Life's Lessons

posted Jun 19, 2014, 9:00 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Jun 19, 2014, 9:18 AM ]

I read an article recently titled "Kristin Chenoweth Caught Off Guard by Fan's Wickedly Good Singing".  After some reflection, I've come to realize two lessons from this:
  1. Always do your best for you do not know when you will be called upon
  2. Never be afraid to share the stage; even if it belongs to you

A Day in the Life of a Field Engineer

posted May 28, 2012, 8:54 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Oct 25, 2012, 7:33 AM ]

A Day in the Life of a Field Engineer
by Daniel A. Sen

A Field Engineer (FE) or Technical Adviser (TA) is an engineer who usually works at a customer's site.  This uniqueness offers a varied and challenging work environment and requires that the FE be flexible, have excellent communication skills and an abundance of patience.  In GE Energy, field engineers are divided into mechanical FEs, electrical FEs, control systems FEs, and generator specialists.  I’m cross trained as both an electrical FE and a generator specialist.

My typical day starts with a good breakfast; best to have a scrumptious breakfast because you're never completely certain if or when you'll be having lunch!   Then, I'd drive to site.  After a short meeting with the customer, I'd go on to start my work.  Depending on a field engineer's qualifications, the site work might be installation, commissioning, maintenance, troubleshooting, tuning, vibration analysis, or electrical testing of various types of equipment.  Perhaps the most challenging of these is troubleshooting because at the onset, very little is known about the problem.  In fact, quite often all that is known is that there is a problem!

I'd start troubleshooting a problem by first pulling the relevant documents and technical drawings.  After confirming that the equipment and wiring agree with these documents and drawings, I proceed to try to find the cause of the problem.  One of the simplest and easiest methods I like to use at this stage is to segment the problem: break it up into two smaller pieces and test each piece.  After a few iterations, the cause of the problem can usually be found or, at the very least, isolated.  After completing my work day, I'd update the customer on my progress, submit any documentation for the day, then drive back to have dinner.  Tomorrow will bring with it a new set of issues, but one thing’s for certain: it will be different, it will be a challenge, and it will be solved.

Every problem can be solved with either dollars or time, and quite often it is the tug of war between these two that a field engineer needs to balance.   As a field engineer, I solve problems, switch things ON, and all this while living life out of a suitcase!

The Malaysian Bar & Section 28A of the CPC

posted Jul 9, 2011, 10:16 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Jul 9, 2011, 10:28 AM ]

The Malaysian Bar has an article on the Arrest & Remand laws and rights of the detainee in Malaysia.  However, section 28A(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) can be applied, which allows for denial of legal representation; as was the case for the arrest made in connection to the Bersih 2.0 rally on 9 July 2011.

The also have put together this three part video:

Field Engineering

posted Apr 17, 2011, 7:48 AM by Daniel A Sen

I've created a new section on this website about Field Engineering.  I will be adding material in the coming weeks that will document my experience in the field and my suggestions of the skills, tools, and outlook that, IMHO, are necessary to become a good field engineer.

A lot of the initial material will be from various correspondence that I have had with other field engineers; some of whom were senior to me and to whom I looked to for guidance and some of whom were seeking my advice at the start of their careers as field engineers.  Instead of individual emails, it is my hope that by creating this website the material here will be able to reach more people and will be available 24/7.

YMS IET (Malaysia Network)

posted Jun 8, 2010, 10:12 AM by Daniel A Sen

I've taken on the task of creating a website for the YMS IET (Malaysia Network) with the main objective of increasing the transparency of the Younger Members Section IET (Malaysia Network) Student Chapters' Activity Proposal Workflow.  I've also started updating this website with forms, SOPs and a performance metrics records of past and ongoing student activities.  The purpose of posting the metrics data is to avoid conflicts and confusion stemming from missing metrics data from the SCs.

As time permits, more features and content will be added to further develop this site.  It is hoped that this will be everybody's one-stop center to verify and evaluate SCs' Activities.

Metalab Server Ported to Google Sites

posted Apr 26, 2010, 7:28 AM by Daniel A Sen

I've moved my domain to Google sites, including most of my content that was on Uniten's Metalab server.  For Uniten students who would like to access material that was on the metalab server, please use the indented links Classes, Metalab, Research, and Resources under the Uniten link on the left sidebar.  I have nearly completed the process of porting these pages from Uniten's Metalab server to this site.

Google sites has turned out to be quite adequate for web hosting.  While it is still not as flexible as a web server, e.g. Uniten's Metalab server, it does provide all the necessary tools and storage.  Could I do with more space and tools?  Yes, but I guess I'll have to make do with what I have at the moment :)


posted Mar 2, 2010, 12:42 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Mar 6, 2010, 7:53 PM ]

I found this brief 5-part introduction to Taiwan on YouTube:

[Part 1] 2009 Taiwan Presentation @ Pardubice (Taiwan History)

[Part 2] 2009 Taiwan Presentation @ Pardubice (Traditional Culture)

[Part 3] 2009 Taiwan Presentation @ Pardubice (Delicacy & IT in Taiwan)

[Part 4] 2009 Taiwan Presentation @ Pardubice (Something More About Taiwan!)

