Jonathan Peh Zhuang Sheng
Diploma in Civil Engineering with Business (Merit)
Valedictorian of ABE Graduating Cohort 2015
Awarded Lee Kuan Yew Award
Awarded SP Model Student Award
Awarded Singapore Concrete Institute Gold Medal
Awarded OCBC Prize
Awarded Singapore Structural Steel Society Prize
Awarded The Institution of Engineers Gold Medal Award
Awarded Tiong Seng Contractors Prize
During my secondary school days, I was called “stupid” and “a burden” in class: a complete failure. Feeling inferior amongst the smarter ones, I was completely lost, demoralised and directionless. At that time, gaming, playing with the school band and appreciating physics were the only things that kept me going.
When my lacklustre ‘O’ level results came, it hit me real hard. Scoring a substandard L1R5 of 26 points, I knew my dream to be a Civil Engineer was virtually dashed. After getting detailed course counselling by our ABE lecturers, I was determined to apply for SP’s Diploma in Civil Engineering (CE) with Business at all costs. Miraculously, SP gave me a place upon receiving my second appeal, even though I failed applying through the JAE, JPSAE and JAE Appeal routes.
Given this precious opportunity, I started regular study routines in the SP main library and set goals for myself. With a burning passion for CE and physics-related applications in the real world, I felt extremely motivated to excel in the course.
I strongly believe in excelling in areas beyond academic horizons and SP gave me numerous opportunities. Besides school work, weekdays and sometimes, Saturdays, saw me playing the trombone and arranging songs for the SP Symphonic Band, my CCA. During my free time, I volunteered to tutor my juniors from both my secondary school and ABE. Besides helping the underprivileged in Singapore, I also participated in two meaningful community service projects in Indonesia and Vietnam, where I helped in the construction of a jetty and a courtyard respectively. Interacting and teaching those lovable children, undoubtedly touched the deepest part of my heart.
Having been through my three years in SP like a busy bee, I began to see the fruits of my diligence and commitment. I started receiving academic awards at ABE and soon rose to become the concert master of the SP Symphonic Band. At SP Arts Fiesta 2014, I was exhilarated to altruistically orchestrate a piece titled, “Pokémon Suite”, which was premiered by my club and SP String Ensemble on 16 November 2014 at School of the Arts (SOTA). Also, thanks to my wonderful team mates, our final year project, the “Green Solarain System”, was presented a merit award at the 4th SP Green Challenge and subsequently featured at the SP Engineering Show 2015. During my internship with NUS, my professor and supervisor were proud of my performance in a MINDEF-funded research project. Within these three years, I have transformed from an ill-disciplined game addict into a self-disciplined and responsible person. The turnaround has been a miracle, and failure brought me to the start of a bright, new beginning. So, thank you SP for giving me a second chance in life!