Gleaming eco-friendly skyscrapers dot the country’s skyline, sharing the land with heritage shop houses and avant-garde architectural landmarks. Propelling the development of this city-state into a sustainable world-class city is the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development.
Putting people at the centre of its mission, BCA grooms talents such as Joanne Chan through scholarships so they can carve a meaningful career while contributing back to the nation they call home.
How has a BCA scholarship helped you in your career?
While studying, scholars are given the opportunity to return to BCA for an internship and also be mentored by directors. This allows early identification of work interests, clearer understanding of BCA’s work and better selection of modules to align with our future work scope in BCA. The mentorship continues even after scholars start their careers with BCA, providing a constant source of support and career guidance.
I have also had the opportunity to broaden my ground exposure through secondments in other organisations. I am currently serving a year-long secondment at the Technical Services Division in JTC Corporation. Being on project teams looking into the design and development of estates has allowed me to better understand the challenges and complexities faced by the built environment sector.
Mechanical Engineer, JTC - Technical Services Division,
Mechanical & Electrical Department
Senior Manager, BCA
Local Undergraduate Scholar
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Business Administration
How is BCA harnessing technology and adopting innovations in its drive to contribute to the nation?
BCA has recently launched the Construction Industry Transformation Map that focuses on three key pillars to address industry challenges.
Firstly, BCA is delving into Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) to reimagine the traditional construction process. Work that is conventionally carried out onsite is now done in an off-site controlled factory environment that produces components designed for ease of manufacturing and assembly. With improved quality and productivity, the onsite installation process becomes more efficient and creates a cleaner, quieter and safer site with better working conditions.
Secondly, BCA has identified Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) to integrate all stakeholders in the building lifecycle. Leveraging cloud and digital technology, IDD aims to connect the entire project delivery process from design and fabrication, to on-site installation and post-construction building operation and maintenance.
Finally, the increasing emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions has catalysed a global shift towards reducing energy consumption and turning towards renewable energy instead. Going forward, green buildings design, sustainable operations and maintenance will become increasingly important in Singapore.
How does BCA support your learning and professional development needs?
I was given the chance to work independently on an inter-disciplinary project with other agencies such as MND, URA and AVA. Our team did groundwork to determine possible social implications of a particular policy.
There is also a myriad of opportunities for professional development. These include attending the Executive Development and Growth Exchange (EDGE) programme hosted by the Centre for Liveable Cities. This threeweek course provided insights into urban development and management in Singapore by learning from overseas counterparts in addition to local Infrastructure and Environment agencies.
With these development opportunities, describe how they enhance and benefit your roles and responsibilities at BCA.
I was a Manager at the Planning Department (PLD) in BCA’s Strategic Planning Office for three years. The PLD drives cross-functional collaboration and coordinates inter-group efforts across BCA on strategic issues such as construction productivity and the Budget/ Committee of Supply (COS) process. I also had the opportunity to interact with external agencies on construction productivityrelated schemes, initiatives and measures.
Besides involvement in cross-functional coordination and construction productivity initiatives, forward planning was also an area I worked on. In particular, I worked on enhancing a framework within BCA to better track and monitor issues which are of high impact and relevance.
Why should students apply for a scholarship with the BCA?
Scholarship recipients can look forward to calibrated job progression and career opportunities in a variety of areas. You will have caring mentors who are genuinely concerned about your professional development. Opportunities for job rotation are plentiful, and this allows you to explore different areas of interest. Most importantly, you will embark on an exciting and meaningful career that shapes and influences our built environment, and transforms the way we build Singapore.