From the day he stepped into Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Pavan Singh Gill made sure he would not let any learning opportunity slip by. Not even when dire situations arose.
After his G.C.E. ‘O’ Level examinations, he visited SP Open House and left with the decision that “This is the place for me!”. He knew he wanted to be an engineer but was unsure which field of specialisation he should take up. Thus, he chose the Common Engineering Programme and found his niche in the Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering a few months later.
The former Woodgrove Secondary Student initially thought that he may be disadvantaged because he is dyslexic. To his amazement, he found that his condition actually helped in his course because he could visualise better. Therefore, modules that involve AutoCAD or 3D drawings were easy for him. His excellent performance in Year 1 won him the SP Engineering Scholarship.
Pavan’s interest in engineering research led him to intern with SP Nano Fabrication Lab where he learned about technological process such as photolithography. The Model Student Award recipient also participated in the Polytechnic Student Research Programme where he and his team mate worked with A*STAR researchers to develop an award-winning biochip that could simplify and speed up the breaking down of blood cells to diagnose viruses while speeding up diagnosis and reducing the costs involved.
A lung infection almost halted his progress last May. He missed lessons for 10 days and spent his June vacation catching up on his modules with help from course mates and lecturers.
Not wanting to be an engineering nerd who is oblivious to the world outside, Pavan participated in various non-academic programmes such as the LEAP Camp in Malaysia where he picked up leadership skills and played a key role in the Youth Model ASEAN Conference 2014. He went to Cambodia for a community service project where he helped to build a study shelter, repair broken facilities and teach English in an orphanage. Back home, he also volunteers with community involvement projects such as the distribution of food to needy homes in Chinatown.
The dream of becoming a technopreneur in the future led him to join the SP Student Entrepreneurs Club where he eventually became its President during his final year.
Pavan is exploring his options for further studies in local and overseas universities. He has secured a place with the Singapore University of Technology and Design with a Global Leadership Programme Scholarship to University of California, Berkeley.
In ten years’ time, he hopes to own a technological start-up that focuses on robotics, sustainable energy or aerospace. He also hopes to spend some time researching how to help children with special needs learn.