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A Glimpse into my Future
Written by Keuntae Kim | Published. 2018.02.12 20:20 | Count : 442
On a freezing day of my winter vacation, I woke up to the sound of my father getting ready for his work. My father looked at me and asked if I wanted to come with him to his company. I was surprised because it was my first invitation, so I said “Of course!” I have always known that my father owns a company, but I could never understand what it did. It was too complicated. All I remembered was that the name was “PSCK”. On the way to his company, which is located in Ilsan, I asked my father what does PSCK stand for, and he said “Process Solution Centre, Korea.” I wanted to ask more questions but I decided to wait.
In front of the company, I saw a sign of PSCK on the door. When we got in, I saw about 20 busy people working in cubicles all looking at their computer screens. When they saw my father, they all stood up and greeted him. After passing them, my father and I went to his office. There was his desk and a conference desk with chairs. Then I heard a knock on the door, and my father had a quick meeting with a few engineers. They checked over the estimates on Refinery, Petrochemical, Chemical and Power Plant factories in Ulsan and Yeosu. I was able to figure out that my dad’s company involved business with petroleum. After this quick meeting, I asked my father what his business did. He said, “The company provides service in Plant Automation & Optimization Engineering. Plant Automation is designing automate process control to facilitate refineries and oil companies such as S-Oil, GS-Caltex, and Hyundai Oilbank.”
I asked him how he started this company. “What led you to start a business in this field?” He said, “When I graduated from college with a chemical engineer degree, the job opportunity was limited in Korea, so I took a job at a Yokogawa as Advanced Process Control Engineer, and it was stationed in Singapore. I picked up English and a little bit of Japanese and reached up the corporate ladder to be a manager in Plant Automation & Optimization Engineering Service. The company was making so much profit and had diverse customers.  Some of the clients were Koreans, but the service it provided to the Korean Oil companies was expensive and less satisfactory. The Korean clients had to wait a long time for an appointment when there was a problem that was stalling the process control in manufacturing. This seemed unfair to me, so knowing what I had learned from this company, I decided to start a company in Korea where I can provide the similar line of service but do better and cheaper”

I always imagined chemical engineers were the ones in lab coats mixing formulas and making ingredients for a drug company, but watching him broadened my eyes. This seemed much more exciting. He creates systems, designs, or layouts to speed up enormous factories and refineries, thus making the whole process much more efficient, which means less wasted materials and human resources. He institutes proper automation and optimizations in hundreds of factories and therefore contributes to Korean oil industries and its economy in a significant way. I never imagined a chemical engineer could create that level of impact.

On the way back home, my father seemed different to me. He did not look like a nerdy guy who sits on his desk, reading boring articles about engineering. He had courage to start something in Korea that did not exist, and thus helped the national corporate. I told my dad that I am also going to consider majoring in chemical engineering. My father smiled and said “I am glad it wasn’t too boring for you.” I felt that I saw a glimpse of what my future might look like.


Keuntae Kim
Concordia Jr/Sr High School

Keuntae Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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