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Building Ambitions on a Strong Foundation

Fri, 11/24/2023 Joshua Joseph
Building Ambitions on a Strong Foundation

Chua Gim Hock's foray into civil engineering wasn't sparked by an immediate passion. Instead, it emerged from a gradual appreciation fostered by the ever-evolving cityscape. "Seeing how rapidly our city’s skyline has developed over the years made me appreciate the work done by professionals in the built environment sector," he reflected. This appreciation sparked a curiosity to unravel the engineering principles behind standing structures, naturally steering him into the built environment for his career.

Motivated to carve a career path in the built environment, Gim Hock set his sights on the Built Environment Industry Undergraduate Scholarship, where he kickstarted his career with KTC Civil Engineering and Construction Private Limited (KTC) upon his graduation. 

Chua Gim Hock (pictured right) with his colleagues.

A Profound Impact for Growth

The scholarship played a pivotal role in Gim Hock's education and career. Reflecting on his undergraduate days pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, he shared that the scholarship enabled him to focus on his education without worrying about financial burdens. The scholarship also opened doors to valuable experiences, from securing internships to networking opportunities with senior management at KTC.

Gim Hock's journey of progress from an intern to a Project Manager at KTC was marked by hands-on experiences, challenges, and a commitment to continuous learning. The internship at KTC gave him a head start, offering insights into the construction industry and project management. Embracing challenges, from unexpected site issues to coordinating diverse teams, became a cornerstone of Gim Hock’s career. Today, as a Project Manager, he orchestrates seamless communication, fosters collaboration, and navigates the complexities of adhering to strict timelines and budgets, to ensure successful delivery of projects to his clients’ expectations.

In his quest to specialise further in the field of Civil Engineering, Gim Hock went on to take up a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at the National University of Singapore in 2018, thereby enhancing his geotechnical knowledge and problem-solving abilities. His involvement in notable projects such as Orchard Boulevard MRT Station and Sungei Bedok Station gave him an opportunity to put what he has learnt into good use and showcased his ability to tackle challenging situations faced in these projects.

"Constructing MRT stations in densely built-up areas is always challenging," acknowledges Gim Hock. The construction of an underpass linking Orchard Boulevard Station to its entrances, situated just 2.5m to 5m beneath the bustling Orchard Boulevard junction, presented a memorable challenge. We spent many months designing, identifying, and evaluating the associated risk and technical challenges. Eventually, we adopted Pipe Roof Methodology (trenchless technique) as the solution and managed to complete the project on time and within budget.”

Gim Hock (pictured second from left)

The Fundamentals of Success

Emphasising the paramount role of teamwork and collaboration for projects, Gim Hock noted, "Teamwork and collaboration play a critical role in project management as they foster effective communication and allow the exchange of ideas and insights among team members regardless of seniority." This synergy enhances problem-solving and decision-making, ultimately leading to superior project outcomes.

He also believes in cultivating a supportive environment and instilling values of hard work, adaptability, and innovation in younger engineers. Reflecting on his role as a mentor, he shared, "Working hard and yet staying adaptable and innovative are crucial values and skills that I will always emphasise to young engineers, especially in the built environment industry where change is a constant," he shared.

A Nurturing Environment

Gim Hock takes pride in being an integral part of the nurturing environment at KTC. "KTC is like a family; providing a positive and inclusive work culture that fosters a sense of belonging. Opportunities for professional growth and skill development inspire employees to entrust their careers with the organisation," he warmly expresses. Moreover, he highlights the open recognition and appreciation from senior leaders, emphasising how this boosts morale and creates job satisfaction for everyone in the organisation.

This positive work culture is not just Gim Hock's sentiment. KTC’s commitment to its employees has also been recognised externally. The company has earned its place among Straits Times’s ranking of Singapore's Best Employers, a testament to its dedication to creating a supportive and fulfilling workplace.

In its role within the Built Environment sector, KTC strongly advocates for workplace safety, quality of work, and competency development. The company ensures that all staff are provided equal opportunities to excel in their respective fields. KTC believes that by taking pride in their work, employees will develop a strong sense of belonging, driving them to continuously strive for excellence. At the staff level, KTC entrusts staff engagement to department heads, the company actively demonstrates care and concern, providing support whenever needed to keep the workforce engaged and motivated.

Gim Hock's aspirations extend towards delving deeper into the development of underground infrastructure in Singapore, with a focus on ingenuity, sustainability, and technological advancement. His advice to aspiring engineers echoes the ethos of the ever-evolving Built Environment sector: "Flexibility, adaptability, and innovation are key traits to success," he said.

KTC Civil Engineering and Construction is a Sponsoring Organisation in the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) for Built Environment Sector.

Click here to find out more about the SgIS Sponsoring Organisations from the Built Environment sector.

Student applications for SgIS will open from January 2024, click here to apply.








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