Umut Arslan, MLA III, SGS Turkey, June 25, 2023  |  “Catalyst” in chemistry literature is a substance that increases the reaction rate by lowering the activation energy of a chemical reaction and does not change its chemical structure after the reaction. In a way, what I experienced after I crossed paths with ICML and professionals certified by ICML can be compared to a catalyst effect.

I started as an analyst at SGS Turkey Oil Condition Monitoring Laboratory in 2011 and continued until 2018. In this process, my task was to carry out analyses in accordance with ASTM methods and to fulfill all the items one by one in order to reach the correct results. At SGS our biggest capital was to perform to the highest quality standards and to maintain trust with our partners, and it was important to do this without any mistakes. 

Umut Arslan inspects a flask of oil in the lab.

Umut started his career at SGS Turkey as an Oil Condition Monitoring Analyst.

In 2018, I found myself in the science of tribology while delving into the depths of oil analysis and constantly asking why we are doing this analysis. As I researched, I became aware that this subject is not really simple and should not be described as just an oil analysis.

Then I found myself in this adventure after SGS globally guided the professionals who perform diagnostic oil analysis to have at least MLA II competency. I received training from the valuable professionals of this business in UK and France and started preparing for the ICML exam. I took the exam right after my training and was successfully awarded the MLA II certificate.

When I came back, I was now a diagnostician and started my job. During this time, I diagnosed hundreds of sample analysis results and experienced case studies. Each comment, each case analysis sheds the light of a different idea. I had the opportunity to consult with other ICML- certified personnel at the points where I could not find solutions. Since the common passion of all of us is oil analysis, we reached solutions by sharing more information and doing group work together. 

After completing two years full of good experience and memories, I set my goal to prepare for MLA III, the next level of my current certificate. Fortunately, while we were brooding over the covid pandemic that shook the world at the beginning of 2020 and travel bans, ICML came up with a quick innovation and offered the opportunity to take this exam remotely from our home. With the excitement of this, I continued my preparations and successfully completed my exam with the same exam discipline in my study room. I was now a senior diagnostician. 

While I was wondering what’s next after each level, I found myself now in my country writing about tribology, giving trainings on the value of oil analysis and why we should train & raise awareness of our staff. I visited universities, production sites and included oil analysis in predictive maintenance plans. I got very good feedback and had the opportunity to get to know new people.

Currently, as OCM Business Development Manager & Senior Diagnostician at SGS Turkey, I choose the analyses that meet the expectations of the customers and match the laboratory and field together. By working on oil analysis, I clearly show what is best for each customer and I ensure to look in the same direction in parallel with all maintenance professionals. This is a real passion for me; I can’t describe the pleasure given by the fact that the solutions I propose—regardless of the nature of the problem—benefit the maintenance engineers and managers I work with and cause smiles on their faces.

We still have a long way to go. I would like to thank ICML and its valuable employees for their unwavering support on this path.

Umut and son proudly display his ICML certificates.

Umut has earned both MLA II and MLA III certifications, in addition to being an Associate Member of ICML.