While the relationship between man and environment is something that we do not often take notice of, it is also an inextricable part of our lives. Working tirelessly to ensure Singapore is kept clean and green by managing Singapore’s sewage systems and pollution levels are the National Environment Agency (NEA) and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. Two National Environment & Water (NEW) Scholars Low Guan Jie and Fabia Lim, tell us more about how they work to protect our environment at NEA and PUB respectively.
What drew you to the NEW Scholarship?
Low Guan Jie: The NEW scholarship was a natural choice for me as I was interested in working for Singapore’s environmental sector. Through the various rounds of interviews, I had the opportunity to interact with many NEA staff who further convinced me that NEA was a place that I would like to work in and contribute to.
Fabia Lim: I had a first-hand experience of PUB as an organisation during an internship. I was simply fascinated by the efforts put in to provide Singapore with a 24/7 continuous supply of clean water from our taps - something I had always taken for granted. From then, I developed deep respect for the engineers and staff in PUB. It inspired me to be an engineer who can make a difference to the lives of millions of people.
Tell us about your role and the responsibilities at work.
Guan Jie: Currently, I am with the Pollution Control Department which is part of the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Unit (EMAU). We monitor the ambient air and water quality in Singapore. One of the key areas of service to the public is through the reporting of the PSI and other air quality parameters on the NEA website, Twitter, and MyENV App. As a Scientific Officer in EMAU, I support the operations of the monitoring network and manage projects to improve our monitoring capabilities.
Fabia: As an engineer in the PUB Water Reclamation Network Department, I am responsible for the planning and designing of sewers in Singapore. My role involves liaising with other agencies to better understand their developments and sewerage needs, to ensure smooth delivery of our sewerage projects, while streamlining our sewer works with other services. We also run simulations on our sewerage networks regularly – to identify any potential inadequacies early and look for possible network expansions.
What advice would you have for those exploring their scholarship options?
Guan Jie: Choose your scholarship after careful consideration. Have a plan of what you hope to achieve or gain from the scholarship, as it is a long-term commitment which could potentially become a life-long career.
Fabia: Firstly, know where your passion lies. Only then can you truly enjoy your job and have the motivation to get to work every day. Next, I strongly urge you to take up an internship with the organisation offering the scholarship that you are interested in applying for. Not only will the organisation have a holistic assessment of you through the internship, but you will also have a better understanding of what you are signing up for. Last but not least, dare to be different and do not be afraid to go off the beaten track!