As a Senior Engineer in charge of distribution network planning at Singapore Power (SP), Alvin Lim’s role is to connect homes and businesses into Singapore’s electricity network. To put it simply and quite literally, Alvin lights up the lives of others.
Apart from planning electricity connections for customers, Alvin and his team of other engineers also ensure they keep up with growing electricity demand and maintain their network security and reliability. “This has been an important and meaningful role as the electricity network is the backbone of our nation’s development and economy,” Alvin tells us.
While Alvin has a finger on the pulse of SP’s electricity network, fellow SP officer Tan Run Yan helps to future proof the organisation in the digital age. The Senior Systems Analyst is currently in the Data Analytics team supporting SP’s move towards Electric Vehicles. His role sees him use contemporary technology to develop mobile applications that drive process automation and ensure a smooth workflow. One project that Run Yan was involved in was the Geospatial Gas Leaks Location Analytics. Using Geospatial Data Analytics Tools, Run Yan’s team worked with gas engineers to build a prototype that analyses historical data of gas leaks to determine areas that have higher propensity for recurrence.
This allowed the gas engineers to deploy resources in an objective and data driven manner, resulting in very significant resource efficiencies gained. He shares, “SP emphasises on driving innovation to increase productivity. I’m glad to be part of the team that prepares the grid for future challenges and primes SP to seize new opportunities in the ever evolving energy landscape, through digitalisation.”
Learning Beyond Borders
Alvin and Run Yan have been with SP for slightly more than five years now – and what an eventful career journey they’ve had. They talk about their experiences while on overseas business trips and the insights they have brought back to Singapore. For Alvin, his overseas trips have allowed him to benchmark overseas utilities against our engineering practices and learn about smart grid initiatives. For instance, while at European utilities, he learnt about the challenges in managing the electricity network under high renewable penetration. While he was in Korea, he had an eye-opening experience learning about the development of smart grid technologies on an offshore island.
“These exposures have stretched my horizons and shaped my perspectives on the challenges ahead for the power industry. I am excited to be learning new things every day and feel empowered to chart the next step of my development with SP to keep up with the changing landscape in the power industry,” he shares.
On Run Yan’s part, his time in the Strategic Investments unit saw him travel to Melbourne once a month for a period of up to two weeks each. “Much effort and focus was needed to understand the local culture and communicate with our Australian counterparts,” he divulges. “There was also a need to maximise each trip to gather as much business information and to collaborate with as many business managers as possible. The fast-paced work in a diverse environment offered me opportunities to sharpen my soft skills and learn how to prioritise.”
Lim Jun Leng Alvin
Singapore Power Undergraduate Scholar
A Nurturing Culture
Apart from business trips, Alvin and Run Yan have had other means to grow personally and professionally throughout their five years. SP’s Engineering LEAdership Development Programme (ELEAD) allowed Alvin to take up a one-year Master’s programme in Future Power Network at Imperial College London. Of the experience, he tells us, “It has allowed me to pursue my interests in understanding the future of power networks. I had the chance to interact with and learn from academics and engineers of other regions. This opportunity has built up my competence as an engineer and prepared me to face the engineering challenges of tomorrow.”
For Run Yan, he has led volunteerism activities as a key member of the SP Heart Workers Committee. He shares, “Organising events for the underprivileged on top of meeting my daily work demands was challenging. I spent time and effort to collaborate with beneficiary organisations and vendors to ensure the successful execution of events. Bringing joy to and seeing the smiles of beneficiaries always gave me a sense of satisfaction and fuel to continue volunteering for the next activity.”
SP also organised ‘The Pitch’ recently, a competition which served as a platform for employees to pitch and develop business ideas within SP. Such developments allow officers to make use of their business knowledge and play a hand in shaping the future of the energy transportation business.
Tan Run Yan
Singapore Power Undergraduate Scholar
Senior Systems Analyst I
Learning and Growing with SP
As SP scholars, Alvin and Run Yan can say that their scholarship has brought them to various postings and opened their eyes to new perspectives. “With each new posting, there are new domain knowledge to be gained and new challenges to overcome. It helps for officers to have strong passion in their work and be receptive to guidance from fellow colleagues and mentors. These will help to accelerate their learning,” says Run Yan.
Alvin agrees, adding, “As an SP scholar, you will be able to benefit greatly from the developmental opportunities as part of the comprehensive Engineering Development for GraduatEs (EDGE) programme. Through the job rotations, structured training and professional accreditation support, you can look forward to a fulfilling and challenging engineering career that builds and prepares you for the future. Aspiring engineers can also look forward to holistic development through special assignments or stretch projects that are beyond the realm of engineering.”