Liew Zheng Jie was far from a model student in primary and early secondary school, where he was frequently truant and caned for his misdeeds. He turned over a new leaf when his English teacher nominated him as a class representative during his upper secondary year. This new responsibility motivated the Unity Secondary School graduate to study harder and helped him to respect and appreciate his teachers and peers. He developed a strong foundation in science, design and technology subjects. Wanting to pursue a course that combined both science and applied theory, Zheng Jie enrolled in Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Chemical Engineering course as part of the pioneer batch of Polytechnic Foundation Programme students.
During his time in SP, Zheng Jie had the opportunity to embark on a six-week attachment programme in New Zealand, where he understudied a professor at the Chemical Engineering department in the University of Canterbury and assisted the university researchers to increase the yield of chemical products. The meaningful attachment inspired the SP Outstanding Talent to consider a career in research to benefit the environment and the world.
With his new-found enthusiasm, Zheng Jie used his knowledge and research experience to complete several notable projects. As part of their Final Year Project, he and his project mates leveraged on the relatively new field of bio-absorption to successfully extract heavy metals in water using fruit peels. This innovative solution could potentially be used to treat the polluted waterways in many countries. During his final year internship at Solvay, a multi-specialty chemical company, he spearheaded the firm’s digitalisation project to analyse the company’s data logging and optimise and integrate their chemical processes.
As a Youth Community Leader in SP, Zheng Jie developed his leadership and facilitation skills which he used to serve the community. He spent two weeks in Indonesia where he facilitated and led a team of 22 SP students to lay the foundation for new classrooms at a local village and conducted English workshops for local children. In Singapore, Zheng Jie also recruited and trained volunteers from SP for a reading programme for underprivileged children at Fei Yue Family Services. Through his volunteer work, Zheng Jie developed empathy and a sense of servant leadership.
Zheng Jie has applied to study Chemical Engineering under the Global Merit Scholarship at the National University of Singapore. He aspires to become a researcher in the Chemical industry and dreams of developing new sources of clean energy. The future looks bright for this SP Engineering Scholar and Model Student Award recipient.