Songkiat Ow Shiyuan

Songkiat Ow Shiyuan

It’s NOT The End

  • Lee Kuan Yew Award
  • ExxonMobil Gold Medal
  • OCBC Prize

After landing in the Normal Technical stream due to his bad PSLE results, Songkiat Ow Shiyuan knew that his journey to success would be arduous. It didn’t help that his friends and relatives looked down on him as the Institute of Technical Education(ITE) was his only option. The Clementi Town Secondary alumnus, however, refused to succumb to his naysayers.

During his time at ITE College East, where he pursued a NITEC in Chemical Process Technology, Songkiat persevered and eventually topped his cohort, with a perfect GPA. Intending to continue his passion in science, Songkiat did his research and discovered that Singapore Polytechnic(SP)’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering (DCHE) is the first of its kind to be accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

He was also impressed by the wide range of equipment and well-equipped facilities after attending the SP Open House. These factors sealed his decision to apply for the DCHE course and it was a choice he did not regret.

Besides picking up relevant skills and knowledge in Chemical Engineering, the SP Outstanding Talent also grew as an individual. The Vice-President of the DCHE Student Chapter initiated the peer mentoring programme for his classmates to help them grow and learn together. As Director and Secretary of SP’s Rotaract Club, Songkiat organised events to facilitate social harmony among the community.

Outside of SP, Songkiat also gave back to the community in his capacity as Assistant General and Community Service Secretary of the Clementi Youth Executive Committee. Over six years, he distributed food rations and initiated various education/community services and sports events for residents in the area. For his community service, he was recognised with the SP Model Student Award.

During his time in SP, Songkiat participated in the Learning Express(LeX) programme to the Philippines where he worked with students from other diplomas to help villagers raise awareness about their products and equipped them with business knowledge to further develop their business. As part of an overseas cultural exchange, Songkiat had the special opportunity to visit SP’s partner institutions in Hiroshima which broadened his world view. Both overseas trips taught him to see the world from another perspective.

On the home side, Songkiat had the opportunity to work on his final-year project at the prestigious Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) within the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). At A*STAR, Songkiat explored ways to improve the efficiency of Solar Cell technology.

Besides his final-year project, Songkiat also embarked on a 22-week internship as a Production Intern at Nestle Singapore. During this period, he put his skills and knowledge to design and propose a cost-effective solution for the company’s production process. Seeing how his skills and knowledge can have a positive impact on the company has helped to shape his career aspiration to be a process engineer.

Songkiat is living proof that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. He has always strived to do his best regardless of the obstacles along his way.

The resilient individual has been offered a place to read Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore as well as Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University.

Songkiat aspires to be a process or chemical engineer in the near future. After gaining enough work experience, Songkiat wants be an ITE lecturer as he hopes to be a role model and correct the negative stigma associated with Normal and ITE students.

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