As an engineer in an industry dominated by men, Ms Tuo Tuo occasionally encounters people who perceive female engineers as “less tough” or less technically-inclined than their male counterparts.
While she alone cannot end gender bias against women working in her field, she seeks to defy stereotypes by beefing up her own technical expertise.
She is grateful for the opportunities that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) provides for scholars
like herself. Ms Tuo, 28, pursued a four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) course from the National University of Singapore under the BCA Local Undergraduate Scholarship.
“Having a safe, reliable and well-designed built environment is fundamental to our well-being. I want to play a part in shaping the future of this sector,” she says.
At university, she took up a specialisation in energy and sustainability, taking related modules and doing her final year project in this discipline.
After she graduated in 2016, she started working at BCA in its Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Group, which regulates the safety of lifts, escalators and amusement rides in Singapore.
She also got the chance to be exposed to the non-technical side of things such as the Building Control Act and had the opportunity to be seconded to engineering consultant firm Squire Mech as a mechanical engineer in April 2019.
She is currently involved in the construction of Nanyang Technological University’s new timber building, which will be the largest wooden building in Asia, and co-living apartments lyf one-north Singapore. Both are expected to be ready in 2021.
Ms Tuo hopes that her two-year stint with Squire Mech will not only deepen her technical knowledge, but also develop her understanding of how different stakeholders work together.
She is also excited about the possibilities that the industry holds with the Construction Industry Transformation Map that was launched in 2017 to transform the sector through integration of new technologies and create new jobs.