Hariharan Mohanabala Krishnan

Electrical Engineering Intern attached to SSSD

Hariharan will be graduating with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from the National University Singapore (NUS) in 2022

My company and my internship

I participated in the NUS Co-Op programme and applied to PSA because I found the projects interesting and I wanted to do something related to automation.

I’ve since completed 2 attachments with PSA’s Smart Systems Solutions Department – May-Jul 2019 and May-Jul 2020 – and have another to go! 

During my first attachment, I focused on foundational knowledge about the maritime industry and the cranes’ functions and systems installed. Additionally, I was roped in to test out the remote operations capabilities of a Quay Crane (QC). I performed data analysis on the results of each trial to discover ways to optimise the system.

For my second attachment, I carried out compatibility studies of potential systems that can be implemented on our smart QCs by conducting my own research.

How I got my internship

I applied for the internship through NUS’s talent connect portal and was called up for an interview.  

There were 3 Senior Managers from PSA’s Engineering Division and a HR personnel present for my interview back in 2019.

The interviewers asked technical questions to assess my understanding of the Engineering concepts required for the internship. I also obtained first-hand knowledge from them of my role for the internship that I applied for.

I found out later from my internship supervisor that I was selected because I showed the drive to learn and try out new things.

The highs and lows

As I was involved in the Automated QC project, I had to understand how the different systems in the Quay Cranes worked together.

Initially, I was overwhelmed by the information and it was indeed a steep learning curve. I was fortunate to have a patient supervisor and helpful colleagues who would take the time and effort to guide me so that I would be able to understand the different systems. 

I liked that I was assigned real and meaningful tasks which are crucial and beneficial to my department’s work. As an intern, this is not something I take for granted.

My happiest moment at work

I was tasked to automate the processing of the QC operations data (e.g. time, degree of sway of spreader) obtained from the trials.

The data processing was originally done manually and would take a few hours.

After writing a code in excel VBA, the entire process took less than 10 minutes at the click of a button and the results was more accurate as well! 

I was glad that I made a difference and contributed to the department as the VBA script is now being used for data processing. 

Training and support

During the internship, my supervisor sent me on courses to learn more about the different types of cranes used inside the port.

This helped me gain a better understanding of the different systems (e.g. drives, power) found inside a QC. 

Apart from the courses, I also went on site to observe the various Engineering-related activities. This provided me a better understanding of the Engineers’ work.

Culture and Environment

Whenever I had doubts or questions, I could always look towards my colleagues or supervisor for help. I like how everyone was very approachable and have casual conversations over lunch.

 Outside of work, the department had fun outings (such as VR games) and gatherings to catch up with one another and bond over food!

 As I was interning in the Crane Section, my role wasn’t deskbound and I was able to get fresh air onsite in the container yard – in the thick of action!

Some advice

An internship is a great learning opportunity. It is a bridge between the theory taught in school and the actual practice in industry.