As someone who aspires to improve the lives of those around him, Noorul Aziz, 28, ventured into the world of construction at BCA. After one year, he was presented with the exclusive opportunity to design and prepare structural plans for submission to industry authorities.
Tell us what sparked your interest in the built environment industry and why you chose the BCA scholarship to further this endeavour?
The term ‘built environment’ refers to buildings and infrastructure which are designed and built to support human activities in a way that is safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. The industry professionals are the ones who shape and modify the built environment to cater to the various needs of its consumers. It is a privilege to be part of an industry that develops spaces to improve the standard of living for the people inhabiting them.
At BCA, one has the opportunity to value-add to the industry through the implementation of quality regulations and standards, thereby having a bigger impact on the built environment. I was especially motivated to take up the BCA Scholarship when I learnt that BCA’s mission to transform our city-state into a safe and friendly built environment with high standards aligns with my own aspiration to improve the lives of the people around me.
What are some of the challenges of your job? How do you see yourself overcoming them and empowering fresh graduates in the field?
The scope of work which I was involved in at BCA required me to process structural plans of projects spanning various nature and usage, while fulfilling multiple technical and regulatory requirements. The technical knowledge that I learnt in school was insufficient and I was not familiar with some of the regulatory requirements. When I first started out, I expected to face a steep learning curve. But I was put through a structured programme where the workload and complexity of the projects assigned to me were gradually increased in a way that was smooth and manageable for me. The resource library and the guidance from my colleagues have also enabled me to quickly pick up the necessary skills needed to effectively process structural plans. My colleagues also helped me in my understanding of the technical requirements and in the interpretations of the regulations. In addition, they also shared their experiences in the private industry which guided me in choosing the right consultancy firm for my secondment after one year in BCA. With the right attitude to continuously learn and update myself, and by tapping on the experiences of my senior colleagues and learning platforms, I was able to overcome the steep learning curve and gain confidence in my profession.
The built environment industry is well on track with the establishment of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) and initiatives on Green Buildings. Even with these strategies in place, the impression that the construction industry is one that is labour intensive and lacking in technological advancement is still common, especially youths. As someone in the field who understands the future of our built environment industry, I want to educate the younger generation on the many interesting and meaningful jobs available to them, contrary to what they might think.
Share your previous and current job scope.
After graduation, I worked in BCA for a year, where I processed structural plans to ensure the design is structurally adequate and adheres to the relevant codes and regulations. As for the projects I was assigned to — I conducted regular site inspections to ensure that the construction was done in accordance with the approved plans and that the site records were well maintained.
After a year, I was given the opportunity to take up an attachment with a private consultancy firm for two years, where I de- signed and prepared structural plans to submit to authorities like BCA. This is a rare endeavour for any individual in this field and it was made possible for me through the BCA scholarship.
Through this opportunity, I now have a better understanding of the built environment industry in Singapore. I am optimistic that I will be a confident and considerate regulator when I return to BCA. I also look forward to engaging in the different job functions through the job rotation programme in BCA when I return.
BCA Local Undergraduate Scholarship
Attained: Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering with Honours (Distinction), NTU
Now: Engineer, Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd (as part of BCA’s career development programme)
From: Singapore Polytechnic