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Getting the lay of the land

No two days at work are alike for Ms Tan Kai Yi. Some days, the senior executive at the Land Asset Management Division (LAMD) at Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is at the Southern Islands, where she has a project trialing the use of TV White Space (TVWS).

TVWS is the under-used radio spectrum in the TV broadcast bands that could be tapped on to provide low-cost, reliable and long-range wireless connectivity to facilitate high-bandwidth data transmission.

Other days, the 24-year-old meets tech companies to seek out innovative ways to manage State Lands and Properties.

Ms Tan is part of the Land Management (Systems & Support) team that looks into leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and safety of staff in managing State Land and properties.

One of the applications that her department has implemented is the SmartLAMD app which enables field officers to manage and respond quickly to ground issues and situations on the go. Another example is the Smart Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Enhanced (SUAVE) system, a project that integrates drone and machine learning technology to automate the detection of building maintenance issues.

Shaping the living environment

As a teenager, Ms Tan had an interest in the way Singapore’s landscape was planned and built, and its impact on how residents lived, worked and played.

After her A levels, she enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Project & Facilities Management programme at the National University of Singapore. She applied for SLA’s Local (Mid-Term) Undergraduate Scholarship only after starting undergraduate studies because she wanted to be sure about her interest before taking on the scholarship.

Ms Tan learnt about the scholarship from BrightSparks, a magazine and scholarship portal managed by human resources solutions provider, CareerBuilder.

“I was drawn to SLA’s vision because it shows how innovation and creativity can play a part in optimising limited resources and translating them into positive socio-economic impact,” she says.

Part of Ms Tan’s work sees her going off the beaten track to survey some of Singapore’s oft-forgotten places.

For instance, she gets to visit sites that are inaccessible to the public, like 60 Chitty Road, a conserved property, and the former Raffles Country Club, to assess how her team can work with potential partners such as, tech companies and other agencies, to put the site to better use.

“Working at SLA, I get to be part of a workforce that is helping to shape and change the landscape of Singapore,” she says with pride.