Engineering Giants

Despite being at different stages of their careers, the journeys of these two scholars are uncannily similar, from how their engineering interests were kick-started to what they hope to achieve in the future. We speak to the two of them about life in ST Engineering.

By Farhan Shah

One had a penchant for taking apart electronic equipment to see how different components worked together while the other enjoyed building awe-inspiring sculptures using LEGO bricks and a wild imagination. It was from these humble beginnings that two scholars emerged to where they are now, on the cusp of an exciting career with Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering).

Founded in 1967 as a humble defence company making ordnance for the Singapore army, ST Engineering has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 40 years, expanding into different countries and creating fledgling subsidiaries that have become world-class entities in their own rights.

International Exposure
It was this international expertise and incredible learning experiences in store that captured the interest of Senior Engineer Joshua Ng. The 27-year-old, who had always wanted to pursue a career in the aerospace industry, found the perfect partner in ST Aerospace, the aerospace arm of ST Engineering.

“(ST Aerospace) is an established engineering company with interests in both defence and commercial aspects, which was something that really appealed to me. Being in ST Aerospace also means I get the opportunity to work on complex projects in challenging environments,” Joshua explains.

After spending four years overseas, three in Cornell University and one in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Joshua returned to Singapore with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Logistics, ready to make a difference.

Due to the enormity of the organisation’s operations, Joshua enjoyed opportunities to be exposed to different facets of ST Aerospace. From operations to marketing, the Senior Engineer immersed himself wholeheartedly in the company’s culture and vision.

“ST Engineering wants all its employees to keep in mind the Group’s five core values – Integrity, Value Creation, Commitment, Courage, and Compassion,” Joshua extols. And these are the very core values that Joshua keeps close to his heart while handling the responsibilities of his current portfolio – spearheading the two contracts ST Aerospace currently has with two Korean airlines.

Challenging Responsibilities
“I manage the operational, day-to-day requirements of the customer, delivering high service standards to meet customer satisfaction. This has to be accomplished while still internally meeting our cost and revenue targets,” Joshua shares.

Although it sounds simple in theory, the reality is much harder to achieve. Joshua has to be constantly ready to respond to the needs of the customer while ensuring that all other operations continue to run smoothly. This could mean sending much-needed airplane parts to Korea as quickly as possible or engineering innovative solutions for problems that crop up from time to time.

Like all other ST Engineering scholars, Joshua was put through at least one internship programme during his school vacations so as to familiarise himself with the inner workings of the engineering behemoth.

A Holistic Education
The internship experience at ST Engineering is something that 25-year-old overseas scholar and current Stanford University postgraduate student, Nicholas Yap, remembers fondly.

“In my last internship, I worked alongside a project manager. It was quite exciting because I had the chance to experience what an engineering project was like in a commercial setting. I learnt a lot from my colleagues and realised that hard work, perseverance, communication, and a great team are essential to the success of any project,” he says.

Besides internships, ST Engineering also places great emphasis on a holistic education, supporting its scholars for overseas exchange programmes. Nicholas, for instance, was sponsored for his summer programme – a trip to Argentina to learn more about the Latin American culture.

The ST Engineering scholar, who is in his final year of studies, is eager to apply whatever he has learnt from his travels and studies to his work. “I hope to work in ST Electronics after I have graduated, as I am interested in electrical and electronics engineering and ST Electronics has many exciting engineering projects in various areas,” Nicholas says.

Right now though, the young scholar is just focused on enjoying his overseas university life. Although academia is important, Nicholas also takes time out to pursue his own interests and engage in social work. “I always take the opportunity to make new friends and enrich myself with any opportunities available because these activities will help to build character,” Nicholas says.

The Future Awaits
Indeed, strength of character and a sharp eye for innovation are qualities embraced by ST Engineering scholars. For example, Joshua is exploring ways to decrease the logistics costs that ST Engineering incurs when freighting equipment, sometimes across multiple oceans. Even though this is not part of his main portfolio, Joshua has tackled this problem with gusto, already looking at ways to optimise routes or creating better network freight routes.

Similarly, Nicholas is keen to take on such challenges upon graduation. “ST Engineering is at the forefront of its field and involved in a multitude of engineering projects, which will keep me constantly engaged and challenged. My experiences with ST Engineering will no doubt develop both my character and competency, and that is something to look forward to,” Nicholas concludes with a smile.

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