UCSI duo wins RM15k in Schlumberger competition

KUALA LUMPUR: Two students from UCSI University (UCSI) clinched first place in the Schlumberger Ocean Plug-in Competition 2013, edging out tough competition from four other universities in Malaysia and Singapore.


These include Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Curtin University (Sarawak Campus) and National University of Singapore.


Bagging a RM15,000 cash prize and medals, the two-man team – named Nonit – was ecstatic about their big win.


A Chemical Engineering student under UCSI’s Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Built Environment (FETBE), Satyaraj Muniandy highlights that it was priceless to be part of such a prestigious event.


Preparing for the competition was no easy task, says Satyaraj, and we spent a lot of time reading up on the topic to enhance our understanding of it.


“Having one to two hours of sleep a day was quite tough but it all paid off,” enthuses the cheerful 23-year-old, whose partner for the project is Prabu Gunasagaran, a Mechanical Engineering student at UCSI.


“Through this (competition), I had opportunities to interact with passionate professional engineers from Schlumberger and learned to use the Petrel software that is used to make the best possible decisions, from exploration to production, in the oil and gas sector.”


But seeing their design concept transformed into a real-life industry solution was what took the icing on the cake.


In the span of one month, Satyaraj successfully designed a plug-in – namely, ‘TESWell 2013: Well Testing & Production Analysis’ – that not only evaluates well conditions but also characterises a reservoir and estimates its parameters.


While software codes, design and algorithm as well as other technical features were done by Satyaraj, the help manual and other essential documentation were managed by his teammate.


Notably, the competition necessitated the participating teams to develop a plug-in using Schlumberger’s Petrel software and Ocean framework.


Such competitions equip students with sound technical knowledge even outside the field of their study and the Nonit team was not exempt from this.


Strong even in the face of over 20 judges – encompassing Schlumberger representatives and customers worldwide – and other competitors, the team – represented by Satyaraj – stood out in terms of application of technical knowledge, plug-in feasibility and creativity.


With this win, the duo will compete against other national champions in the Schlumberger SIS Global Forum 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.


Among those present to witness the presentation at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur were FETBE Head of Department (Chemical and Petroleum Engineering) Engineer Assistant Professor Jully Tan, and FETBE lecturers Dr Noraini Bt. Surip and Ms Farhana Bt. Abdul Barri.

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