From Engineering to Physiotherapy

Muhammad Shafieq Muhammad Nizam, an alumnus from the Diploma in Bioengineering (DBEN), once had dreams of becoming a pilot. However, all hopes were dashed when he discovered he was colour blind. Fortunately, with his positive disposition and encouragement from his father, he was able to pick himself up and enrol in DBEN with an open mind. Along the way, Shafieq discovered his passion for the course and how the challenges he faced has made him more mature.

During his SP journey, Shafieq was the President of SP’s Student Union (SPSU) and helped organise activities for the student body. Graduating with an impressive GPA of 3.84, Shafieq will continue his studies in physiotherapy at an overseas university. In addition to receiving the 2015 Outstanding Contribution Individual Award for leading SPSU, Shafieq is also one of 30 SP graduates who recently received the 2015 Healthcare Merit Awards (HMA) given by the Ministry of Health Holdings that will sponsor their degree programmes.

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  • The Institute of Materials (East Asia) Silver Medal
  • 2015 Healthcare Merit Award

Interview with 2015 Graduate Muhammad Shafieq Muhammad Nizam

My Fulfilling 3 Years at SP
by Kathleen Kaye Awayan Villanueva

I chose SP as my first choice because I believe that SP would offer me great learning experiences and opportunities that could help me build a solid foundation in my education. Being the most recognised polytechnic in Singapore, I believe that studying in SP is the right path towards a bright future.

In terms of choosing a course, I was actually clueless about which course to take. Thus, I tried to gather views and opinions from my friends, teachers and poly students about the various courses that polytechnics have to offer. However, I think it was my father’s influence that motivated me to pursue engineering. Since he is an engineer with a wealth of experience, he told me a lot of great things in engineering. In the end, I chose the bioengineering course since my two favourite subjects are Biology and Mathematics. What I like most about my course were the practical-based learning environment and the wide exposure to the different areas of disciplines such as life sciences, mechanical and electrical engineering. These two factors had definitely equipped me with the useful knowledge and necessary skills that I believe would help me in my future endeavours.

Overall my three years in SP were very fulfilling. One of the most memorable and meaningful experience I had was during my final year project (FYP). We were a team of ten students from our school of MAE and the school of EEE. We spent about one year on it. It was a period that was filled with fun, stress, challenges, tears and sacrifices that instilled in me the ‘I can and never give up attitude’. The opportunity to showcase our project during the engineering show was indeed a proud moment for me. During the event we were able to interact with the visitors, teachers and industry panels. Though the journey in getting to the end of the project was a tough and challenging one, it was worth all the effort and time. We felt that we have made a useful contribution to society when we realised that our project could make a difference to the elderly and those who are autistic.

What’s more, through this project, I got the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. As a shy and soft-spoken person, taking up the leadership role in such a big and multi-disciplinary project was a breakthrough for me. I was able to overcome my weakness and learn to be more open and confident of myself. Furthermore, this project has given me a new break to go beyond my abilities. That was to be a speaker. Whenever I attend a talk, I get fascinated by how confident and fluent the speaker is. This is because I always get cold feet whenever I had to speak in front of an audience and this is something that I wanted to overcome for a long time. So when my co-supervisor chose me to give a talk to first year students from EEE about my project, I was presented with an opportunity to overcome my fear. Though it was a nerve-wracking experience, it was one of my greatest achievement in life as I was able to present my talk smoothly and confidently.

With all the knowledge and life-long skills I had gained from my FYP, my whole final year project journey is a very meaningful and memorable one.

So for those who are deciding whether to take up engineering, my advice is that you do so if you have a passion for it. From my own experience, engineering is a great course to pursue as it will present you with many opportunities that will push you to your limits.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank SP and all my lecturers for presenting me with a challenging learning environment that had helped shaped me into a better person. I’m truly proud to be an SP graduate.

  • Biomedical Engineering Society (Singapore) Gold Medal
  • The Institution of Engineers Gold Medal Award