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A heart and mind for the environment

In resource-scarce Singapore where renewable energy is limited, engineer Lincoln Ang’s role is vital in promoting energy efficiency and conservation to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

The 26-year-old works in the Resource Conservation Department at the National Environment Agency (NEA).

He analyses the data provided by NEA’s energy-intensive industrial partners to evaluate and improve the energy efficiency of their systems and equipment.

He says: “The industry sector is the largest consumer of energy in Singapore, and also accounts for about 60 per cent of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improvements in energy efficiency within the sector directly translate to substantial amounts of carbon abatement for our country.”

He took on this role after completing a four-year direct Master of Engineering (Chemical with Nuclear Engineering) from Imperial College London in 2017, under the National Environment & Water (NEW) Scholarship.

Led by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, NEA and PUB jointly launched the NEW Scholarship in 2008, aimed at safeguarding Singapore’s environmental sustainability. The scholarship targets students with a keen interest in the dynamic environment and water sector.

A holistic experience
For Mr Ang, who has always been keen in areas concerning the environment, applying for the NEW Scholarship was a natural step.

In 2011, he was one of the 15 outstanding recipients of the scholarship.

He attributes his decision to pursue a degree in Chemical with Nuclear Engineering to his fascination at the potential of nuclear power as a sustainable energy source.

The scholar also believes that it is far from a niche field.

“Knowledge in materials engineering is necessary when designing reactors to withstand high temperature and radiation levels, and understanding of mechanical engineering is required to ensure that equipment like pipes, pumps and turbines function properly.”

In addition to having their university fees covered, scholars also receive sponsorship for enrichment and exchange programmes.

Mr Ang attended a course on Global Energy & Environmental Politics at Harvard University’s Summer School, which ultimately inspired him to join his current department in NEA.

At the summer school, he learnt about alternative sources of energy that are being used internationally.

This knowledge forms the core of Mr Ang’s present role to improve the energy efficiency of Singapore’s industry sector.

He believes there will be greater demand for innovative solutions to address new environmental issues that affect future generations.

“By encouraging officers to work in different fields throughout their career, NEA also provides officers with unique insights on environmental challenges.”