Alvin Tan Shi Chuan
Diploma in Civil Engineering with Business (merit)
Class of 2015
Awarded Singapore Contractors Association Silver Medal
Awarded Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore Prize
Awarded Singapore Concrete Institute Prize
Awarded Singapore Institute of Building Prize
Offered placement in Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) in Civil Engineering – NUS
Offered placement in Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Environmental Earth System Science – NTU
I was admitted into SP as a 2-year direct entry student, as I had enrolled after completing the A-Level examination in National Junior College.
Being the only student in this stream was challenging, as I had to juggle with more modules than my peers. Furthermore, my timetable was packed with lessons, and some classes partially overlapped others due to constraints in timetabling. On top of that, I had to join different classes for different modules. Time management was my greatest asset for these 2 years, since I could not attend every group project meeting due to the vast differences in timetable between my peers and I. Thankfully, my classmates were very helpful and selfless, as they would teach me and share their notes with me whenever I had missed some classes.
Besides providing students with a diverse experience in academic learning, SP has many out-of-class learning activities for students to sign up for. I was privileged enough to attend an overseas study tour to Oita, Japan in 2013, where we visited Oita National Institute of Technology for a cultural exchange, as well as going to the Nippon Steel Factory and other civil engineering sites to better understand their technology and skills in construction technology.
In 2014, the School of Architecture and Built Environment (ABE) collaborated with Mercy Relief in an Overseas Community Service Programme in Cambodia. I participated in this 2-week long service trip, where we had the chance to construct a chicken coup, compost shed and fish pond at 2 rural villages. I also had the chance to help out in constructing an incinerator for waste disposal at a primary school, where we conducted lessons to enforce hygiene habits in every child in the school. It was a life-changing experience for me. Feeling proud of my own altruistic contribution, I constructed tangible buildings and facilities that improve the lives of the villagers. It was a fulfilling experience to put my civil engineering skills and knowledge to good use.
It was a privilege for me when SP selected me to attend the Poly Forum in 2014. All applicants had to go through a rigorous round of selection interview, as each local polytechnic can only send 60 participants. After attending this event, I became more attuned to the prevalent social issues in Singapore. I was trained to work under pressure with short time limit, so as to present our ideas and solutions to the ministers and other guests from the 5 polytechnics. I can confidently say that I am more work-ready.
SP gives students the freedom to choose an internship placement. I requested for an internship at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, Division of Earth Science in NTU. I worked closely with Associate Professor Adam Switzer in a study of the paleo-environmental history of the coastal lakes found on the small islands in the Makassar Strait. I was able to utilise my skills and knowledge of Geotechnical Engineering and Geomatics in this project, while continually learning from the team in the field of Earth Sciences.
All in all, I had a vibrant and enriching life at SP with countless opportunities!