Songkiat Ow Shiyuan
It’s NOT The End
Kuan Yew Award
ExxonMobil Gold Medal
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
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
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.