Interview with Faith Foo

Ashleyna, Angelina and Faith Foo are three airplane-loving sisters who are all graduates from SP! Find out how their passion for aerospace electronics got started, and what university studies and careers they’ve pursued since graduating.

Taking her interest to the sky is Faith Foo.

Some people aren’t afraid to fly. Others need a little faith to let themselves be lifted thousands of metres into the air. Luckily, Faith Foo has all the faith that’s needed (pardon the pun!). The Singapore Polytechnic (SP) fresh graduate from the Diploma in Aerospace Electronics (DASE) course loves all things aerodynamic, and hopes to work in an aerospace engineering company when she graduates from her Electrical & Electronic Engineering course at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU)!

Hey Faith! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I graduated from SP in 2012 and now I’m in my first year doing Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE) at NTU.

Why did you choose aerospace electronics at SP after your ‘O’ levels at Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School?
My twin sisters (Ashleyna and Angelina Foo) did this course at SP and they also signed on with the airforce. Their interest in airplanes got me hooked on to it as well! We used to watch Air Crash Investigations together and try to figure out the mysteries on our own.

What exactly did you learn in DASE?
Oh it was all so interesting, really! We learned to understand and design electrical circuits and cockpit instruments in a plane. We also studied the structure and frame of airplanes. Also, there was the human factor – we learned about pilot error during flight and how we can design solutions for such problems.

Did your twin sisters influence your decision to join DASE?
No… They mostly left me alone to let me choose what I wanted. They didn’t want me to be in their shadow. They told me to “follow my own path.” But they did bring me down to SP and show me their Final Year Projects and the school’s flight simulator too. They are like my role models. I really look up to them.

When you were in secondary school, did you ever feel anxious about where to go after graduation?
Mmmm worry… I guess I did. But ultimately I focused more on engineering because I like math a lot! And honestly I’m not very good at my language, haha! I just struck out the things I wasn’t interested in and focused on what appealed to me.

Before joining SP, did you think that engineering was a ‘guy’ thing?
Not really. Maybe because when I was younger I was very boyish, haha! I liked playing sports… I got along better with guys as well so I didn’t really think about this much.

Do you have any favorite memories of SP?
Two, actually! My FYP and internship were the times that made me feel that the course was great! During my internship I was with the SYFC (Singapore Youth Flying Club)!   The experience really opened my mind to aerospace because they let me work hands-on in the hangar … I could really apply what I’d learnt. And they never treated guys and girls any differently.

For my FYP I worked on a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). We had students from different courses working on it together. The aeronautical students built the frame and the computer engineering guys programmed the UAV. Then there was us, the aerospace guys!  We were the ones who built the circuits and electronics inside the plane! About 20 of us worked together on the project, so it was really exciting!

That’s really cool! What about a favorite module?
Aeronautical Engineering Science, definitely! We had a really great lecturer. He taught the mechanical side of the airplane— how it is built and the aerodynamics of it… He makes the lessons very interesting. We don’t see the airplanes just in terms of electrical circuits. We get to see it as a whole.

Is there anything that you would like to create one day?
Maybe … teleporting. Haha! I guess it’s because as engineers, we’re always imagining the future =j

Hey that’s out of this world … but it might put you out of a job though!
Hmmm… oh yeah. Haha! I guess that’s true!  =)

A Double Dose of Engineering
Ashleyna and Angelina Foo are Faith’s older twin sisters. They enrolled in SP’s Diploma in Aerospace Electronics (DASE) in 2006 under the Joint Polytechnic SAF Diploma Scheme (now known as the MDES Study Award). Fast forward to 2012, they are now gearing up for a Master’s Programme in University of York, United Kingdom (the programme is fully sponsored by the Singapore Armed Forces under the SAF Academic Scholarship).


From left: Ashleyna and Angelina, twin sisters and the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) dynamic engineering duo!

  • Was it difficult balancing work and play in SP?

Ashleyna: With the SAF sponsoring our studies, we didn't have to worry about finances so we really enjoyed ourselves in SP. We played hard and studied hard; we were in the dragonboating and squash teams.

  • What interests you both about aircraft engineering?

I guess for us it's the hi-tech stuff that goes into the aircraft. It's intriguing to learn about all the advanced technulogy that goes into the aircraft to make it fly safely. Especially after watching Air Crash Investigations with our sister, we were curious about how aerospace technologies were developed.

  • What would you say to young girls interested in studying it?

Till now the engineering industry is still predominantly male but that does not mean being a girl puts us a disadvantage. If you really like engineering, don't be afraid to explore the various fields you can specialise in. Women can also do very well in a male-dominated course.

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