T hink engineering in Singapore and ST Engineering is easily a name that springs to mind. Its vast amount of resources and potential is its striking edge in the defence and engineering industry, having developed innovative solutions and services in the Aerospace, Electronics, Land Systems and Marine sectors and groomed over 23,000 employees worldwide.
With its enhanced capabilities, ST Engineering Group – comprising ST Aerospace, ST Kinetics, ST Electronics and ST Marine – is a good springboard from which young engineers can leap into a fruitful career. Today we speak to Tiang Yan Ming and Tan Kai Yu, both of whom have been with the Group for about a year. They talk about the opportunities they have received with this defence and engineering conglomerate – including their overseas scholarship and the ability to shape critical engineering projects!
For A Smooth Transition
With their overseas scholarship, Yan Ming and Kai Yu pursued their engineering degrees in the UK. Yan Ming completed his undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering at University College London (UCL), before taking up his master’s degree in Industrial Systems, Manufacturing and Management at Cambridge. “UCL is one of the few universities in the UK which offered Environmental Engineering at the undergraduate level, a subject I was interested in. I was also keen on living in London as I had heard about the vibrant culture and sporting scene there,” Yan Ming recalls of his younger years.
On Kai Yu’s end, being an Aerospace Engineering student at Cambridge also gave her the opportunity to be in the executive committee of the Cambridge University Engineering Society. She shares, “Leadership styles differ from one culture or country to another. As a result, I have learnt to work with and gained a better understanding of different leadership styles while I was the society’s committee member. Certainly, being in the UK honed my adaptability to new environments and ability to work in a diverse team.”
Tan Kai Yu
ST Engineering Overseas Scholar
Stress Engineer, Engineering and Development Centre, ST Aerospace
As undergraduates, the duo also completed their respective internships at ST Engineering. Yan Ming underwent his at STSE Engineering Services Pte Ltd (STSE Engineering), the environmental arm of ST Marine. While he was there, he was given the chance to visit an engineered landfill project in Brunei Darussalam. This project was completed and handed over to the Bruneian Government. “My internship experience helped me get a clearer picture of environmental engineering, and gave me an idea of what my job would be like in the future,” he tells us. In fact, Yan Ming continued to contribute his skills in STSE Engineering after graduating from university, and is today a full-fledged Project Engineer!
On the other hand, Kai Yu’s internship brought her to ST Aerospace’s in-house Engineering and Development Centre. She remembers being tasked to come up with innovative solutions to solve the nose-down angle issue in an aircraft conversion programme. Of this experience, she shares, “My time there allowed me to get acquainted with the relevant technical topics and work environment within the department.”
Tiang Yan Ming
ST Engineering Overseas Scholar
Project Engineer, STSE Engineering Services Pte Ltd, ST Marine
Today, Yan Ming performs his roles as a Project Engineer within STSE Engineering, where he is primarily responsible for ensuring effective project team coordination between clients, internal design teams and subcontractors. His efforts ensure that clients’ expectations are met and projects are completed on schedule and within budget.
He calls to mind a particularly memorable project he undertook, one which involved the testing and commissioning of a NEWater Plant for PUB. “There were many late nights burnt during the commissioning process! However, when the plant was smoothly completed and handed over to the client, the sense of satisfaction made all the late nights worth it,” Yan Ming muses.
Kai Yu, too, has encountered episodes that proved challenging yet exciting. As a stress engineer working on an aircraft conversion programme, she is required to assess the structural adequacy of existing aircraft structures and the various passenger-to-freighter reinforcement concepts. Apart from building tools to conduct stress calculations and the finite element modeling of aircraft structure, she works with designers to come up with practical and robust reinforcements.
She reveals, “There are limitations to the amount of data we can receive from the aircraft manufacturer that is essential to the structural assessment of various aircraft structures. Furthermore, as that particular aircraft is highly optimised, there are many limitations to the reinforcement concepts that can be adopted. One has to be open to exploring new justification approaches and design concepts to overcome these challenges!”
Some experiences that have become insightful lessons for Kai Yu include the teleconferences with experienced external stress consultants – people who have worked in the industry for decades. These teleconferences were aimed at firming up the justification approaches for the freighter conversion programme. “The discussions I’ve had with them gave me invaluable insights into the evolution of various approaches and aircraft designs over the decades,” she shares.
Determining Your Interest
Yan Ming reckons that, beyond adaptability and technical skills, the fundamental attribute required of all who choose to work at ST Engineering is genuine interest. “If you have passion for engineering, there will definitely be roles in the organisation that will be a good fit,” he tells us with confidence.
Kai Yu sings the same tune, leaving some advice for those exploring their scholarship options. She ends off, “Ask yourself where your interest truly lies in and the kind of career paths you are keen on treading. To have a genuine understanding of the possible careers you can take up with a particular scholarship provider, proactively attend scholarship fairs and use these opportunities to discuss with career ambassadors about their working experiences. At ST Engineering, there are so many roles for one to try out and choose from.”