BCA-Building Careers - Build Knowledge and Jobs

Read the stories of our BCA-Industry scholars and their journey towards becoming
Built Environment (BE) sector professionals through the BCA-Industry Scholarship and Sponsorship Programmes.
 

 

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For more information, please contact Mr Ryan Hong at 6804 4222 or email Ryan_Hong@bca.gov.sg.

Aslam has been very interested in buildings since young. This ignited his passion in architectural design.

Aslam pursued his education and completed his ‘A’ Levels at Serangoon Junior College. Failing to qualify for enrolment into the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in the National University of Singapore, he decided against taking up another degree course. Upon completion of his National Service (NS), he enrolled himself in the Diploma in Architecture in Singapore Polytechnic.

Seeing the potential in Aslam, SD Architects awarded him the BCA-SD Architects Built Environment Diploma Scholarship in 2012. Aslam was the pioneer batch of graduating students in 2014 from the diploma scholarship programme and is currently working with his sponsor firm as an architectural draughtsperson. Apart from drafting related work, he was also exposed to project management. He has gained valuable experience and technical competencies in architecture through the on-job-training which is part of the place-and-train initiative under the programme. As part of the programme, he is currently sponsored by SD Architects to pursue the Specialist Diploma in Architectural Technology at BCA Academy which provides him with competency-based upgrading. This is in line with the objectives of the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme.

During his time with SD Architects, Aslam has been involved in a wide range of projects including Land Transport Authority and Singapore Power projects. Sharing his experience, he said, “I am glad that I have taken up this opportunity to be a BCA-Industry scholar as I am able to gain valuable experience and technical knowledge in the architectural field. The stage 2 programme provides a platform for me to upgrade the skills that I had picked up in polytechnic."

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For Bernice, her passion for engineering was cultivated since young as she came from a family of engineers. Both her father, who is an electrical engineer and her sister who also pursued an electrical engineering course in Singapore Polytechnic, encouraged her to pursue her Diploma in Civil Engineering with Business.

In her last semester, she served her three-month internship at a leading local construction firm. She was attached to a HDB project – West Terra @ Bukit Batok. “The internship has benefitted me greatly, providing me with first-hand experience and knowledge of a Prefabricated Volumetric Construction project on site which is a new method of construction not taught in the classroom. This has inspired me to look forward to being part of the transformation of the built environment sector upon graduation."

Bernice, who has been awarded the BCA-SDC Built Environment Diploma Scholarship, is looking forward to kick-start her career with her sponsor firm and is positive of her career prospects in the built environment sector. With Sembcorp Design and Construction Pte Ltd actively expanding their business in the region, she is excited about her opportunities to gain experience in overseas projects.

Site conditions do not affect this female scholar. In fact, she enjoys being on site and seesher future career of having to devote substantial periods of time outdoors to be a rewarding one. She also understands the importance of knowing what is happening during actual ground work in order to learn and develop her potential to take on leadership roles in future.

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The built environment sector is transforming, with more female scholars at different levels of study having a strong passion and seeking career opportunities in this sector. Two such scholars are Margaret Ee, who has been awarded the Undergraduate Scholarship by Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure Pte Ltd and Bernice Lee, who has been awarded the Diploma Scholarship by Sembcorp Design and Construction Pte Ltd (SDC).

Margaret’s choice of her degree came about when she worked at a Quantity Surveying firm after her Diploma studies. The times when she went on site with her mentor spurred her interest and curiosity of building projects. She learned about how the work environment was different compared to an office setting and how different groups of people communicated at site. This eagerness and enthusiasm prompted her to pursue a Civil Engineering degree at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

During her studies at NTU, she took up an internship in a leading contractor firm which further reaffirmed her interest and inclination for a career in the built environment sector. "The engineers and other seniors shared valuable knowledge and were very forthcoming in their willingness to teach and guide me. I am definitely certain about my career choice and the built environment sector is where I want to be in,” said the enthusiastic undergraduate.

Margaret is deeply honoured and glad to be awarded the Built Environment Undergraduate Scholarship by BCA and Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure Pte Ltd. She looks forward to being involved in challenging infrastructure projects which will be a new area for her to explore. She believes that this scholarship will help her realise her dreams and achieve significant milestones in her career.

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Another scholar who has carved out a meaningful and satisfying career for himself is Alan Yeo. He was awarded the Undergraduate Scholarship jointly offered by BCA and Teambuild Engineering and Construction in 2006. Alan has been working with his sponsor firm since graduation.

Six years ago, Alan began his career as an Assistant Project Engineer and has worked on various building projects since then, such as the construction of Punggol Secondary School, a BTO Housing Development in Clementi and the Haite Aviation Factory. This year, his aspirations were realised when he was promoted to a Project Manager.