[Part 5] 2009 Taiwan Presentation @ Pardubice (Game Time!!!)

ISP Speed and Ping Tests

posted Feb 20, 2010, 8:34 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Jun 8, 2014, 8:01 AM ]

JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok WiFi Connection @ Bangkok, Thailand

Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu WiFi Connection @ Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu LAN Connection @ Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Laptop connected via Huawei K3773 USB 3G modem @ Merredin Power Station, Merredin, WA, Australia

DeHe Business Hotel LAN Connection @ Quangang, Fujian, China

Residence Inn WiFi connection @ North Little Rock, AR, USA

Residence Inn LAN connection @ N Stemmons Freeway,Dallas, TX, USA - second test after a word with the Engineering Manager about the bandwidth

Residence Inn LAN connection @ N Stemmons Freeway,Dallas, TX, USA

Towneplace Suites Hotel WiFi connection @ Washington Ave, Albany, NY, USA

Laptop connected via USB cable to N85 acting as a modem with a 3G SIM card from Yes Optus @West Lakes, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Laptop connected to wifi (SSID: Turbo7Wireless7730) with 3G SIM card from Telstra @Osborne, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Laptop connected via Huawei E220 USB 3G modem @Melaka, Malaysia

Renaissance Yangtze Shanghai Hotel LAN connection @Shanghai, China

Laptop connected via USB cable to N85 acting as a modem with a 3G SIM card from Taiwan Mobile @Tunghsiao Power Plant, Miaoli, Taiwan

Howard Prince Hotel LAN connection @Taichung, Taiwan

Laptop connected via USB cable to N85 acting as a modem with a 3G SIM card from Taiwan Mobile @Chiahui Power Plant, Chiayi, Taiwan

Chiahui Power Plant LAN connection @Chiahui, Taiwan

Nice Prince Hotel LAN connection @Chiayi, Taiwan

The Splendor Hotel LAN connection @Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Laptop connected via USB cable to N85 acting as a modem with a 3G SIM card from Taiwan Mobile @Hsinta Power Plant, Hsinta, Taiwan

Han-Hsien Hotel LAN connection @Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Laptop connected to HKG Airport free public wifi (SSID: PCCW)

Telekom Malaysia Streamyx 1Mbps line

Masters Degree - choices

posted Feb 11, 2010, 8:41 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Feb 28, 2010, 5:55 AM ]

I'm writing this because there have been multiple request from my former students about the choices they have for pursuing a Masters degree.

The options for you would be:
  • MEng (coursework)
  • MEng (full research), sometimes called an MRes
  • MBA
  • MEM

The advice in this article is given with the following assumptions in mind:
  • You are a fresh graduate of an engineering bachelors degree
  • You like engineering and would like to work in this field

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to continue your studies or if you would like to enter the workforce.  At this point in time (February 2010), I think it would be better for you to continue with your studies.  There are several reasons for this:
  • The economy is not very good now and a double dip is still on the table.  Even though you may be able to secure a job now, it does not mean that you will be guaranteed that position for the next year or two.  Usually, the adage last in first out is applied when a company needs to restructure
  • The starting salary quantum has improved in the past 6-12 months though it is still only average compared to 3-5 years ago.
  • Most of the engineering institutions (including the IET) have now made an MEng the minimum academic standard necessary to become a Chartered Engineer
  • Pursuing an MEng full time would take between 12-18 months and cost approximately MYR9000 for tuition and MYR10000 for food and lodging
  • You will need a masters degree in the future.  It is not an IF, only a WHEN

IMHO, pursuing an MEng (coursework) would be the best.  The only exception would be if you are sure that you want to be in the education and/or research, then pursuing an MRes would make better sense.  Of course an MEng would cost more than an MRes (which if you play your cards right should cost you close to zero $$$), but the MEng will give you a much broader view of higher level engineering.  And this is something that you will find very useful once you begin to work.

 The MEng will usually consist of a few subjects (generally 5-7 subjects) and a dissertation on your research project (usually 3-6 months).  The passing grade is usually a CGPA of 3.0/4.0 so try to keep your CGPA above 3.5.  The subjects are similar to material studied during your BEng but delve into greater detail.

<pending further input>

Site URL

posted Feb 11, 2010, 1:26 AM by Daniel A Sen   [ updated Feb 12, 2010, 9:48 AM ]

Ever since registering my domain (, it has been hosted by a free web hosting service that was provided by my domain registrar.  And that was adequate as I was using it mainly as a home page with most of the content hosted by my university's server.  However, after leaving uni, I no longer had access to that server and my domain registrar's free web hosting service had several restrictions: only partial page editing and a lengthy login process.

Today, I modified the CNAME settings so that my domain now points to my Google sites page!  The process was fairly simple and took about 5 minutes.  I'm looking at adding content, especially on the different countries I've visited.

For Uniten students who would still like to access material on the metalab server, please use the indented links Classes, Metalab, Research, and Resources under the Uniten link on the left sidebar.  These links will remain in place as long as the content to which they are linked to remains accessible.

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