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The engineering profession in the oil and gas and other energy industry is very demanding. The energy sector is a high-risk sector, and little error in designs might lead to catastrophic consequences. More so, Engineers in the energy industry must strive to meet several deadlines. 

There is a slight variation in the modus operandi of an engineering student and professional engineers – 

During the course of their study at the Universities or colleges, engineering students spend the bulk of their time solving complex equations. You will agree with me that engineering students spend more time solving mathematical equations than they write reports on the result of the solutions. Most engineering students who don’t have a strong passion for engineering become discouraged and eventually drop the profession for others after their university degrees. The reverse is the case in the professional field. Professional Engineers spends less time in calculation than in, writing and presenting the result of their designs and analysis not because they don’t do calculations but because they automate calculations with appropriate tools.

Engineering concepts are becoming complex by the day –

 As time progresses and new and complex inventions emerge, so are engineering concepts becoming complex. The good thing is that there have been emerging tools which balances these complexities. Sophisticated software has emerged to ease calculations, drafting and analysis. Codes and standards have emerged in the various field to standardise designs across the globe and has also eliminated misconceptions in the various disciplines. On that note engineering student and young engineers should be less concern about the complexity of concepts learned in the university and focuses on acquiring skills and knowledge of the software that will help them eliminate or reduce these complexities. With the appropriate tool, basic knowledge in the various concepts will add up. If engineers make life easier for others, they should also make life easy for themselves by automating the recurrent tasks.  

You need to learn to automate repetitive tasks if you must meet the target in the Oil and Gas Industry – 

To overcome the numerous deadlines and complexity of work, an Engineer working in the oil and gas or other competitive industry must learn to automate the recurrent tasks. One of such repetitive tax is design calculations. Whatever your discipline is, as long as you need to size or completely design systems and process, the best approach will be to automate such task and save yourself the stress of having to start the design from scratch all the time. All engineers should have handy, presentation template, report templates and calculation sheets for the systems their system of interest. The good thing is that there is software that can perform the three task.

Most importantly, priorities acquisition of soft skills –

While hard skills are important, soft skills are more important. How can you effectively communicate your design result if your oral and written communication is not sound? In summary, communications, collaborations, teamwork and team-building abilities, time management etc. are some of the key skill you must possess to work in the oil and gas industry. 

Submitted by James Okwoche

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