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Propelled by passion

Mr Lim Ray Wen has always had an affinity for ships. He used to sail with his family and has watched the movie Titanic five times. Now, he has a career that enables him to work on board ships for inspection purposes.

As a marine surveyor in the Flag State Control Department under the Shipping Division of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the 30 year-old ensures that Singapore-registered ships are well maintained, safely operated and comply with international and national maritime regulations.

The vessels have to maintain their equipment and systems, keeping them in good condition, so that they are safe, secure and pollution-free at all times and will breeze through inspections at foreign ports. Mr Lim reveals that this high level of quality control by the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) attracts shipowners to register their vessels with Singapore, and contributes to the vibrancy of the country’s international maritime ecosystem.

Mr Lim also monitors and safeguards Singapore’s strategic maritime interests through active participation at forums including meetings at International Maritime Organisation in London.

A sea of opportunities
Mr Lim’s journey in the maritime industry began when he became an MPA scholar in 2010.

His interest stems from the appeal of Singapore’s commercially-facing and vibrant maritime industry which provides a range of services for ships passing through its ports.

MPA’s Overseas Scholarship helped Mr Lim get a foot in the door and gave him the opportunity to study abroad, where he broadened his horizons and gained a better understanding of other cultures and lifestyles. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering at Newcastl University and master’s degree in Management at University of Cambridge.

He particularly cherished interacting with people of different nationalities while studying abroad. This experience proved to be essential to his present role, as he interacts with seafarers from all over the world when he interviews and assesses them in their tasks.

Prepped for the future
The maritime sector is well into the next wave of digital change. Mr Lim says ships and ports are becoming more intelligent, efficient and interconnected with the adoption of new technologies such as data analytics and the Internet of Things.

He was involved in the elimination of hard copies and issuance of electronic certificates and documents to Singapore ships. Other projects include the development of a data analytics dashboard to monitor the performance of Singapore ships.

“We have come a long way, transforming into a premier global hub port and international maritime centre,” says Mr Lim. “And it doesn’t end here. There is still room to grow in this ever-evolving industry.”