Land Transport Authority
Feature | LTA

Connecting People and Places

Land Transport Authority Scholars Joshua Seow and Siok Ruo Han have different interests but they share a common goal – to build a people-centred land transport system and deliver faster, safer and more inclusive journeys for all.

Left: Siok Ruo Han is part of the North South Corridor (NSC) Project Team as an Executive Project Engineer in LTA. She is a recipient of the LTA Local Mid-Term Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) from NUS.

Right: Joshua Seow is an LTA Local Mid-Term Scholar and he holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) from NUS. His current posting in LTA is with the Vehicle Technology and Standards (VTS) division as an Executive Engineer.

Singapore’s land transport system has continued to grow and improve over the years, making commuting more efficient and enjoyable.

The agency at the centre of this transformation is none other than the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Apart from planning, designing, building and maintaining Singapore’s land transport infrastructure and systems, LTA also constantly explores greener and more inclusive options such as walking and cycling, and delves into the use of technology to create exciting options for the future.

Joshua Seow and Siok Ruo Han are now living out their career aspirations at LTA as they play their parts in transforming our transport landscape.

Joshua currently works as an Executive Engineer who keeps track of international vehicle standards and regulations with his team to ensure that new technologies and vehicle models are rolled out safely.

Ruo Han, an Executive Project Engineer, oversees the progress of works happening at the North-South Corridor, which is expected to be Singapore’s longest Transit Priority Corridor.

Join both Scholars as they share about their careers and passion in shaping our future land transport.

What inspired you to explore and embark on a career with LTA?

Joshua: Since young, I was fascinated by objects with wheels. My interest soon expanded to buses, trains and planes, and their new features and technologies. In university, I chose the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) as it involves dealing with mechanical systems - cars, bikes, buses and aircrafts. So, when I was browsing through the scholarships on BrightSparks portal, my attention was drawn to LTA as it masterplans Singapore’s land transport infrastructure and systems, which is what I am interested in.

Ruo Han: For me, it is the rocks and soil. I remembered enjoying the geotechnical modules back in school. Singapore’s scarcity in land has driven many of our major infrastructures underground. This is an area that excites me a lot, which is why I chose the Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering). And when I was searching for a suitable scholarship, I was particularly enticed by the variety of job roles within LTA and the opportunities for hands-on work in the entire project cycle.

Siok Ruo Han

Siok Ruo Han

Both of you studied engineering. How has your education helped you in your work?

Joshua: My academic training in NUS has equipped me with the knowledge base to tackle the numerous real-world engineering challenges in LTA. As my interest was in automotive, I registered for automotive-related modules such as Internal Combustion engines and embarked on a final-year project in this field. The valuable knowledge gained is highly applicable to my current posting in Vehicle Engineering.

Ruo Han: The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) programme in NUS gave me a good balance of theory and practical lessons for civil structure designs, geotechnical designs and construction project management. What I learnt in school helped me form a holistic view of the feasibility of construction work methodology and sequencing.

That said, a lot of the work is still to be learnt on the job but having a good foundation in civil engineering helps me to grasp the concepts faster.

“I was particularly enticed by the variety of job roles within LTA and the opportunities for hands-on work in the entire project cycle.” Siok Ruo Han

Joshua, you are currently on your second posting in the Vehicle Technology and Standards division of LTA. How do you feel about job rotation through different departments?

Joshua: I joined the Bus Assets (BA) division after graduation and was part of the team tasked to understand the challenges that come with the wider deployment and maintenance of e-buses in our tropical climate and traffic conditions in order to calibrate the approach in adopting e-buses in the future. I am thankful for the opportunity to have facilitated the deployment of e-buses, contributing to a cleaner environment while improving the travel experience for our commuters.

In my second posting, I was rotated to the Vehicle Technology and Standards (VTS) division, which gave me the opportunity to work on other forms of vehicles. To be part of the Vehicle Engineering team is like a dream come true for one who is passionate about automotive engineering and technology!

Joshua Seow

Joshua Seow

Ruo Han, you were first posted to Geotechnical and Tunnels (GTT). Tell us more about your role in GTT and some of the challenges you faced.

Ruo Han: My main role was to carry out design review of the geotechnical aspect of construction projects during the design phase, to ensure that they were safe for construction and adjacent buildings were not impacted by the works. During the stint, I was given the opportunity to visit an ongoing construction for an underground subway line at the Forrestfield Airport in Perth, which had similar work constraints as one of our upcoming projects – having to work inside an operational airport.

We also carry out inspections of operational MRT tunnels, and such essential works can only be carried out within a very limited window termed the “engineering hours”. This meant that we have to work in the wee hours when the town goes to bed, as any work within MRT tunnels can only take place after the last train has left and before the first train arrives!

What do you hope to achieve in your careers?

Joshua: I hope to create a people-centred land transport system to connect people and places, enhancing the travel experience for all Singaporeans.

Ruo Han: I hope to contribute to design optimisation for our underground structures, with a better knowledge and understanding of the geology of Singapore.

“My academic training in NUS has equipped me with the knowledge base to tackle the numerous real-world engineering challenges in LTA.” Joshua Seow

What would you say to convince someone to join LTA?

Joshua: If you have a passion for the transportation sector and want to do meaningful work which can make an impact on the lives of Singaporeans, then look no further, come join us on this journey to shape the future of Singapore’s transportation system.

I highly recommend students to consider the LTA Scholarship as it broadens your exposure through transportation-related internships and projects to complement your academic training. After graduation, you would also be given opportunities to tap into the knowledge gained to tackle real-world transportation challenges and grow in the different LTA Groups.

Ruo Han: I would say that the civil industry for underground works will only become more challenging as Singapore’s underground space becomes increasingly built-up. Our tunnels and structures are going deeper, with increasing interfaces with existing structures. It will be an exciting place to be in!