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Keeping the lights on for the nation

In 2010, Mr See Cheng Yun, in his final year at Nanyang Technological University, was looking for an engineering job in the power sector when Singapore Power (SP) caught his eye.

“SP’s operations aligned with my interest and I felt that its well-structured graduate development programme would equip me with a strong engineering foundation,” he says.

The Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic Engineering) undergraduate decided to apply for the SP Mid-Term Scholarship.

He recalls: “My parents and friends told me to pick an organisation in which I would go far.

“So I joined SP, and I’ve never looked back since.” SP offers full- and mid-term scholarships to university students who have a strong passion for engineering.

The mid-term scholarship provides scholars with a lump sum payment that helps to cover their university tuition fees and expenses.

Upon graduation, scholars join SP’s Engineering Development for GraduatEs (EDGE) Programme, which takes a groundup approach to grooming fresh engineers. They undergo structured training and job rotation to critical operations to gain broadbased exposure and technical expertise.

Aspiring engineers are also sponsored for their Professional Engineer Certification.

Cutting-edge work

Mr See is now a principal engineer in Electricity Operations at SP.

One of his main responsibilities is to maintain the integrity of SP’s network assets and ensure their optimal performance.

Mr See is also part of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Taskforce — a new company initiative to develop Singapore’s electric vehicle charging station infrastructure.

“Engineers are the backbone of SP and all of us play an important role in the power delivery system,” Mr See says.

They ensure that network assets are well planned and managed efficiently, and also develop and construct the network infrastructure required to connect more customers to the grid.

SP strives to balance technical, environmental, social and economic considerations to find the best solutions for a safer and more sustainable electricity grid.

Its efforts have borne much fruit. Today, Singapore enjoys one of the world’s most reliable and efficient power supplies — each customer experiences less than a minute of supply disruption every year.

Engineers in Mr See’s division are rostered to be on 24/7 standby to respond to network incidents and supply disruptions. It is always a race to restore supply within the shortest time possible.

The EV project was a particularly challenging task in its initial stages as it is a relatively new field to SP.

The engineers had to manage the expectations of their SP colleagues who were more familiar with conventional Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.

Mr See says: “Through change management and by explaining how SP was contributing to a more sustainable and green Singapore, we succeeded in garner-ing our colleagues’ support in our efforts to move towards EVs.”

Personal development

Mr See has had many highlights in his six-year career with SP.

He went on a three-month overseas learning stint in Australia with SP’s Australian subsidiary to experience a different work culture and exchange best practices.

Mr See has also been assigned roles beyond engineering. For instance, he was a member of the inaugural SP Heart Workers Organising Committee.

Through the committee’s activities, which range from outings and fundraising, to festive meals and community service, SP has reached out to a wide spectrum of the community, from children and the elderly to people with special needs.

Mr See was part of the pioneer batch of SP’s Engineering LEAdership Development (ELEAD) Programme, which develops engineering leadership pipelines through broadening engineers’ global horizons.

Under the programme, Mr See completed a Master of Science in Electrical Power Systems Engineering at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, last year.

He wants to continue building up his technical expertise and gain relevant experiences to attain his Professional Engineer certification.

In the longer term, he hopes to assume a senior leadership position in SP. He wants to lead a team to promote network efficiency and sustainability through engineering excellence.

He says: “I’m driven to continue giving my best in the knowledge that what I do helps to keep the lights on.

“SP stands proud with its electricity grid being rated as one of the best performing networks in the world by international benchmark indicators.”