ST Engineering
Feature | ST Engineering

Verve and Conviction

ST Engineering not only welcomes new engineering principles and technological ideas, but it also embraces its human capital assets.
ST Engineering

Left: Zheng Hua oversees various technical design aspects of shipbuilding as a Senior Engineer at the Marine sector of ST Engineering. He is a recipient of the ST Engineering Scholarship and holds a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University.

Right: Chia Jieru explores new business opportunities in white spaces as a Business Development Manager, New Enterprises & Ventures, ST Engineering. She is a recipient of the ST Engineering Overseas Scholarship and holds a Master in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London.

ST Engineering’s dedication to engineering solutions in aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine is nothing short of showstopping. The group’s success could not have materialised without great talent who share their knowledge and expertise and to work within dynamic teams. For more than 50 years, the group has produced brilliant solutions that drew many high-tech vendors and clients to their sphere. Working with people from varied backgrounds, cultures and nationalities creates cohesion to develop novel solutions and innovative ideas for clients.

To tread the path of the ST Engineering journey, BrightSparks met with two ST Engineering scholars, 29-year-old Chia Jieru and 27-year-old Low Zheng Hua.

Expanding Horizons

Jieru started in ST Engineering’s Aerospace Sector as a mechanical system designer for the Airbus A330 Passenger To Freighters (PTF) conversion project. The affable scholar spent about 1.5 years in EFW (Elbe Flugzeugwerke), Dresden, Germany, which is part of the collaboration between ST Engineering and Airbus. She was the on-site representative at Dresden, where she provided structure and mechanical system engineering support for the aircraft prototype production phase.

“I learned a lot from this stint, and it was a humbling experience. After I came back from Dresden, I took on a different role in ST Engineering and I was excited about it,” opines Jieru.

Jieru is now part of the New Enterprises and Ventures department at the corporate office of ST Engineering. She’s looking at developing business opportunities in white spaces adjacent to ST Engineering core capabilities, with the initial focus on the HealthTech industry. This involves looking at various options including M&A as well as partnerships opportunities. It was a challenging phase of her career, but she and her team managed to pull everything together.

Chia Jieru

Chia Jieru

“Everything moved fast, but I’m encouraged by my seniors to soldier on. We surfaced bottlenecks, so communicationwise, we’re very open and engaged,” explains Jieru.

The Right Mindset

She feels that being in this role, and any role for that matter, requires commitment and the willingness to learn because if you show it, people are willing to teach you. In the next few years, she might opt for an operational role to take on new challenges.

More than what she had Envisioned

She shares that she aspired to be a pilot during her junior college days. Female pilots were also uncommon then and the industry, in general, did not sign too many of them. However, things have changed for the better. More women are taking up jobs in typically male-dominated industries such as aerospace and engineering.

Jieru’s team in ST Engineering has an equal mix of men and women working on solutions. Women can discuss openly without being put down. “Yes, I’m glad my company support gender equality or else it would be very stifling,” enthuses Jieru.

Designed for Success

On what makes him tick...

As a Marine Systems designer, Zheng Hua does new builds and conversion projects. Key to his role is designing the propulsion systems and HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning). His work also includes designing the ship’s drainage and engine cooling systems, to name a few. Working with different minds on a collective goal engages him.

On what has left the most impact when he has taken on various roles in ST Engineering...

He enthuses that every role is significant, but it is always the design elements within the role that had the deepest impact. He is currently conceptualising a floating power plant with Siemens for a client in the Dominican Republic. Zheng Hua explained the gas turbine has very high-temperature exhaust, so the system takes that exhaust to run the boiler, which runs the steam turbine. The entire idea gives him a buzz just thinking about it.

On the character merits does he think is vital to his job...

He thinks to excel in his current role, one has to be very open-minded to other people from other countries. “You need to listen, taking into account other people’s opinions, and being mindful of different cultures.” Being able to present ideas to C-level executives is also key to his job.

Zheng Hua

Zheng Hua

On his route to ST Engineering...

Zheng Hua has always pursued technical subjects while studying. He aimed to be a pilot, but his interest steered into programming that led to him pursuing mechanical engineering. Having worked in the Marine sector of ST Engineering, he sees a lot of interesting roles he can delve into.

On being engaged and excited by his work...

He likes his current working environment, where he can turn his ideas into reality. He likes the challenge of presenting business strategies and getting the necessary funding for it. “The thrill is pushing for something you really wanted as a team, and getting to fruition.”

The most significant benefit from the scholarship...

Unique opportunities. He opines that his boss gives him the most challenging responsibilities, such as presenting to CEOs. “When compared to my peers, I don’t think they have my kind of experience. I’ve gained confidence speaking to senior management, and learnt certain techniques such as thinking critically before you engage.”

So, what’s next in the next five to ten years?

He would see himself move into a management capacity, dealing with strategies and business development. He hopes to be attached overseas for a few years to gain a broader view of the marine business.