Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) student Faruk Faru chats about recently completing his Professional Certificate of Competency in Chemical Engineering and Plant Design, juggling work-life commitments, and his future aspirations.
Working as a facility engineer within Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, Faru knows the pressures such a position brings too well. Yet this has not stopped him from pursuing and completing his Professional Certificate of Competency in Chemical Engineering and Plant Design.
We caught up with Faruk to share his experience of studying online through EIT and to share words of advice with budding engineering students.
What factors influenced your decision to choose EIT for your studies, and how has your experience been with the institution?
Several factors underpinned my choice to pursue my studies at EIT. Chief among these was the availability of a course that would swiftly augment my role as a facility engineer. The course schedule was also critical, as I needed to be sure I could cope with the pace alongside my work schedule. The course content and evaluation methodology also influenced my decision to select EIT.
The overall experience has been wonderful. The wealth of resource materials provided was exhaustive, the course facilitator exhibited thoroughness, the virtual learning environment was effortlessly accessible, and the learning support was consistently responsive to the needs of students.
In sum, my journey with EIT has been characterized by excellence. The program’s offerings align perfectly with my career aspirations, and the institution’s commitment to facilitating a conducive virtual learning atmosphere has made this pursuit both enriching and convenient.
Could you share the story behind your choice of this specific study area and what aspects caught your interest?
As a facility engineer within the oil and gas sector, my responsibilities encompass designing, maintaining, and optimizing oil and gas infrastructure to sustain and enhance facility uptime. With a foundation in mechanical engineering, my professional domain extends into diverse facets of process engineering.
However, recognizing the need to fortify my expertise, I sought a course that comprehensively addressed the fundamental and technical dimensions of process engineering while equipping me with a tangible certification to validate this competence for my employer.
The modules offered by EIT encapsulated precisely what I was seeking. The program ensured I acquired the requisite knowledge by covering the core essentials and delving into more intricate aspects. This, in turn, has significantly augmented my proficiency, empowering me to enhance both my intrinsic value and operational efficiency within my role.
Balancing the demands of studies, home responsibilities, and work commitments can be challenging. How did you maintain this balance effectively?
I must acknowledge that the initial phase was challenging, especially since I became engaged in a field project as the EIT course was commencing. Fortunately, the EIT course schedule proved to be remarkably accommodating. The well-spaced intervals between lectures and module quiz deadlines were pivotal in my management of commitments. The pre-lectures – which I was able to access in my own time – gave me the knowledge and confidence to ask questions during the live tutorials.
The provision of multiple lecture sessions was an invaluable asset. It offered flexibility by presenting me with two distinct time slots for attending the virtual sessions. Furthermore, the availability of recorded sessions for subsequent reference was an added advantage, ensuring continuous learning and reinforcement.
How will the knowledge and skills you gained from your studies directly benefit your current job or any professional projects?
The immediate benefit must be my improved ability to perform technical and analytical evaluations of engineering process challenges. This will be critical for diagnosing problems associated with fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass and energy balances, and thermodynamics. I am also well equipped to accurately design and size mechanical equipment utilizing acquired process parameters. This expertise will undoubtedly hold immense value for my team.
How do you see your chemical engineering and plant design expertise contributing to Nigeria’s growth and development?
The expertise I’ve gained equips me to confidently confront operational challenges, identify problems, and offer solutions instrumental in maintaining facility uptime while minimizing downtimes. These competencies are pivotal in sustaining operations and upholding overall energy security.
What has your experience of EIT’s online learning model been like?
The EIT online platform proved to be effortlessly accessible and user-friendly. It offered all the necessary resources for each module, facilitating easy navigation. Additionally, the student forums provided a conducive environment for discussions and seeking support. Equally noteworthy was the provision of message dashboards displaying urgent and new information.
This feature enabled me to promptly acquaint myself with the latest updates about new resource materials, impending quiz deadlines, modifications to seminar schedules, or updates on submitted assignments. This seamless information flow was exceptionally beneficial, ensuring I remained informed about time-sensitive matters regardless of my work schedule.
Were any specific modules or topics in your course intriguing? How do you envision applying this knowledge in your future career endeavors?
The module centered on process safety and process economics held a particular fascination for me. The significance of safety within the operations of oil and gas facilities cannot be overstated. It was genuinely advantageous to witness this critical facet addressed with such depth and thoroughness. The resource materials offered during this module will undoubtedly remain an invaluable reference point for me during the design of systems and operations.
Furthermore, the insights gained from the process economics module hold substantial value. This knowledge equips me with skills and expertise that can significantly contribute to pivotal project decisions, from procurement considerations to technical and commercial bid evaluations
Reflecting on your journey, what advice would you give aspiring students considering enrolling in a similar course at EIT?
For prospective students contemplating enrollment in an EIT course, it’s essential to recognize that it instantly positions you ahead of your work colleagues. The knowledge and expertise acquired will enhance your work output, giving you the confidence to address intricate situations in your chosen field. The resources provided are of exceptional quality and will retain their utility beyond the program, much like the knowledge you’ll gain.
What are your professional aspirations within this field, and are there any specific goals or projects you’re excited to pursue?
I will soon embark on a Ph.D. journey in Carbon Capture and Storage. This research will entail using process simulation tools like Aspen HYSYS and gPROMS (lauded for their ability to perform accurate process simulations) to model and optimize the dynamic operation of a combined cycle gas plant with a CO2 capture unit. The indispensable analytical and theoretical knowledge gained through the course content and modules will prove invaluable.
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