EmPOWER-ing Oil and Gas Graduates

Global energy consumption is anticipated to increase by around 33% over the next decade. According to the Malaysia Energy Statistics Handbook 2017, in terms of total fuel consumption in electricity generation, Oil and Gas remains the largest source of energy at more than 52% in Peninsular Malaysia, 84% in Sabah and 21% in Sarawak. Consequently, the anticipated increase in energy demand will create more job opportunities that require specific sets of skills, both academically and intellectually. What’s more, the new 200,000-acre Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) megaproject by PETRONAS, which is scheduled to be completed by this year, required around 70,000 workers during its peak construction period and is set to generate 4,000 new engineering and technical jobs upon completion.  

In order to meet the current and future needs of the industry, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s Petroleum Engineering programme is updated regularly with input from industry stakeholders, ensuring that the subjects taught are relevant to the industry. For example, students are exposed to technological advances, such as advanced data analytics and reservoir modelling and simulation software, which are currently being applied in the industry, thus allowing them to be acquainted with the tools early on and develop solid evidence-based decision-making skills. In addition to mastering advanced technical skills, students are also prepared for their future careers and provided with the opportunity to acquire a good emotional intelligence (EQ) foundation.

A recent graduate of Heriot-Watt University, Hywell Phillips shared on his remarkable experience through his study with the university: “I was selected from over 700 applicants to be the first ever foreign intern to work in Azerbaijan at SOCAR-AQS (a subsidiary of their state-owned oil company, specialising in drilling). I spent three months with them, undertaking a comprehensive study of one of their recent wells and visiting platform #20 offshore, where I stayed for one week to observe the preparations for the next well. The Petroleum Engineering programme I pursued at Heriot-Watt, as well as being in the university itself, has greatly prepared me for the working world, even equipping me with the emotional intelligence needed for me to work in a team in a foreign country. I believe this has set me apart from other graduates and resulted in my being offered a job at SOCAR-AQS before graduating.”

In line with its effort to continue future-proofing its graduates, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia has introduced its EmPower programme, a four-level structured programme aimed at equipping graduates with every necessary skill, unleashing their potential and preparing them to stand out and have an impact in a highly uncertain world.

Through EmPower, each student is taught a combination of positive emotions, resilience and a sense of meaning through working on a larger goal, as well as eventually developing their Impact Statements. A clearly defined approach is offered to help them break down their statements into “IMPACT”: I=Intention (What are your highest intentions and goals?); M=Measurable (How do you measure your intentions and goals?); P=People (Who plays an important role, and how?); A=Achievable (Is your intention or goal achievable?); C=Challenges (What are some challenges?); and T=Timeline (When do you want to start taking action, and how frequently?).

These students can accumulate “kilo-Watt” points from being a member of an interdisciplinary team working on a small project, “Mega-Watt” points from participating and winning at (inter)national competitions and “Giga-Watt” points when they manage to start and run an enterprise. By graduation, Heriot-Watt students are not only job-ready but some of them may even become job providers.

To find out more about the Petroleum Engineering programme as well as other programmes or scholarships on offer, you may visit the university during its consultation hours from 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays, log on to or call +603 8894 3888/e-mail



Leave a Reply

Start typing and press Enter to search