ENGINE ROOM SIMULATOR TRAINING – The Sharing of ALAM’s Experience.
By: Mr. Gan Boon Song
Senior Lecturer ALAM.
Malaysia Maritime Academy (MMA), more commonly known by Malaysians as ALAM or Academi Laut [sea] Malaysia, was first establish as Malaysian Training and Education for Seaman (MATES) Foundation about 1977. It was then upgraded to the status of an Academy in 1981, subsequently privatized in 1997 and eventually taken over by Malaysia International Shipping Corporation ( MISC ) in 2006.
Since being taken over by MISC, more than 20 million ringgit (RM), or approximately 6.2 million USD in 2014 dollars, of funds have been invested to help upgrade the training facilities at ALAM, in particular the areas of simulator training.
One of the simulators acquired was the Full Mission Engine Room Simulator ( ERS ); and according to the Head of Maritime Simulation & Communication Center (HMSCC), Captain David S. Rajan, “… the engine room simulator has brought about realism in training, provides engineering candidates an environment in which they can develop their skills, competencies, leadership and management opportunities beyond the requirements of STCW 2010 Manila Amendments”.
The ERS is based on the TRANSAS ERS 5000 model and has the ERS ship models as shown below in figure 1. ALAM is also in the process of upgrading the TRANSAS ERS 5000 simulator to the new and improved TRANSAS ERS 5000 TechSim platform with the latest soft touch screen and additional ship models.
For those not familiar with ERS, simulator courses are developed based on the following types of holistic training, namely :
*Machinery Layout training
*Engine Room Resource Management
Also according to the HMSCC, “[t]he simulator is an excellent tool for assessment to help gauge the candidate’s human performance, communication, teamwork and leadership skills in handling day to day operations including emergencies. It helps engineering officers to close the gaps before being placed on board operational vessels.” The level of training supported for the marine engineers are as below in figure 2.
Depending on the level and type of training required, the following types of courses have specifically been design & developed:
*Engine Room Simulator Training ( Cadets Level ) – ERSTC – 5 days
( Motor & Steam )
*Engine Room Simulator Training ( Operational Level )- ERSTO – 5days
( Motor & Steam )
*Engine Room Simulator Training ( Management Level )- ERSTM – 5 days
( Motor & Steam )
*Electrical Generator Operation – ( EGO )- 3 days
*Boiler Operation Course – MBO – 3days
*Engine Resource & Team Management Course ( ERTM )- 5 days
*Senior Engineer Leadership Assessment Program ( SELAP ) – 3 days
Two of the most sought after programs by shipping companies are the ERTM & SELAP course.
The ERTM course incorporates all the Engine Room Resource elements required under the STCW 2010 competency into simulation exercises where students are required to demonstrate the ability to apply concepts learned like human performance, limitations, attitude, situational awareness, cultural awareness, good communication, teamwork, leadership & crisis management skills in their exercises. About three courses every month and the duration of each course is a week ( 5 days ).
The SELAP is specifically designed to assist companies in developing and assessing the suitability
of Senior Marine Engineer Officers for assuming the position of Chief / Second Engineer.
This program focuses on the development and assessment of generic leadership competencies .
This course will be conducted by an experienced ex-Chief Engineer together with a qualified Psychologist who specializes in “Organizational Psychology” / a qualified Human Resource Development Specialist who specializes in “Organization Behaviours Development” and holds a Masters / PhD in Human Resource Development.
Upon completion of the SELAP Course, a trainee will have a better understanding of the five (5) personal mastery & leadership competencies that are deemed to be important for effective performance as a Chief / Second Engineer and in particular
- Leading Self and Others
- Change Management
- Work Place Relationships Management
- Tasks Management
- Decision Making
This course is run at least once a month for clients from some of the biggest shipping companies in the region.
It is hoped that in sharing this article and experiences on the use of engine room simulator will in some ways assist aspiring maritime institutions in their journey toward acquiring and the use of ERS for their training.