From Engineering Feats to Creative Thinking, She's Always Quick on Her Feet

Meet SITizen Jermaine Ng from the Electrical Power Engineering programme

Engineering a better tomorrow 

When Jermaine Ng enrolled in the Singapore Institute of Technology, it was not just the beginning of an educational journey, but also a professional one. 

Barely weeks into her freshman year as an Electrical Power Engineering student, she secured a job with SembCorp Marine, under the SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree (WSDeg) programme.

Securing a job before finishing my degree has been very beneficial, because it allows me to gain work experience,” said Jermaine.

WSDeg is a pathway that places students through structured learning facilitated by mentors and real-life industry projects, thereby enhancing their skill sets and competencies.

The SkillsFuture initiative scores a win-win for both employer and employee. Companies can have a more structured approach to develop talent, and employees enjoy job security and industry knowledge before they enter the workforce.

For example, regular communication with her supervisor at SembCorp Marine has allowed Jermaine to understand industry terminologies and technical know-how, such as the importance of cable tags on ships. Apart from displaying the cable’s source, the tags help engineers understand the purpose and classification of each cable.

“The most important aspect (of the programme) is that it gives me an idea of what to expect at the workplace while allowing me to learn and adapt,” she said.

“This gives me an edge in the classroom because I get to experience the evolving trends of the industry first-hand while being a student”.

Powering the dream

As a child, Jermaine dreamt of emulating her father, who used to be an engineer. Notwithstanding the challenges of women in engineering, she chose a path less trodden in the hope that she could bring a different perspective into the world of engineering.

It helps that her degree programme keeps up to date with new innovations. One example is the automatic control module, which helps students understand key engineering concepts like control engineering and modelling of dynamic systems.

Jermaine believes the true purpose of an engineer is to map the future. Apart from being able to evaluate situations critically, engineers must be highly adaptable and be able to determine how to make things work effectively. This includes finding ways to build efficient frameworks, improving the lives of people, and incorporating sustainable utility systems.

“The power of engineering is being able to create the kind of world that you want to live in. At SIT, you are given the confidence and knowledge to achieve this dream.”

Adapting to changes

But the demands of the job are severe. Having dabbled in the real world through her employer, she has realised the inevitability of constraints, limits, and barriers.

“The real world is full of challenges that can make or break a design. Engineering equips you with the essential skill sets and critical thinking to help you find solutions to overcome these problems,” she said.

Such adaptability also helped her overcome challenges during her tenure as president of the Electrical Power Engineering Student Management Committee, when planned activities needed to be shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, she had to rally her committee to conduct online games and video sharing sessions to engage and welcome the freshmen during orientation.

On a personal side, she has also rekindled her passion for dance by joining the university’s 'Poco Poco' club, a contemporary dance outfit. As Jermaine explains, dance and life are not unlike each other — both require patience and passion.

“Just like dance, life is all about taking little steps to reach your goal. Always look forward – and with hope and belief, trust the process.”