Joining SP through EAE was Best Decision for Ryan Ong - PSC Scholar, Lee Kuan Yew Institutional Award Winner and DASE Gold Medallist

28 Apr 2021


When he was five, his parents bought him a paper-folding aeroplane book which taught him how to fold aeroplane models. When throwing paper planes across the room, young Ryan saw how a certain structure or feature of a plane could affect its trajectory and flight characteristics.  It sparked his fascination with the science of flight and aviation field, leading him years later to enrol in SP’s Diploma in Aerospace Engineering (DASE) during the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE). 

Recently awarded the PSC Scholarship, Lee Kuan Yew institutional medal and DASE Course Gold medal, Ryan described coming to SP as a defining moment in his life. A reclusive student during his primary and secondary school days, he would, in his own words, “only focus purely on myself, my studies and my co-curricular activities, nothing else.”  Not many even knew that he had failed many times and was not a favoured student in secondary school. In SP, his transformation came about through the tremendous opportunities open to him which stretched him to achieve academic excellence, enabled him to hone his organising and management skills, and provided him with community and global perspectives.

One such opportunity was during his internship at A*STAR, where he had the opportunity to work on the simulation and analysis of satellite communication/5G link. Working with experienced professors and colleagues, he was able to learn a lot and develop novel solutions to attempt mitigating the beam squinting issue in Phased Arrays, though he admitted to having a steep learning curve. Ryan shared with pride that he had even written a personal research paper illustrating findings and results, and submitted it to the Asia Pacific Microwave Conference in Hong Kong, a feat which not many students at the polytechnic level had been able to do.

As one who enjoys working with others in the international community, Ryan recounted those days when, under the Temasek Foundation SCALE programme, he led a team comprising 15 others from Singapore and Cambodia, to work on developing a sustainable and efficient pond system for the local fish farmers in Cambodia. The experience of living the standard and way of life in Cambodia, gaining insights into the country’s situation and problems faced broadened his perspectives and grew him as a person.  He no longer takes for granted things in Singapore such as living environment, food, and education.

Ryan’s giftings extend beyond the world of engineering and technology. A certified piano eighth grader, he taught music to his friends for free and performed at elderly homes and hospitals to bring joy to the people using the universal language of music.  He went the extra mile to serve as the club secretary for SP’s Piano Ensemble, organising NPSP Fantasie, an Arts Fiesta annual event that was held in collaboration with Ngee Ann poly’s Klavier Ensemble.  

Looking back at how far he has come, Ryan said that choosing to enrol in SP was the best decision he has ever made in his “20 years alive.” Of his future, he plans to pursue a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, in the United Kingdom or Singapore. Describing his career aspirations, he said: “Leveraging my engineering background, I aspire to work at Govtech to improve technologies, to better serve Singaporeans.  I want to work towards the goal of making technologies adaptable, accessible, and affordable for all Singaporeans. I want to be able to understand the needs of Singaporeans to design and implement technological solutions that cater to those needs. Furthermore, moving towards an era of digital revolution, I hope to be able to make technological services more efficient, through data analytics and artificial intelligence to simplify human work. Ten years from now, I envision myself working with like-minded engineers, gaining input from citizens as well as policies, to work on interesting projects that serve to directly impact the lives of Singaporeans positively.”

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