Gabriel LeeLee Jing Yang Gabriel

Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (DEEE)

Lee Kuan Yew Award

Who Says Home-Schoolers are Anything but Successful?

Being home-schooled for 12 years never hindered Lee Jing Yang Gabriel’s passion for and ambition in all things engineering. Instead, it allowed the Lee Kuan Yew Award recipient to master the art of self-directed learning earlier than his peers and devote more time to tinkering and tampering with light bulbs and batteries.

When he was nine years old, Gabriel stumbled across a children’s book on simple DC (direct current) circuits. After reading it, he proceeded to dismantle faulty electrical appliances around the house. His curiosity and eagerness to learn and understand the minutiae of how electricity worked led to his first engineering project, which was simple flashlights created from recycled materials. Thus, it was a no-brainer for this motivated self-learner to enrol for Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Common Engineering Programme. Later, he opted to strengthen his knowledge and skillsets in the Diploma of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Transitioning from a home school environment to that of a polytechnic did not involve any major adjustments for Gabriel. During his time at SP, he even ventured into peer tutoring, where he helped his peers understand a challenging programming language so that they could apply the knowledge to code and debug their own projects.

The Lee Kuan Yew Award winner also took part in the WorldSkills Singapore 2021 event and bagged the prestigious Gold Medal in the Industrial Control trade category. The win was anything but smooth-sailing as he had to juggle the intensive training schedule and preparations on top of his Year 3 modules and examinations. During this time, he found himself questioning his purpose whenever he felt physically and mentally drained. However, any lingering doubts were quickly squashed whenever he was reminded of how much he enjoyed the thrill of preparing for the competition. In recognition of his well-rounded achievements and contributions, Gabriel was awarded the SP Excellence Award in 2022.

As a DSO Diploma Scholar, Gabriel interned for four-and-a-half months at DSO National Laboratories, where he was assigned to work on wireless communication projects. The internship was an invaluable experience for him as he was able to delve into the world of defence research. It also reaffirmed his desire to pursue a career in defence technology.

Despite his busy schedule, the humble go-getter prioritises his commitments to volunteer at his local church, helping out in the overall upkeep and maintenance of the church building and compound since he was 12 years old. From routine maintenance works like cleaning carpets and servicing air conditioners, Gabriel truly serves from the heart, without needing his efforts to be acknowledged.

The holistic achiever aspires to become a defence engineer at DSO National Laboratories or the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), working on cutting-edge technologies for national defence. In the meantime, he plans on dedicating time and attention to developing technical expertise in one of the fields of electrical and electronic engineering like telecommunications or robotics.


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