Housing & Development Board
MND Cluster | HDB

At Home with HDB

From an organisation that began with a critical mission to solve a housing crisis, the Housing & Development Board has evolved to become a creator of endearing homes that all are proud of. Contributing to its mission is HDB Undergraduate Scholar Bay Pei Lin, who is fulfilling her career purpose with this far-sighted organisation.

Above: Bay Pei Lin is an Executive Engineer in HDB where she is involved in structural design and analysis for HDB developments. The HDB Undergraduate Scholar is pictured with her family, having graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) from NTU.

Housing & Development Board (HDB) is best known for its signature public housing developments that have achieved world recognition. This success stems from its commitment to provide quality and affordable public housing, as well as transform towns to create a quality living environment for all.

Over the years, HDB has continued to shape Singapore's public housing landscape by leveraging technology and innovation, and implementing sound and forward-looking policies. Believing that Singaporeans should "live green", it aims to provide well-designed, sustainable living spaces anyone would be proud to call home.

HDB's mission to provide a quality living environment and impact people's lives resonates with HDB Undergraduate Scholar Bay Pei Lin. With the desire to contribute meaningfully, Pei Lin took up the challenge of shaping the nation's skyline and landscape through her current role as an Executive Engineer. Most recently, she has been involved in the structural design and analysis for Parc Residences @ Tengah which epitomises HDB's vision of providing an integrated living experience with resources and community services within easy reach of its residents. The 12-block Build-To-Order (BTO) development is a landmark HDB project which won the Innovative Design Award at the HDB Awards 2021. The development is designed to be pedestrian-friendly with enhanced connectivity to facilities and mobility nodes, and minimal driveways. Landscape features include various wellness gardens that are designed for residents to have a closer connection with the natural environment.

Perhaps quite aptly, Pei Lin's interest in public housing started when she was living in her home in Toa Payoh, which had a fine view of HDB Hub.

Pei Lin did some extensive research when it was time for her to consider a future career and discovered that HDB provided opportunities for the type of work she wanted. "I found that the mission of HDB – of creating homes for people – resonated very well with me, as it combined both my interest in engineering and desire to contribute back to the community. After all, I had been volunteering regularly then as an elderly befriender."

HDB recognised the synergy and offered her the HDB Undergraduate Scholarship. The rest, as they say, is history.

Bay Pei Lin

1. Travel photo with group of friends - While pursuing her Bachelor's degree, Pei Lin also took the chance to explore Iceland with her classmates.
2. HDB artist impression - Pei Lin was rotated to the in-house consultancy wing of HDB to build her engineering expertise, and is involved in the Parc Residences @ Tengah BTO project.
3. Pei Lin by the window - Pei Lin had the opportunity to try her hands at both upstream research and downstream implementation of new initiatives such as the Retractable Clothes Drying Rack project to improve living environments.

Engineering for the Future

Under the scholarship, Pei Lin studied Civil Engineering at NTU, learning the fundamentals of structural analysis, steel and concrete design, geotechnical design, and computer-aided design software.

HDB's support also extended to exchange programmes, internship opportunities and financial stipends that allowed her to maximise her learning potential.

Everything fell in place, as she would utilise the technical knowledge gained from her undergraduate studies in her day-to-day work, designing and checking structural adequacies of building projects under the guidance of her seniors and supervisors. Her learning also bettered her comprehension of research studies involving structural and geotechnical knowledge such as fire resistance studies and connection design, enabling her to better understand technical papers and make suitable recommendations.

"If you are looking for a career that would enable you to make a meaningful impact, join us here in HDB where you can help to create homes and shape the lives of Singaporeans." Bay Pei Lin

One Organisation, Many Opportunities

As HDB believes in constantly challenging its staff to achieve their best, Pei Lin was exposed to a variety of work that granted her a holistic understanding of the organisation and its many areas of expertise.

HDB staff bring value to residents' lives with every project, and the ones that Pei Lin was assigned to are no exception. She played an instrumental role in the Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme, where she was involved in grant management, broad research and development strategy. She also worked on the development and implementation of the Retractable Clothes Drying Rack project, which will be introduced under the Home Improvement Programme.

Her work extends beyond engineering projects as well, as she organised HDB's first webinar under the Ministry of National Development (MND) Urban Sustainability R&D e-Symposia 2021. "It was my first shot at organising an event, particularly one that involved international speakers and participants. I am extremely grateful for the strong support from my bosses, and the great teamwork with fellow colleagues and partner agencies," she recounted.

Pei Lin's multifaceted work scope highlights the many opportunities at HDB: "I am glad to have the chance to delve into the research aspect of the built environment, as well as deep dive into the technical design of our building projects."

The positive work environment has also helped her excel in her various roles. She said: "As a large organisation, we have a mixture of experienced staff with a wealth of knowledge whom we can consult and seek advice from, as well as younger staff who are just starting their career and eager to make a difference through their contributions."

Pei Lin reiterated the breadth of opportunities at HDB and urged prospective scholars to consider a career with Singapore's public housing authority. "There are many different avenues and functions which we can explore such as research work, structural design, data analytics, property management, community engagement and information security."

"If you are looking for a career that would enable you to make a meaningful impact, join us here in HDB where you can help to create homes and shape the lives of Singaporeans."