DME Graduate 2017 Lim Hon Wek: Following father's footsteps
Never gave up, and kept pushing through
“Never give up and keep pushing through life’s challenges,” is the motto of Chiew Kang Lin.
During her secondary school days, Kang Lin failed English and had difficulty grasping theoretical concepts. But this Fuhua Secondary alumna realised she had one subject in her favour: Design and Technology.
She then took up Mechanical Engineering in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and graduated with a perfect GPA of 4.0. She decided to further her studies in SP’s Diploma in Mechanical Engineering as she knew it would give her the relevant skill sets to excel in the future.
Here, Kang Lin seized the opportunity to intern at ST Kinetics where she developed a software to automate the process for machine calibrations, and studied numerous automation systems during a overseas exchange programme in Chang Chun, China. While in China, she also worked on Programmable Logic Controller diagrams for factory production.
Nothing is going to stop her from reaching greater heights! This Institutional Medallist with a GPA of 3.94 and outstanding CCAs has been accepted by Nanyang Technological University to study Mechanical Engineering. She aspires to work as an Engineer before becoming a lecturer to inspire and nurture the next generation.
Mom Engineered His Passion
"All that I am, my mother made me."
- John Adams, Second President of the United States of America
Coming from a single-parent family, Chin Guan Wei will always remember his mother's sweat and tears that have given him a comfortable life since young. All that his mother expected of him was to be a useful person who could contribute to society.
Spurred by his mother's words, Guan Wei did well in his studies in Punggol Secondary School. He has a passion for Physics and Mathematics and is often intrigued by how theories and formulae can be applied to solve complicated problems. He knew that becoming
an engineer was his calling.
Guan Wei visited Singapore Polytechnic (SP) during the Open House as he heard about the polytechnic's reputation for producing competent engineers. He spoke with the lecturers and was impressed by their expertise and patience in answering all his questions.
Despite living at the other end of the island, Guan Wei made up his mind to make the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in SP his first choice course.
His decision paid off handsomely. Besides being named as a SP Engineering Scholar, he had the valuable chance to intern with A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. The experience allowed him to hone his research skills and be exposed
to the latest technologies available in the industry. The unique experience of working with a laser on composite materials was unforgettable.
It was not just all work and no play in SP for Guan Wei. He became the Vice-Captain of the SP Table Tennis team and played a part in motivating the team to win medals at the POL-ITE and Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic games. The team even flew to China
for a regional competition. His holistic achievements earned him the SP Model Student Award in his final year.
Guan Wei also found time to participate in community service projects. Besides mentoring and teaching youth at Care Corner Queenstown, he also raised funds for a two-week overseas community service trip to Surabaya, Indonesia. The trip involved teaching
English to native kids and building a staircase for a school. During a visit to a home for kids with cerebral palsy in Surabaya, he was touched by the family's humility, simplicity and tenacity despite their special needs. The experience further developed
his sense of empathy and strengthened his resolve to use his engineering skills and knowledge to change the world.
Guan Wei will be pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University under the Nanyang Scholarship after his national service.
- Lee Kuan Yew Award
- ETLA Gold Medal
- OCBC Prize
- PEC Merit Award
- The Institution of Engineers Gold Medal Award
Words from 2016 Graduate Zhuo Yuxin
I was very determined to choose the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (DME) course as my first choice when I applied through the Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) Programme. I have been very inquisitive since young. Once I was curious about the mechanism
of a clock and decided to dissemble it but could not get it to work when I put it back together again. In the end I got a good scolding from my parents. However, such reprimands did not stop me from exploring more about the working principles of appliances
and machinery I see around me.
As Singapore's first Engineering course, SP's Diploma in Mechanical Engineering course has the longest history in the area of engineering. The well-built technology centres and learning laboratories in the School provided me with hands-on experience and
enhanced my theoretical understanding and knowledge. I am most grateful to the dedicated staff for their painstaking effort taken to ensure my learning.
Mr Leong Teng Boon, my lecturer for "Tooling Engineering", is an example. We always complained about his module's workload. There were always in-class and post-class assignments on which we had to spend incredibly long hours on every week. Come to think
of it for each assignment he had 30 copies to mark so while we were busy he was also tied up marking what we had handed in before! Mr Leong was a highly dedicated and competent teacher. At the end of the semester, I walked away with a very strong
foundation in tooling engineering and modelling skills.
In September 2014, I participated in an Overseas Community Involvement Programme (OCIP) to Yunnan, China. We were there to help build toilets for the villagers. This trip was an eye opener for me. I experienced altitude sickness and was subjected to insect
bites. In the wee hours of the morning, temperatures would drop to about 4°C and I would often be awoken by the cold. Although I was tired after a long day I could not really get back to sleep because of both the itch and the coldness. Those
were the times that I missed the warmth of home most. However I reminded myself that I was not there on holiday but to serve the community and this actually helped me to endure till the end of the programme. At times when I was not well team members
took care of me. The team spirit was amazing. It was during this period that strong bonds of friendship were fostered among us. It was indeed an enriching and enlightening experience for all of us.
For those who enjoy building things, improve the way things work and are analytical oriented, engineering is always the best choice. Most of the knowledge we learn in school will be obsoleted within a decade or so. However the problem solving and analytical
skills we acquire in an engineering course will enable us to handle any challenges we might face in our ever changing world. Hence my advice is to go for engineering. I don't think you will ever regret doing so.