Building and Construction Authority
MND Cluster | BCA

Championing Safety in Singapore’s Built Environment

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has been at the forefront of catalysing transformative changes. Central to its mission are talented individuals such as Wong Liang Ning. As a Senior Engineer at the BCA, she seeks to drive significant positive change within Singapore’s built environment industry.
BCA -  Wong Liang Ning

Wong Liang Ning, is a Local BCA Undergraduate Scholar who works as a Senior Engineer with BCA. She is currently on an external attachment with KCL Consultants Pte Ltd. She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.

As Singapore continues its rapid urbanisation, structural building and construction has emerged as a cornerstone for creating a sustainable and intelligent built environment. In this regard, the BCA assumes a crucial role, overseeing critical aspects such as safety, quality, inclusivity, sustainability, and productivity in collaboration with various stakeholders.

Driven by a zealous passion to contribute to Singapore’s Built Environment sector, Wong Liang Ning, a recipient of the BCA Local Undergraduate Scholarship, pursued both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Civil Engineering. Currently, she is on an external attachment with KCL Consultants Private Limited.

She tells us how the scholarship programme has played a pivotal role in nurturing her interests and fostering invaluable experiences during her tenure at the BCA.

What sparked your interest in civil engineering?

When I was young, I came across a television programme that described the impact of external environmental factors to a building’s integrity. The programme piqued my curiosity on who were the people responsible for designing and constructing buildings, while ensuring that the building remains structurally safe for its remaining service life.

It was only later in junior college that I discovered that individuals capable of designing and constructing these structures were civil engineers. Around the same time, I also had the opportunity to speak with a civil engineer, who shared with me his experience and the various considerations that an engineer must adhere to when designing a building in Singapore. At that point, I realised that civil engineers have a critical role in shaping the built environment that we all live in. This realisation also led me to pursuing a degree in civil engineering.

What made you choose the BCA Scholarship in particular?

While preparing for the scholarship interview with various agencies, I did research on their mission and values to identify the agencies that would fit me best. I found that BCA has introduced and implemented policies in various areas to ensure that Singapore’s built environment is future-ready. Some examples of such policies are the Accessibility Fund, Green Mark Certification Scheme and Productivity Innovation Project Scheme.

I was excited by the idea of working in an agency that can positively impact the lives of Singaporeans through the built environment sector.

“I was excited by the idea of working in an agency that can positively impact the lives of Singaporeans through the built environment sector.” Wong Liang Ning

What kind of support did you receive through the scholarship?

Financial support was definitely one. Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to partake in many activities and programmes that the university offered.

BCA’s HR also took the initiative to introduce us to the other seniors in school under the same scholarship and enrolled us in mentorship programmes that provided early career guidance.

The scholarship I received has provided me with a valuable opportunity to build relationships with other scholars working in various departments across BCA. This has been particularly beneficial, as it enables me to easily identify the departments or individuals I need to approach for input or advice when faced with new challenges. With a better understanding of each other’s roles, we can leverage each other’s expertise and efficiently tackle complex cases.

 Wong Liang Ning

Wong Liang Ning

Can you tell us more about your role and responsibilities at BCA?

In BCA, I was working in the Enforcement and Structural Inspection Department. The department ensures that constructed buildings in Singapore which have attained the Temporary Occupant Permit/Certificate of Statutory Completion, remain structurally safe during their service life.

My daily scope was reviewing the Periodic Structural Inspection reports submitted by professional engineers to ensure that the building is properly inspected, any structural defects identified by the Professional Engineer are promptly rectified by relevant parties.

My colleagues and I also attended to public feedback on possible structural defects or unauthorised structures. Our jobs also required regularly reviewing current policies to address any emerging areas of concern.

Could you tell us more about some of the projects that you have been involved in?

Mass Engineered Timber (MET) was first used in Singapore as a structural element building material a few years ago, offering a sustainable and productive alternative to conventional building material such as concrete and steel. I had the privilege to be a part of the taskforce dedicated to work in close consultation with industry practitioners to develop good design, maintenance, and inspection practices of such MET structures. It was an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development of innovative construction.

I was also part of the team that worked closely with various SMEs in Singapore. Our collaborative efforts focused on developing advanced drones and software integrated with AI capabilities. These were specifically designed to enhance the effectiveness of Periodic Façade Inspection without over-reliance on manual labour. This was a truly gratifying project that I worked on, knowing that our contributions were making a tangible difference to the industry.

Have you had any memorable experiences at BCA that left a lasting impression?

When I first joined BCA, I had the opportunity to participate as an observer in a simulated building incident scenario. My colleagues faced a complex and dangerous situation but were able to effectively communicate and demonstrate exceptional teamwork and problem-solving skills in managing the incident.

Witnessing my colleagues’ professionalism and composure left a lasting impression on me. It highlighted the significance of emergency preparedness through training and clear protocols to ensure the safety of building occupants.

What do you find most meaningful about your work?

Knowing that our work in BCA contributes to the betterment of the built environment sector gave me a sense of fulfillment. This also motivates me to continuously improve my skills and knowledge so that I can make a greater impact.

Your career seems extremely fulfilling! What would you say to someone who is considering this field and looking to work at BCA?

My advice would be to reach out to someone in the industry to gain insights and determine if it is a good fit for you. It is essential to understand whether you can find a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in this field. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone now, you can always sign up for university open houses and scholarship fairs.

BCA is committed to the career development of its staff. There is a clear career progression roadmap within the organisation.

Besides internal job rotations, BCA also promotes a culture of continuous learning. Besides the learning budgets allocated for staff to attend training courses, staff can also apply for sponsorships from BCA to take on longer programmes like postgraduate programmes.