS Tutela functional fluids that are used in the F1 cars pre- and post-race to ensure that the car is functioning at its optimal condition.
Dr Safwan, who spoke about the importance of being a team-player and making the most out of his opportunities, shared, “I’m extremely blessed to have been part of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. Being part of the team has been a great learning experience for me, and I am thrilled to share my experience with the students of Despark International College. I hope to inspire and empower young talents who especially have high interest in the automotive industry to pursue their passion and believing in their abilities to excel and go far in the industry.”
This initiative of the sharing session with Dr Safwan, was organised to bridge the gap by providing real-life industry exposure and insights into the profession. While the strive to develop high-end fluid technology for partners and consumers continues, PETRONAS Lubricants International also believes in equipping the next generation with real-life industry insights and perspectives. Therefore, this continued collaboration with Despark International College with Dr Safwan is hoped to motivate students as they come back to attend physical classes post-lockdown.
Students present at the event were thoroughly thrilled to meet an expert who works closely with the F1 team and were very interactive and engaged during the session. Two students present, Sivaprakash Nair and Kesav Kumar A/L Vijayakumar who are completing their City and Guilds (C&G) Diploma Level 3 said that they learned the importance of effective communication with engineers and working in a team. Getting to know about Dr Safwan’s career and his role on a global level motivated them to tailor their education for the industry and they hope to attend more of such sessions in the future.
Natalie Teh Ern Wah, one of the few female students in the automotive college, is also a C&G Diploma Level 3 student. She commented, “From the session, we gained a lot of valuable knowledge and a clearer understanding of the industry. It is a rare opportunity for a Malaysian to be a fluid expert and working in this field, we truly learnt a lot from the session and gained industry insights that are extremely valuable.”
College and university students in Malaysia have had to experience virtual learning for over a year during the pandemic, bringing with it a range of challenges. For students studying in vocational schools that involve mastering practical hands-on skills, these challenges are intensified. This is the first session that was held in-person, with previous sessions held virtually due to pandemic restrictions. The first two sessions featured previous PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer, En De Liow and the first Malaysian MotoGP Mechanic, Hibbatuulah Mohd Fuad, also known as Habib.