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Getting down to business

Building and Construction Authority (BCA) civil engineer Miss Wan Kai Hui, 27, has a big appetite for learning. When she was pursuing a Master of Science in civil engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS), she relished delving into mathematics and physics, and structural engineering and geotechnical engineering, which were related to her course.

Miss Wan, who received the BCA Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship in her second year at NUS, is now serving out her bond with BCA, and shares her experience working and learning at the organisation.

Please tell us more about what you do at BCA.
I am working in building control, where we regulate building structures in terms of safety to ensure that constructed buildings conform to the building standards stipulated in the Building Control Act and Regulations. We are also involved in cross-departmental work to come up with policies that would benefit the organisation and the industry.

What have you learnt at work?
I’ve experienced the issues that regulatory bodies face in enforcing our regulations in construction projects. We have to be strict when regulating the work of the consultant and builders, especially when it concerns public safety, which is our main focus as a government statutory board.

When I was working in a private consultancy firm during my secondment out of BCA, I saw how different parties had to work together in a construction project to deliver their intended outcomes, and work out a solution to satisfy all requirements.

What is it like working as a female civil engineer?
I think that contrary to common belief, a female civil engineer is not disadvantaged in the built environment sector.

While the construction site may seem to be a harsh environment for women — you tend to get dirty or work long hours — I quite enjoy venturing out to understand more about the construction on the ground and trying to solve issues faced during the construction process.

I think it is a positive sign to see more women joining this industry and I encourage those with the passion to come join the built environment sector.