NUS signs MOU with safety solutions provider Hima to train engineering students

(From left) Hima chief executive Jörg de la Motte, Associate Professor Chai Kah Hin, Hima Asia-Pacific vice-president Friedhelm Best and Associate Professor Ivan Sin at the signing of the MOU between Hima and NUS on Aug 24, 2022. PHOTO: HIMA

SINGAPORE - Engineering students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) will get to pick up skills needed to work in complex processing plants as part of a collaboration with German company Hima.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) inked on Wednesday (Aug 24), the university's department of chemical and biomolecular engineering will collaborate with Hima, which counts ExxonMobil and Shell as clients.

Over a two-year period, they will work together to prepare students for the workforce.

Students will have internship opportunities and access to Hima's customer solutions centre at Alexandra Technopark, where they can observe actual operations in processing plants.

The centre also houses simulation systems that replicate the ones used in actual plants, with data from these plants used to give users a realistic experience.

Associate Professor Chai Kah Hin, vice-dean of Masters' Programmes and Lifelong Learning at NUS' College of Design and Engineering, said the initiative will help build a stronger pipeline of engineering talents.

"The knowledge and skills that our students gain at NUS, together with the hands-on opportunities offered by Hima, will empower them with the confidence to tackle real-word problems," he added.

The MOU was signed by Prof Chai and Mr Friedhelm Best, Hima's vice-president in the Asia-Pacific, at the company's office, which is also located at Alexandra Technopark.

Mr Best said it aims to enhance the education that engineers receive by improving their knowledge of functional safety and security.

Functional safety ensures equipment used in complex systems run correctly and without hazard.

"Functional safety is a typical building block in an engineer's education. It can be very technical and what they learn in the classrooms may be a bit dry, so hopefully the hands-on experience we provide can energise them," said Mr Best.

Through the agreement, NUS and Hima will conduct training and organise seminars for students.

They will also work together to jointly develop cases to demonstrate how functional safety could assist Singapore's transition to advanced manufacturing, as well as conduct research on the potential of using hydrogen as an energy source.

Prof Chai said the collaboration would also give students opportunities to upskill themselves, especially in light of technological advancements.

"We hope to give students a comprehensive experience before they embark on their first day working in an actual processing plant," added Mr Best.

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