Singapore’s city skyline has grown into an increasingly striking one, with buildings like Marina Bay Sands and the Esplanade forming distinct silhouettes against the backdrop of the urban skyline. It is here where you can also find ultra modern shopping malls a stone’s throw away, juxtaposed with buildings that shed light on our past heritage. Overseeing the development of our city into a future-ready and sustainable environment is the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), an agency under the Ministry of National Development.
Empowering passionate nation builders who want to give back to the nation, BCA helps to mould young talents through their scholarship programme. To find out more about the BCA Scholar’s journey, BrightSparks met 29-year-old Derek Ang.
What motivated you to apply for the BCA Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship?
Since junior college, I have always wanted to work in the field of sustainability. I picked up an interest in sustainable buildings and designs during a course on “Strategies for Sustainable Architecture” in my second year of Environmental Engineering studies. I learnt about the BCA Green Mark scheme, and was intrigued by the fact that there wasn’t any one-concept-fit-all approach to achieve sustainability in the Built Environment. Thereafter, I applied for the BCA Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship and was fortunate enough to receive it.
How did the scholarship help you to excel in your career?
The scholarship enabled and opened more opportunities for me to grow both personally and professionally. It gave me the financial capability to go on exchanges, which helped me expand my horizons. The scholarship also led me to BCA, which is a great place, structure and culture wise, for fresh graduates to grow professionally.
BCA Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship
Senior Manager (Strategic Engagement Department)
Bachelor of Environmental Engineering
Master of Business Administration – National University of Singapore
What are the job opportunities you’ve experienced at BCA?
I was tasked to review the Green Mark scheme for Non-Residential Buildings. It was a challenging process as I was required to coordinate and add to the inputs from more than 100 industry leaders and colleagues, all of whom were much more experienced than me in the field of Green Buildings. But the hard work paid off, as much praise and compliments were given to the new “Green Mark for Non-Residential Buildings 2015” scheme. It is currently the prevailing Green Mark scheme used by the industry.
What do you like about the working culture at BCA?
The people at BCA are always very willing to teach and guide you. I have had bosses and seniors who stayed beyond their usual working hours to guide me. I have also made some close friends over the years.
Tell us about your current role, and what you find exciting about it.
After a short stint in MTI–Pro-Enterprise Department (MTI-PED), I came to weBuildSG, a new set-up focusing on enterprise development, under the BuildSG transformation office. This was created to support the BuildSG national movement that underscores the tripartite collaboration to realise the goals of the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM).
In my opinion, what was exciting last year for the Built Environment was the charting and formulating of the Construction ITM. Now the buzz is all about implementing and seeing the ITM come to life.
Could you tell us more about your attachment at MTI-PED?
Working at PED was an eye-opening and enriching experience. While we are always reminded about regulations in our daily work in our respective agencies, in PED, we strive to create a business-friendlier Singapore by streamlining processes and questioning the need for certain regulations. I’m glad to have been seconded to PED; it has allowed me to understand deeper the many regulations we have imposed and given me fresh perspectives when thinking in the shoes of enterprises.
How does what you’re doing in the Strategic Engagement Department (SED) differ from your previous appointment in the Green Mark Department (GMD)?
While work in both departments involve engagements with the industry, the focus is different. In GMD, it was to drive the industry to adopt green building design & technologies. In SED, the focus is to drive the industry to collaborate more and to adopt leading technologies, not just in the area of green technology, but also in the areas of productivity and smart technologies.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I hope to be one of many to steer the industry to be the world leader in the field of green building, and for Singapore to be known as the Green Building hub in the world.
Any advice for those who are interested in the scholarship?
Read up on the Construction ITM and BuildSG movement! That’s my biggest advice. The scholarship is a must-to-apply if you are keen to shape the Built Environment Sector in Singapore.