While most children at the age of four were playing with toys or watching cartoons on television, precocious Benedict Lee Wei Zheng was already taking apart electrical plugs and rewiring them under the guidance of his father who was an engineer. Curious about how devices worked, he persisted in taking apart various home appliances and electronic devices despite causing blackouts and small electrical fires.
When Benedict was a Secondary One student in Assumption English School, he successfully built his own computer from scavenged parts which spurred his passion for Computer Engineering. He started to borrow books on Computers and would ask his father and teachers various questions related to the subject. Despite qualifying for a junior college after his G.C.E. ‘O’ Levels, Benedict applied for Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Computer Engineering course as his first choice due to the polytechnic’s strong tradition and excellence in Engineering.
In SP, Benedict applied his passion for Computer Engineering to his studies. He and his team collaborated with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for their final-year project to enhance the colour and clarity of underwater images. Having no prior knowledge or skills related to the project, Benedict researched and developed creative solutions for the problems he faced. In recognition of their outstanding work, Benedict’s team received the Polytechnic Student Research Project award.
A recipient of the Defence Science Organisation (DSO) Diploma Scholarship, Benedict completed a six-week internship at the DSO National Laboratories. During his internship, he had the unique opportunity to be involved in research projects related to computer network systems and cybersecurity. The experience alerted him to the rising number of cyber threats and shaped his resolve to consider a career in cybersecurity.
Benedict was also active in community service. As an executive committee member of the SP School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering club, Benedict initiated projects to improve the living conditions of the elderly. In addition, he used his electrical engineering and programming skills to repair discarded laptops for less fortunate students and installed solar panels at home to save on electrical bills and promote environmental friendliness. For his excellent leadership skills and contribution to community service, Benedict received the SP Model Student Award.
Benedict is proof that passion and hard work paves the way to success. He will be pursuing a Degree in Computer Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University after serving his national service.