The DSTA Scholarship offers those with a passion for science and technology the opportunity to shape the defence and security landscape of Singapore. Scholars will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to augment Singapore's defence capabilities. They can look forward to a dynamic and vibrant career within the Defence Technology Community, which includes the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), DSO National Laboratories (DSO) and the Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies.
At DSTA, engineering professionals optimise their technical skills to push the boundaries of the organisation, ensuring that Singapore is always armed with advanced capabilities and remains at the forefront of rapid change.
One of them is Sharon Ang, Senior Engineer of DSTA's Land Systems Programme Centre. Sharon and her team deliver robots to counter various chemical, biological, radiological and explosive threats for soldiers of the SAF. "These robots are capable of executing complex tasks in place of humans in potentially dangerous environments. They help to keep our soldiers out of harm's way by safely removing explosive ordnance as well as detecting and identifying chemical and radiological sources," Sharon explains.
Sharon also took on the role of Project Lead for the Advanced Combat Man Systems (ACMS) - an urban combat system for the Third Generation Army. The ACMS enhances soldiers' situational awareness as well as command and control capabilities by allowing them to share real-time information in a swift and precise manner for improved battle coordination. Sharon tells us, "I took charge of shaping the function and design of the ACMS software and its subsequent lightweight variant, the ACMS iLITE. I also reviewed the design of the software to ensure its user-friendliness and intuitiveness."
These are complex responsibilities that might seem daunting to a new entrant to the organisation. But DSTA scholars need not fret - they are given essential training, resources and exposure so that they are assured the support even before they begin their careers.
Sharon shares, "The DSTA Scholarship Office provided excellent support throughout my studies. For example, it had a buddy system in place that paired me with a senior DSTA scholar. My buddy was a great help to me and supported my transition into university. I could seek advice on the relevant courses to take and learn about his experiences in university."
She also gained exposure to the intricacies of an engineer's tasks through her attachment to DSO. She recalls, "During my one-year stint at DSO after graduation, I was involved in the development of the automotive radar software for an unmanned ground vehicle. This was aimed at enhancing the vehicle's ability to detect obstacles. The experience offered me an opportunity to sharpen my technical competency and exposed me to rigorous defence research and development work."
When asked about what aspiring DSTA scholars can look forward to, Sharon says earnestly, "They can look forward to a meaningful and exciting career in the Defence Technology Community. They would be exposed to challenging and multi-disciplinary work, given opportunities to learn and the chance to apply engineering skills to real-world challenges."
But in order to turn every challenge into an opportunity for innovation, scholars must cultivate the right attitude. "Aspiring DSTA scholars should be willing to embrace challenges, possess the passion for solving complex issues and pursue excellence in whatever they do. They should also recognise that embarking on a career in the public service is a meaningful endeavour that allows them to give back to society," Sharon concludes humbly.