Stacy Primus Liew is feisty, intelligent and there’s no doubting her drive for excellence. After all, how many of us can say we have volunteered in 15 countries, solo climbed 10 different mountains in various countries, and founded several NGOs – let alone done so from a young age?
A firm believer that youths play a critical role in the industry's survival, Stacy was recently named a winner of the Energy Leaders for Tomorrow title. Awarded by Energy Intelligence and supported by Total, Aramco, and Gunvor, the winners are judged by 100 panellists from energy companies around the world.
Education is a great equaliser
"The Energy Leaders for Tomorrow Award is a significant honour and being recognised by the world's Energy Leaders is extremely humbling. Personally, I am very grateful to have received such a prestigious award and would like to share it with people from my country who perform admirable work but do not receive the coverage or recognition they deserve in comparison to their counterparts. As someone who believes that education is a great equaliser, providing access to jobs, resources, and skills necessary for a family to not only survive, but thrive, and as a great opportunity, particularly for the poor, I will continue to pursue my vision in order to inspire more young people and instil in them the belief that anything is possible if they put their mind and effort into it."
The Energy Intelligence Forum provides a platform for decision-makers, thought-leaders, and innovators from the worlds of energy, finance, politics, and business to debate, discuss, and develop sustainable solutions to the energy challenges of the 21st century. This year, the Forum explored the opportunities and challenges that the industry faces as the world begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
"I had the opportunity to network with energy industry leaders from around the world and to attend the Leadership Dialogue, during which Mr. Tengku Mohammad Taufik, President and CEO of Petronas, Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas company, discussed the role of natural gas in the future energy mix, as well as the strategy Petronas is taking to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050."
Stacy, who believes the industry has been working toward Net Zero for years, states, "Providing energy in the face of increasing demand while remaining sustainable and responsible is a massive engineering challenge that all energy companies face. If the energy sector can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, we will have truly achieved a zero-emissions world, and as a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) movement, I would like to be a part of that solution."
UTP produces well-rounded graduates
As a Petroleum Geoscientist who graduated from University Technology of Petronas, Stacy is grateful to the university for its commitment to producing well-rounded graduates with exceptional leadership and communication abilities. She expressed how UTP is establishing deep professional ties, trust and shared benefits that work to bridge the sharp cultural divide between academia and industry.
Picture with Resource Development & Management (RDM) - Sabah, Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), PETRONAS
Growing up in a small town in Sabah, surrounded by the dramatic landscape created by Mount Kinabalu, the scenery's natural splendour left a deep impact on Stacy. “I've been fascinated by the wonders of the world since a young age, from the formation of vast mountain ranges to the unyielding power of the Earth as manifested in the aftermath of tectonic activity. My wish to study more about the processes behind these mineral forms and the rocks that have sheltered their intricate beauty started my interest in Geoscience.”
Stacy, who is passionate about Petroleum Geoscience, chose this field primarily to be a part of the solution for meeting Malaysia's current energy demand and enabling our nations to finally take flight and pursue their quest to become developed nations. She believes that unlocking and maximizing Malaysia's energy potential equates to ensuring a prosperous future not only for Malaysia but eventually, the world.
Stacy, who is also an MBA in Energy Management under University Technology of Petronas mentioned the rising energy demand and issues about rapidly dwindling energy supplies that have fueled global concerns about sustainable energy supply in recent years. Under these conditions, the oil, gas, and energy industries, both domestically and globally, have an urgent need for professionals who are not only competent in managing their businesses but also visionary leaders capable of driving their energy businesses in a sustainable manner while navigating the challenging environment. "What excites me the most is the plethora of possibilities and opportunities that this industry may give since there are so many levels to explore both in technical and non-technical operations. The rapid evolution of technology allows you to learn new things every day while also being at the forefront of the energy transition that will power the future."
Inspiring others through podcasts
Even before graduation, Stacy is carving her own space in the energy field by creating her podcast series, Diamond in the Rough, which brings together great leaders to share about their career journey in the energy industry, and the challenges and pressures that shaped them into the diamonds they are today. Stacy aims to provide both educational and inspirational podcasts on every episode.
On the concept behind her podcast, Stacy says, “The most brilliant diamonds are formed under pressure. They’re the world’s toughest substance. Just like a diamond in the rough, everyone is born with the potential to be a leader inside of them, but that potential needs to be set free. We all have the God-given power within us to overcome challenges and rise above any turmoil to succeed.” Stacy believes there is special power in a story shared aloud as it's capable of becoming a connective tissue between time, people, cultures, and experiences. Stories reveal truths, encourage exploration, generate curiosity, and can be used as a tool or guide to excellence.
Networking for Success
Being named one of the 2021 Energy Leaders for Tomorrow has increased Stacy's exposure to the energy world and opened her eyes to the power of effective networking.
“Professional networking can catapult your career in a variety of ways,” she says. “Strong networking skills combined with excellent communication skills will propel you forward, and collaboration will become second nature. I have been fortunate to have had many amazing mentors in my life, and their guidance has been life-changing. Instead of telling me what to do, they ask questions, listen, and support me in coming to my own conclusions. Personally, I have been privileged to have a few mentors in the energy industry who have exemplified what is possible when one sets one's mind to something."
Picture with Mr. Mohamad Abu Bakar. General Manager, Resource Development & Management (RDM) – Sabah, Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), PETRONAS
Stacy herself is living proof of that tenacity. She has solo climbed several of the world's great mountains, some amid daunting challenges - she ascended Mount Hallasan in South Korea the very next day after an aggressive typhoon, and scaled Mount Schocki in Austria in the thick of winter during her volunteer programme in Europe.
"As with everyone else, I had to overcome the fear that comes from within. The fear of falling short, the fear of failure, the fear of not measuring up. But I conquered my fear with faith – faith that God had purposely placed me on this path and that He would not give me a burden too heavy to carry. I am a diamond that thrives under pressure, but I am not perfect. I just have to be the best version of myself. Climbing these mountains is such a humbling experience. It makes me realise how small and inconsequential my existence is in the world, and that the best view comes only after the hardest climb."