Graduating from university is a big deal. Donning that cap and gown and receiving the degree scroll is probably the most epic milestone of anyone’s youth. A degree isn’t just a piece of paper — it’s proof of your resilience and academic achievements that will bode well for your future career.
For Singapore Institute of Technology’s (SIT) Class of 2020, the recent Graduation Ceremony was their crowning glory. Graced by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Transport, the ceremonies saw graduates from 47 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes receiving their degree scrolls.
What made this graduating batch special was that it celebrated the achievements of SIT’s first-ever batch of graduates with deep technical expertise in Civil Engineering.
Engineered for success
The pioneer batch of 48 Civil Engineering graduates from SIT-University of Glasgow Civil Engineering degree programme represents the university’s first cohort equipped with the practical knowledge and skills to plan, design, construct, maintain, and operate infrastructure such as roads, rail, buildings, and underground structures, as well as to rehabilitate ageing critical infrastructure in service.
Civil Engineers deal with almost every aspect of our everyday lives – from the bridge you cross the road with to the train you ride to school on and the power that charges your mobile phone. Civil Engineering is all about people.
Therefore, Civil Engineering has strong relevance to the Built Environment and Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM), one of the 23 ITMs identified by the Future Economy Council (FEC) which is responsible for driving the growth and transformation of Singapore in order to position itself as a key node of technology, innovation, and enterprise in Asia and around the world.
Launched in 2016, the three-year degree programme aims to address the need for local manpower with the necessary civil engineering professional qualifications in the face of sustained building and infrastructure developments. With strong emphasis on project-based learning and industrial immersion, SIT graduates will go through an eight-month work attachments part of SIT’s signature Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), where they get to work on authentic hands-on tasks and projects together with their employers.
The IWSP is mandatory for all students at SIT. It is thanks to the support from their industry partners that SIT has maintained high relevance of its programmes through continual consultation, adoption of best practices, and applied research projects. “Upon graduation, our students can hit the ground running because of the solid foundation they received during their IWSP stint,” says SIT President, Prof. Tan Thiam Soon.
In fact, according to a preliminary employment survey, 91% of the graduates of Class of 2020 have secured employment offers since the completion of their studies, many with offers from firms they have completed their IWSPs with.
What’s it like as a student
Engineering is the foundation on which every modern society is built, and engineers play a very crucial part in positioning Singapore as a global city. Fresh graduates Alicia Ho Sze Yin and Au Wei Ming, both who graduated with Honours with Distinction, are in a good position to take on the need for sustained building and infrastructure developments.
Alicia was drawn to SIT’s applied learning pedagogy and hands-on approach. “The eight months at ECAS Consultants for my IWSP was eye opening. The experience had widened my industry exposure. I got to work on various client projects, each bearing different requirements that provided valuable insights to the industry and learning experiences,” shared Alicia.
She also collaborated with ECAS for her Capstone project, where she developed a novel joint design for Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) Project that helped the company with analyses on the feasibility of the novel connection. Alicia is currently an Engineer at WSP, where she manages client projects on building structures. A portion of her job scope requires her to analyse and design new building structures.
Part of the SIT-University of Glasgow Civil Engineering degree programme involves an intensive Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP) at the home campus of the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. The three-week programme in Glasgow includes career talks, academic lectures, research, and workshops to prepare students for their final-year dissertation projects, as well as visits to companies, museums, and key cultural sites.
Wei Ming found his OIP at the University of Glasgow insightful, as he got to observe architectural best practices and work on an assignment based on site analyses in Glasgow.
His eight-month industry exposure at Beca Carter, an independent advisory, design, and engineering consultancy, allowed him to apply knowledge and technical skills such as taking loads for buildings, and analysing existing structures for load and structural framings. He also learnt how to manually design buildings, columns, structures, individual structure elements, and used software to analyse structures. He is now a Civil Structure Engineer, and finds fulfilment in his work, which includes building structural checking and accreditation.
Find your passion and be part of Singapore’s growth
People may not realise the huge contributions made by civil engineers, but the work they do basically gives shape to the history of a nation by developing and improving the services and facilities that people use in their everyday life.
Sometimes, being a Civil Engineer is less of a career and more of a calling – it’s all about bettering the lives of people. And for this graduating cohort of civil engineers, the Graduation Ceremony marks the beginning of a fulfilling career.
If you’re interested to pursue a career as a Civil Engineer, check out SIT’s website: https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/undergraduate-programmes/engineering/civil-engineering