Often a teacher, always a student
They say those who dare to teach, must never cease to learn. That perfectly sums up Wärtsilian Kew Min Park who has made it her life goal to teach people how Wärtsilä is proactively building a more sustainable future. Find out more.
Kew Min first started her career with Wärtsilä Korea as an Electrical Commissioning Engineer in 2008 when she worked on multiple projects including the Wärtsilä 50DF (dual-fuel) engines. However, in 2013, she decided to switch paths and joined the Wärtsilä Land & Sea Academy as an Instructor.
“The biggest thrill for me is that teaching helps me to improve my own skills, allowing me to carefully study the contents of each course and then based on that, offer a higher quality of education,” explains Kew Min. “At the same time, I am happy to see Wärtsilä’s customers feeling joy as they learn new things. Their joy encourages me to learn more and improve my own way of transferring the knowledge. It’s a self-reinforcing circle.”
Being part of the big picture
At the academy, Kew Min finds it exhilarating to be at the cutting-edge of technology by training people to work on some of the most advanced engines and equipment in Wärtsilä’s portfolio, including the Wärtsilä 50DF, Wärtsilä 50SG (gas engine) and Wärtsilä 46 engine models among others. A firm believer in the company’s purpose of enabling sustainable societies with smart technology, she feels these engines will play a big role in bringing about an eco-efficiency revolution in the industry.
“Wärtsilä is transforming the image of a traditional engine company by becoming an eco-friendly total energy solution company with hybrid technology based on high-efficiency engines and energy battery technology,” she explains. “I strive to share this knowledge with my industry peers. I also see a lot of potential in the ecosystem thinking which can, for example, open up new virtual education opportunities to communicate more effectively and conveniently.”
Her work involves training both Wärtsilians and external customers about these incredible solutions. Kew Min’s courses for Wärtsilä’s engineers help them grasp the principles behind engine operations, while the external trainings are built with pure customer-focus enabling Wärtsilä’s customers to understand how the efficiency and ease-of-use of Wärtsilä engines and solutions best benefit their businesses.
Learning from experience
Kew Min’s skills as a trainer are also supported by her previous field experiences as a Commissioning Engineer. The most memorable project during this period of her career was her work on a chemical/oil tanker.
“It was the first project that I took charge of when I joined Wärtsilä and since then, I have spent every day of my life appreciating the smooth progress of that project,” she says. “There was only one minor bump on the road; on the day when I finished the Input/Output (I/O) and safety checks, I pressed the start button and to my surprise the engine would not start. We soon rectified the issue with the team and I could start the engine with a smile.”
The incident made Kew Min realise the value of collaboration and working together with colleagues to make her projects a success. She uses her learnings from projects as real-life examples in her courses, always emphasising the importance of teamwork as a catalyst for better results.
“At the training centre, we start new courses for both customers and Wärtsilä staff every week,” explains Kew Min. “The biggest challenge has always been communicating the course content effectively while maintaining the group’s interest levels. This requires me to understand the topic thoroughly and develop the course materials carefully, while ensuring that there are enough practical elements to keep participants engaged and matching with their experience level.”
The quest for knowledge
Kew Min is the first to admit that being in a position to train people also means she has to be constantly on her toes, never ceasing her own training and pursuit for knowledge in order to keep abreast of the company’s rapid pace of innovation.
“It helps that we don’t see our work as traditional trainer and trainee model. Instead, we are an equal group sharing knowledge and investigating new technologies and methods together,” she emphasises. “The training centre taught me that sharing knowledge like this makes the education process better, creating a network that allows information to grow organically. At the end of the day, this can only benefit the industry.”
When she is not busy training people to work with state-of-the-art technologies, Kew Min unwinds by spending time with her family, including her two sons, and playing a lot of sports.
“Since the four seasons are quite different from each other in Korea, I try to do a new sport each season,” she says with a smile. “In spring and fall, I either ride a bike or play catch ball. In summer, I swim and do rock climbing; and in winter, I enjoy skating and skiing.”
Pursuing her passions, both at work and in her personal life, has helped her maintain her vitality, says Kew Min. Not only that, it has also helped her become an ambassador for Wärtsilä, instilling in others her relentless quest for knowledge.