Young engineers in Public Service

Three engineers use their diverse skills to build Singapore’s infrastructure, defend our nation against cyber threats and ensure a smoother train system that impact the nation

Mr Nadim, Ms Jeslin Gan and Mr Isaac Long (left to right) use their engineering skill sets to build and defend Singapore. PHOTOS: PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION, PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
Mr Nadim, Ms Jeslin Gan and Mr Isaac Long (left to right) use their engineering skill sets to build and defend Singapore. PHOTOS: PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION, PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE

Safe and strong

Watching his handyman father repairing or modifying electrical appliances inspired Mr Nadim to pursue an engineering career when he was a child.

Now an executive engineer with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the 33-year-old is involved in managing the commissioning and completion of a MRT Civil Defence (CD) shelter in his latest project. 

He says: “Most of us commute by train every day but not many know that MRT CD shelters are actually integrated in some underground MRT stations.

“The CD shelters are specially designed to be places of refuge for members of public in times of war. They are also equipped with electricity, ventilation and safe drinking water.”

The development of MRT CD shelters requires close collaboration between various agencies and industry stakeholders as the construction and testing of the CD shelters are carried out by different parties to ensure that they are safe and structurally sound.

As part of his duties requires him to carry out site inspections, there are instances where Mr Nadim had to climb scaffoldings to check if the installation of anchor bolts used in the mounting of exhaust pipes of generators was done properly. The scaffoldings usually span approximately 20m to 40m high along the vertical ventilation shaft.

This initially posed some challenge to Mr Nadim as he has some fear of height. However, he overcomes them by constantly reminding himself of the important task entrusted to him to check the installations for reliability and safety.

Work carried out at a height is done with proper safety harnesses in place. Engineers and workers are also required to attend Safety Induction Courses to ensure that work and inspections are conducted safely on site.

Mr Nadim is motivated to excel in his work, knowing that he plays a part in building the nation and contributing to society through his work.

“In the public service, we are expected to perform well in our engineering roles and be well-rounded individuals by participating in various committees and task forces to review and improve on existing processes,” he adds.

Mr Nadim is currently the Chairman of BCA’s Innovation and ExCEL Committee (IEC) which promotes and sustains the innovation culture within BCA.

Cyber security

As technology continues to evolve, battles are no longer limited by land, air and sea, taking on shapeless forms on the digital front. Hence, the need arises for cyber defenders to safeguard our nation’s critical systems and information.

Mr Isaac Long, a senior engineer with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), is part of the system vulnerability and analysis team under the Cybersecurity Programme Centre.

The 29-year-old conducts regular tests and audits to evaluate the cyber health of systems in the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces.

His work includes researching on the latest cyber trends to stay ahead of malicious hackers and guard against their tactics, and identifying possible vulnerabilities in IT software by analysing layers of code.

“The cyber realm is borderless and new vulnerabilities are discovered almost every day. I am often surprised by the ingenuity of a newly discovered exploit. It motivates me to continuously better our defences against threats,” says Mr Long.

DSTA employs machine learning and big data analytics to analyse large amounts of digital data that transverse its networks and systems.

When suspicious activities are detected, they are quarantined for further analysis, if necessary. This helps to protect networks from malicious yet sophisticated malware that may not be detected by commercial anti-virus products.

“I am passionate about cyber security, and it’s an added bonus to know that the work I do is going to protect our nation,” he says.

“The battlefield of the future will increasingly be on the digital front, and there is a need for engineers who can ensure the security and quality of digital systems and technologies.”

Smooth operation

Ms Jeslin Gan, an executive engineer at Land Transport Authority (LTA), is in the business of improving systems to make train travel smoother for Singaporeans.

As Singapore’s rail networks are operated and maintained by two rail operators, information about rail assets are secured separately in the Maintenance Management System (MMS) of each line and in different formats.

The maintenance process also varies between both operators.

The 27-year-old works in a department under LTA’s Rail Asset, Operations and Maintenance group that aims to consolidate data and information on the various lines to create the integrated Enterprise Asset Management System (EAMS).

She collaborates with operators to identify asset information from the various MMS in order to manage and maintain rail assets according to unified processes.

With consolidated data in one system, EAMS leverages technology to perform trend analysis and predict faults, thus improving the reliability of Singapore’s rapid transit system network, which is expected to expand to 360km by 2030.

“It is fulfilling to see ideas being turned into solutions. I find great satisfaction knowing that my work makes a difference in the lives of Singaporeans,” she says.

To find out more about engineering careers in the Public Service, visit