Alan is currently working on CDL’s The Brownstone Executive Condominium project at Canberra Drive, which comprises eight 10 to 12-storey blocks with 638 units constructed using some 5,000 building modules. The use of Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) for the project is the first of its kind in Asia, and is likely the world’s largest application for a large-scale residential project.

Beyond managing the daily operations on site, Alan has to possess good people management skills, including good communication skills as project managers in order to collaborate closely with the various stakeholders to ensure that a project can be delivered successfully.

With the increasing use of new productive technologies and advanced construction methods, careers in the built environment sector can only get more exciting. Successful built environment professionals like Alan are role models to inspire young passionate graduates to take the lead in being part of the sector’s transformation.

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The significance of a scholarship is best realised when scholars graduate from school and start serving their bond in their sponsor firm.These scholars are able to look beyond their studies and develop their careers.

Qian Xue Jia was awarded the Undergraduate Scholarship jointly offered by BCA and City Developments Limited (CDL) in 2005. Xue Jia has continued to stay on with her sponsor firm after serving her bond. It has been 8 years since she started her career as an officer in CDL’s Projects division in 2007.

Over the years, Xue Jia has been actively involved in the development of several green building projects such as City Square Mall, Singapore’s first eco-mall, and My Tree House – the world’s first Green Library for Kids, a collaborative project by CDL and the National Library Board.

She is a mother of two and is an example of a successful female professional in the built environment sector who is able to manage her family commitments while advancing her career.

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After completing his ‘N’ levels in 1997, Chia Siang Chuan undertook a 3-year part-time apprenticeship in Building Drafting (Architectural) at the Institute of Education (ITE). Immediately after his national service, he started his career in the built environment sector as a technical officer in a mechanical and electrical (M&E) engineering consultant firm. In 2007, to upgrade and enable himself to excel in his work, he enrolled into a part-time Higher Nitec course in Electrical Engineering at the ITE with his firm’s support.

He then pursued his childhood interest in architecture and started work at ID Architects Pte Ltd, his current employer, as an architectural assistant, putting his past experience and Nitec-equivalent qualification in Building Drafting to good use.

ID Architects further encouraged him to take up a part-time Diploma in Strategic Facilities Management at the BCA Academy in 2010 to expand his competencies so that he can take on a project management role after completing his studies. ID Architects supported Siang Chuan’s development and sponsored him for the part-time Diploma course as they recognised the value of his upgrading. Indeed, Siang Chuan’s training from the Diploma course helped him perform his work related to M&E design and green buildings.

In recognising Siang Chuan’s potential to take up a greater role in project management, ID Architects again encouraged him to continue upgrading by taking up a part-time degree programme in Construction Management at the BCA Academy this year. The firm continued its strong support by co-sponsoring Siang Chuan’s part-time degree studies through the BCA-Industry Built Environment Undergraduate Sponsorship (Part-time Degree). Currently a Senior Architectural Assistant, Siang Chuan is spurred to work towards realising his goal of becoming a Project Manager. He believes that his experience with Building Information Modelling (BIM) through his work would be relevant and useful in his course.

Siang Chuan is honoured and grateful to BCA and his employer, ID Architects, for this sponsorship. He said, "I am grateful to be given the opportunity to pursue the part-time degree with the joint-sponsorship of my employer, ID Architects, and BCA. The sponsorship not only provides me with financial support, but more importantly, an opportunity for working adults like myself to upgrade and progress in my career. This sponsorship motivates me to do well in my course at the BCA Academy and eventually, be able to contribute to my employer and the built environment sector."

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Aqilah’s passion for architecture was cultivated since young when her hobby was to use her creativity to build things using Lego. She is also inspired by the beauty and architecture of iconic buildings such as the Marina Bay Sands.

Aqilah is from a family of 5 with an elder brother and a younger sister. When she was in secondary school, her father who was the sole breadwinner as a supervisor, had lost his job. Although he managed to find employment as a delivery driver, the salary was lower than his previous job. Hence, when she was pursuing her education in Higher Nitec in Civil & Structural Engineering Design at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), it was a challenging time for her family financially with her brother in National Service and sister still studying. Receiving the BCA-Industry Built Environment ITE Scholarship provided her family with much needed financial support. Aqilah then enrolled in the Diploma in Architecture in Singapore Polytechnic as she was interested in architectural design. She feels that a good architect will take into consideration the practicality and feasibility of the building design. Therefore, her foundation knowledge in civil engineering gained in ITE has provided her with an advantage of being able to see designs from both the architectural and engineering perspectives.

