If there’s a search for a poster boy to promote engineering, Yee Zheng Kang will most likely be chosen. While the government is going all out to woo youths to take up engineering courses, 20-year-old Zheng Kang needed no persuasion to join the field. He knew he wanted to be an engineer since he was in primary five after learning how to build a robot vehicle at a robotics workshop and having taken part in the National Junior Robotics Competition.
Since then, engineering remains a fascinating subject to Zheng Kang. He feels that teenagers can be swayed towards the subject if they are exposed to the fundamentals of engineering at a much younger age, as he was. He also feels a need to correct the stereotyping of engineers as boring people and position them as technological inventors.
As a student at Chung Cheng High School (Main), he already harboured hopes of studying Aerospace Electronics at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) after his ‘O’ levels. He knew it was a popular course and he would face stiff competition, but he had no intention of applying for diploma courses elsewhere because, in his own words, “SP is more established”. With his aggregate score of nine points, he sailed through the application process.
Three years later and with a perfect GPA score of 4.0, Zheng Kang graduates from SP as the top student in the Diploma in Aerospace Electronics and is the recipient of the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Award. Over the years, he had also been awarded the Model Student Award (2010) and was on the Director’s Honours List for two consecutive years. He attributes his success to his undying passion for engineering and cohesive teammates that made learning more enjoyable.
Zheng Kang counts his overseas attachment with an aviation company in China as the highlight of his SP education. The seven-week attachment was an eye-opener as he serviced real aircrafts in practical training sessions supervised by professional engineers.
Five years down the road, he sees himself as an engineer with an aeronautical company. Meanwhile, the sporty student who enjoys basketball, badminton and jogging has been offered a place in the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore. He is simultaneously eyeing an engineering degree programme at renowned foreign universities, including Imperial College in the United Kingdom, while applying for scholarships offered by aerospace-related companies.
Lee Kuan Yew Award
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Gold Medal
Infineon Technologies Academic Excellence Award
Shell Companies in Singapore Prize
Shell Merit Award