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Mechanical and Electrical Engineer

Mechanical and electrical engineers are responsible for the mechanical or electrical components of different services in the building such as elevators, air-conditioning, gas and water supply and more. From installation to testing, operation, maintenance and repair, they help to ensure that buildings are equipped with the relevant services and are able to operate safely. 

A day in the life of a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer…

A Mechanical and Electrical Engineer

A Mechanical and Electrical Engineer

 

Success stories

Read about the motivations, inspirations and achievements of one of Singapore’s mechanical and electrical engineers.

 
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When faced with the task of choosing her course of study at Nanyang Technological University, Irene chose to follow her brother’s footstep, and picked Electrical Engineering. However, it failed to create any spark with her, as she realised Electrical Engineering was not her cup of tea after her first foundation year in Engineering.
 
“I needed to deal with things that I can see and feel, and electric current was not it. So I chose to go into Mechanical Engineering”, she says.
 
After graduation, she worked in production engineering for a year before deciding to call it quits as her work revolved around looking at the same parts of a hard disk every day, and she was deskbound most of the time. Knowing she wanted more out of her career, she joined an energy management company that specialises in energy audit and air conditioning design; and that was when her career path was set.
 
That was also where she started to develop an interest in green and sustainable buildings.

Driving environmental sustainability
 
Her job exposed her to energy audit works, where the energy consumption of a building is trended to identify the energy used, and her task was to help the building owners save energy through more energy-efficient air conditioning designs. She saw the drop in energy consumed by buildings after retrofit works, and was gratified to see the impact made in helping building owners save energy, while allowing her to do her part to save the earth. That sense of satisfaction led her to explore this area further.

Today, Irene is a Certified Green Mark Professional, one of about 60 in the industry currently. She pioneered the Environmentally Sustainable Design Team in Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner (S.E. Asia) Pte Ltd, and heads a team of 10 building auditors and Mechanical and Electrical engineers in the company.
 
Among the many projects she has worked on are the Zero Energy Building at BCA Academy, ITE College West Campus, CET East Campus, Singapore Institute of Technology building in Republic Polytechnic, Punggol Waterway Terraces 1 & 2, Skyville @ Dawson, River Safari and Sofitel So -- all of which are Green Mark Platinum projects. 
 
To date, she has completed more than 30 Green Mark-certified projects.
 
Why build green
 
Irene believes the benefits of green buildings are aplenty, for building owners and users alike.

Firstly, developers and building owners can achieve cost savings from their electricity and water bills, and gain better rental yield as more and more multinational corporations become conscious of going green and occupying green buildings to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.
 
Secondly, a green building also has better indoor air quality for its occupants because it will most likely have extensive greenery, use environmentally-friendly products with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) or low-emission formaldehyde, and have better air filtration systems in place. 
 
Sustaining her job satisfaction
 
To Irene, helping buildings go green has a deeper purpose beyond a career pursuit. She believes that all of us are stakeholders in ensuring the environment we live in is green and sustainable. It is this passion and belief that motivates and fuels her love for her job, even after 15 years.
 
“The best thing about my job is that no two buildings I see are ever the same. Every building I enter will have its own character, and things that I can learn from. Be it lessons learnt or good practices to be applied for my next project.  With this sense of “mystery” in every project, how can one get tired of the job? The opportunity to keep learning new things is what keeps me going,” she shares. 

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"You have to love problem solving and be receptive to change. You must also be willing to learn, be very hands-on, and be inquisitive about everything. Most importantly, I would say, you have to be passionate about what you do and give it your all.", Andrew claims.

He was involved in the M&E co-ordination for both the design and site installation works for the Reflections at Keppel Bay, one of the largest residential project in Singapore.  Andrew checked drawings for consistency, liaised with consultants, architects and clients on any request for changes, and recommended solutions if needed. He shared that one has to have good people skills as the project involves dealing with many different people on a daily basis.

Andrew shared further he was attracted to the built environment sector as a M&E Engineer because it allows him a great deal of career flexibility. When working within the built environment sector, he learned the full spectrum of engineering. And as the trend today gears towards green building designs and construction, M&E becomes particularly relevant to the sector. "This is an interesting field because you are tasked with cutting down on energy consumption and reducing our carbon footprint, an area of work that is bound to appeal to the environmentally-conscious youngsters.", Andrew exclaimed.

Job scope

Some responsibilities a mechanical and electrical engineer has include:

  • Designing and giving advice on the installation of various types of building services such as elevators, air-conditioning, ventilation etc
  • Evaluating tenders received for mechanical works
  • Supervising the installation of building services, ensuring that specifications for standards, performance and safety are met
  • Ensuring that building systems are in good working order before handing the project over to the client
  • Overseeing the testing, maintenance and repair of the building systems for refurbished buildings; the mechanical engineer needs to ensure that new building services will fit into the existing building

Qualities

Here are some qualities that a competent mechanical and electrical engineer should have:

  • Logical thinking and analytical skills
  • Aptitude in math and science
  • Good coordination skills
  • Has an eye for technologies

SALARY GUIDE FOR
POLYTECHNIC GRADUATES

The salaries below serve as a guide for graduates in Mechanical Engineering.

Median monthly gross starting salary

Fresh graduates
$2,250

The salaries below serve as a guide for graduates in Electrical & Electronic Engineering; Electrical Engineering with Eco-Design.

Median monthly gross starting salary

Fresh graduates
$2,200


SALARY GUIDE FOR
UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
 

The salaries below serve as a guide for graduates in Mechanical Engineering; Electrical & Electronic Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Electrical Engineering.

Median monthly gross starting salary
Fresh graduates
$3,300

Source: MOM report on wages in Singapore, 2015.*Median monthly gross starting salaries includes basic wage, overtime pay, commissions and allowances. Bonuses are excluded.

Education route

Your education roadmap to becoming a mechanical and electrical engineer:

M&E.png* The above chart is intended as a guide for general reference only.