Seeing the potential in Aqilah, S A Chua Architects Pte Ltd awarded her the BCA-S A Chua Built Environment Diploma Scholarship in 2016. Aqilah has recently completed her 12 weeks internship with her sponsoring firm. During her internship, she had the opportunity to put her design skills into good use for an addition and alteration project for Tekka Centre as well as a covered linkway project. Aqilah supported the architects with on-site inspections and checked if the projects meet the productivity standards. Sharing her internship experience, she said “the internship has been a rewarding experience for me. Working closely with an experienced architect allowed me to comprehend the nature of the job better. Knowledge was shared through clearly delineated processes, integrating systems, routines and a set of procedures. I was also exposed to a problem based and collaborative based approach which are tailored to meet the learning goals.”

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During her Diploma studies in Tourism & Resort Management, Pui Yee was exposed to key iconic buildings such as Marina Bay Sands. This spurred her curiosity to learn more about the built environment sector and acquire professional knowledge on building and construction. Coupled with the opportunities in the sector, she made the decision to enrol in the Project & Facilities Management (PFM) course at NUS.

During her studies in NUS, Pui Yee found her interest to specialise in Quantity Surveying. She applied for an internship at Langdon & Seah Singapore Pte Ltd, which proved to be a fulfilling and enriching experience for her. During her stint there, she was given the opportunity to be involved in cost planning for a few projects. The rewarding internship experience at Langdon & Seah had also helped Pui Yee validate her career choice as a Quantity Surveyor. Sharing her experience at Langdon & Seah, she said “fast-paced, structured and consistent are words I would use to describe this job and myself”. Satisfied with Pui Yee’s internship performance and perceiving her as a good match for the firm, Langdon & Seah partnered BCA to award her the Built Environment Undergraduate Scholarship in 2016.

With an outgoing character, Pui Yee is actively involved in sports and working in construction sites has never deterred her from joining the built environment sector. Positive on the future of the built environment sector, she is excited to embark her career in this sector.

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Kah Huay was awarded the Undergraduate Scholarship jointly offered by BCA and City Developments Limited (CDL) in 2008. Her deep passion for environmental issues and desire to contribute to the local environment scene led her to pursue undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering at NUS and organise activities as a member of NUS’ Environmental Engineering Club.

Upon graduation, she commenced her career with CDL as an Executive in its Projects division in 2012. Her knowledge and expertise in environmental engineering has been advantageous in her project management role with eco-developer CDL.

Beyond active management of project timelines and product quality deliverables, she also seeks to value-add with inputs on green building aspects and implementation of eco innovation in managing the environmental and health aspects of construction. Apart from local development projects, Kah Huay has had the opportunity to be involved in some of CDL’s overseas projects in China. She was a key member of the team for CDL’s Eling Residences project in Chongqing, which will likely be China’s first Green Mark Platinum residential project when it is completed next year. She aspires to use her green building expertise for more overseas projects in the future.

Beyond sustainable building design and construction methodology, Kah Huay also counts Universal Design (UD) as another key interest area as she firmly believes that the built environment should be designed for all users. Since 2015, Kah Huay has been a Certified UD Assessor. Within the CDL Projects division, she is a member of its UD committee, and is actively involved in refining in-house UD guidelines for CDL’s projects in alignment with industry best practices and the latest Accessibility Code. Using knowledge gained from the conferences she has attended, as well as practices adopted in other developments, she has championed for user-friendly building designs such as the provision of secondary handrails for staircases and specific grading of slip resistance in units and common areas to ensure that developments cater to the needs of all users.

Kah Huay is currently working on two residential projects: Echelon, a 508-unit residence along Alexandra Road and D’Nest, a 912-unit residence at Pasir Ris Grove. Both projects are designed with sustainability in mind and embrace best practices in community-friendly design. Echelon is a Green Mark Platinum and UD Mark Gold (Design) awarded project, while D’Nest is a recipient of the Green Mark GoldPLUS and UD Mark Gold (Design) Awards, and has set record for the ‘Largest Solar Panels in a Condominium’ in the Singapore Book of Records in 2013.
 
In 2016, Kah Huay has also been inducted in the Built Environment Young Leaders Programme (YLP), where she looks forward to participating in the policy formulation process, leveraging cross-sector learning opportunities and networking opportunities with public and private leaders in the built environment (BE) sector. She has also been roped into the Green Buildings Taskforce under YLP and hopes to share her green experience as well as learn from seniors in the Taskforce.

With heightened focus on climate change, the BE sector offers tremendous potential for passionate professionals like Kah Huay to actively shape our built environment into a future-ready, climate resilient and user-friendly one.

click here to find out about the scholarship and sponsorship programme