UTM graduate deploying IR 4.0 robotic solution in Mexico

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Nik Ahmad Faisal (second left) during his first deployment to Mexico together with Mexican customers.

BY HAFIZAN HAMZAH

JOHOR BAHRU: The huge amount of experience gained from an internship session, and as a part-time software engineer have enabled one of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) graduates to successfully deploy robotic solution in Mexico after graduation.

Nik Ahmad Faisal Kamarolzaman graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Mechatronics from the School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of UTM Johor Bahru with flying colors.

In an interview session held at his home recently, Nik Ahmad Faisal said that it all started with his internship during his third-year study in UTM.

“It all started with my internship at DF Automation during my 3rd-year study in UTM. I was aware that prior engineering experience and hands-on skills could help boost my career when I step out from university.

“After the graduation in 2017, I chose to work in DF Automation, a small company founded by our university lecturer focusing on designing and manufacturing automated guided vehicles (AGVs),” he said.

Nik Ahmad Faisal said working in a small engineering company would allow him to know the full-scale processes of product design and provide him with the opportunity to work on major projects for the industries.

“That internship experience really enhanced my knowledge and experience because I was working with a group of highly skilled and passionate engineers, most of whom graduated top of their classes with international accolades to their name.

“After the internship, I continued to work part-time with DF Automation as it helped me to ease my financial burden besides, the company was located near to the university. It was tough to balance between work and studies, but the tasks allocated at work actually accelerated my learning at the university, helping me to move ahead in the class,” said Nik Ahmad Faisal remembering his past.

After his graduation from UTM, Nik Ahmad Faisal joined DF Automation as a software engineer, a job which he immediately started after finishing his last university examination paper.

“Within six months of permanent employment, I was entrusted to deploy factory automation projects to several countries. One of them was a 3-week deployment to Mexico, where I was required to program the AGV navigation on site and linked up to the company’s system.

“The customers were satisfied with the deployment and I was further sent to India, Singapore and Thailand to deploy more automation solutions for other multinational companies. It never crossed my mind that I would get to visit so many countries in such a short time upon employment including Paris and Amsterdam,” said Nik Faisal.

Nik Ahmad Faisal said he also appreciate the time spent with the engineers and local community, understanding their work cultures and ethics. For example, the Mexican team was very technical and would try their best to troubleshoot any issues in line on their own before getting vendor support down to component level.

Looking back to his past, Nik Ahmad Faisal said that he was very much lucky to be selected as UTM students.

“When studying at Diploma level in UTM Kuala Lumpur, I started to explore robotic projects and build several prototypes and joined robotic competitions. After furthering my studies at the degree level in UTM Johor Bahru, I met Dr Yeong Che Fai who co-founded DF Automation & Robotics with a few other UTM alumni.

“It was rare to meet a lecturer who can juggle between research, academics and business at the same time. He mentored me during my internship and part-time work.

After completing my internship, I asked Dr Yeong to be my final year project (FYP) supervisor as he was known to design projects with commercial value and having award potential,” said Nik Ahmad Faisal. – UTM