Wang Jia Xing designs Build-To-Order (BTO) projects and improves processes in HDB’s construction workflow as a Senior Engineer with HDB. He is a recipient of the HDB Undergraduate Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Science (Civil Engineering) degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Since 1960, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) has been providing quality homes and living environments for Singaporeans. In fact, HDB flats are home to over 80% of Singapore’s resident population, with about 90% of these resident households proudly owning their home. It is no wonder that living in Singapore is synonymous with living in an HDB home. Public housing has helped to mould our unique national identity and collective experience as Singaporeans.
HDB flats address a functional need for the people and nation. But step away from the clean concrete lines, silhouette, symmetry and significant scale, a housing estate will invoke a sense of awe at the expansiveness of it all – as it did for Wang Jia Xing.
Jia Xing was amazed by the Pinnacle@Duxton, a 50-storey residential development in the heart of the Central Business District. His passion and curiosity about the building led to an interest in the built environment and an impactful career as an HDB Undergraduate Scholar.
The Case of the Curious Engineer
“When I was first introduced to the Wonders of the World like the Great Wall of China and the pyramids of Egypt, it sparked my curiosity to find out how these wondrous behemoths were made,” he shared when asked how his interest in the built environment came about.
He added: “Closer to home, I looked upon iconic buildings like the Interlace condominium, The Pinnacle@Duxton and Marina Bay Sands during my commutes and wondered how these amazing structures were built by engineers.”
Unsurprisingly, he narrowed down his career options to being an engineer. More specifically, a civil engineer. With his interest in engineering, Jia Xing considered a career with HDB, but it was learning more about the interesting range of work the organisation offers that ultimately cemented his decision to take up the HDB Undergraduate Scholarship.
“The job scope and progression opportunities shared by HR fit my expectations and the sharings by the scholarship holders were very passionate and engaging. I firmly believed that my needs in university and at the workplace would be well taken care of by HDB,” said Jia Xing, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and is now a Senior Engineer with HDB.
Improving HDB Homes
As an engineer in HDB’s Building & Research Institute, Jia Xing’s role includes designing Build-To-Order (BTO) projects, improving design processes in HDB’s construction workflow, and sharing these advancements in design with the industry. He works with architects to bring their vision of a new BTO precinct from paper to reality in a sustainable and efficient manner.
His job also entails coordinating with multiple parties and authorities, as well as conducting engineering reviews and checks to ensure that the finished building is what the design team had envisioned.
With the majority of Singaporeans living in HDB flats, Jia Xing is honoured to be able to make a significant and tangible impact on people’s lives. Indeed, this is something unique about HDB’s work, given its vision to create endearing homes all are proud of.
“I feel proud to work at HDB. We are constantly upgrading the designs of the buildings, and we are also looking at improving the living environment by studying wind-flow, incorporating more greenery and using smart features and technology to improve our residents’ standard of living,” he said.
In fact, Jia Xing had the opportunity to research and present his findings on Smart Enabled Homes to National Development Minister Mr Desmond Lee.
“The Minister was impressed with the work that HDB has accomplished in improving Smart Home Adoption and I was grateful to have had the opportunity to share the fruits of my teams’ labour with him.”
A Collaborative Culture
For Jia Xing, working at HDB is a joy for two key reasons: Motivated and collaborative colleagues, and HDB’s organisational values that he aligns with.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to work with colleagues from different teams because it gives me insight into the many different aspects of HDB’s work. My colleagues in HDB are very friendly and will willingly take the time to guide me through work or even offer interesting life advice!”
He also appreciates how HDB focuses on staff development. Jia Xing assures those who choose to embark on a career with HDB that they will have plenty of opportunities to grow and develop into a well-rounded professional.
But of course, you will have to get past the first hurdle. For that, he advised: “Once you have made up your mind [on HDB], be sure to let the interviewers know that you have done your research and let your passion shine through!”