Team IEL – Engineering Leadership – Institute for Engineering Leadership http://ielstaging.net Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:49:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.13 Internship & Job Opportunities http://ielstaging.net/internship-job-opportunities/ Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:34:43 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=3471 Companies and Opportunities

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Companies and Opportunities

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  1. Embedded Systems Development Engineer
  2. Electronics Engineer
  3. Hardware Intern (Electronical/Electronics)
  4. Hardware Intern (Mechanical/Mechatronics)

Click here to view more information.

  1. Computer Vision Engineer
  2. Computer Graphics Engineer
  3. R&D Scientist
  4. Unity Developer Intern
  5. Computer Vision/Machine Learning Intern
  6. Computer Graphics Intern

Click here to view more information.

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  1. Food Technologist Intern x2
  2. Data Analyst Intern
  3. Mechanical Engineer Intern
  4. Quality Engineer Intern

Click here to view more information

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Singapore’s Next Mile – The Global Tech SME: 11th Lecture of Distinguished Speaker Series http://ielstaging.net/11-dss/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 23:05:58 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=3205 Singapore’s Next Mile – The Global Tech SME 11th Lecture of the Distinguished Speaker Series by Institute for Engineering Leadership  Speaker: Mr Loh Kin Wah, Managing Partner, Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co., former EVP, Global Sales and Marketing, NXP Semiconductor Netherlands, President & Chief Executive Officer, Qimonda AG, Munich, Germany, and EVP, Communication Group, Infineon Technology. […]

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Singapore’s Next Mile – The Global Tech SME

11th Lecture of the Distinguished Speaker Series by Institute for Engineering Leadership 

Speaker: Mr Loh Kin Wah, Managing Partner, Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co., former EVP, Global Sales and Marketing, NXP Semiconductor Netherlands, President & Chief Executive Officer, Qimonda AG, Munich, Germany, and EVP, Communication Group, Infineon Technology.

Date:
12 April 2017

Programme:
545PM (Registration and tea reception)
630PM (Lecture and panel discussion)
800PM (Buffet dinner)

Venue:
Auditorium 1, Town Plaza, UTOWN, NUS [map]

Abstract:
In recent months, there has been increasing urgency in efforts to push Singapore to transform itself in the face of global and technological disruptions. As Singapore diversifies and deepens its global connections & innovation networks, enterprises need to match this with skills to enable them to innovate and scale up, as well as be more pro-active in partnering each other & with others to create and capture opportunities.

SMEs are a critical component of Singapore’s plans to remain competitive. There have been numerous initiatives to help local enterprises scale up, be more productive and innovative. However, in light of such rapid global and technological disruptions, SMEs need to think & be global from the get-go, with or without government assistance.

Mr Loh Kin Wah has held senior management positions in global tech MNCs. In recent years, he has become increasingly active in high-tech investments in China, and advises SMEs in Singapore and elsewhere. Kin Wah will share his insight on growth-oriented tech SMEs which he believes can power Singapore into its next stage of growth leveraging on technology innovation.

The 11th Lecture will include a discussion featuring panellists with direct experience in working with and in technology enterprises.

Panellists:

  • Mr Chew Ker Yee, Vice President, Business Operations, Wangi Industrial
  • Dr Lim Ser Yong, Executive Director, Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology

 

About the speaker:

Loh Kin Wah

Loh Kin Wah, Managing Partner of Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co., former EVP, Global Sales and Marketing, NXP Semiconductor Netherland, President & Chief Executive Officer, Qimonda AG, Munich, Germany, and EVP, Communication Group, Infineon Technology

Loh Kin Wah has over 35 years managing experience in leading semiconductor enterprises. He started his career as a quality engineer and moved on to process engineering, manufacturing, R&D, sales and marketing. Currently he is the Managing Partner of Beijing Jianguang Asset Management Co., Board Member of Ampleon BV Netherland, Member of Supervisory Board, BESI BV, Netherland. and Member of Supervisory Board, AMS AG, Austria. Kin Wah was formerly the EVP, Global Sales and Marketing of NXP Semiconductor Netherland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Qimonda AG, Munich, Germany, and EVP, Communication Group of Infineon Technology AG, Munich Germany. He has served as Non-Executive Director of RDA Microelectronic Inc., China Independent Director, Winbond Technology Inc., Taiwan Independent Director, Accton Technology Inc., Taiwan, and Member of Supervisory Board, Azzurro Semiconductor AG, Dresden, Germany.

He has also been Member of Governing Board, Institute of Microelectronic, Gintic Institute of Manufacturing, National Science and Technology Board, Singapore as well as Honorary Professor of Xidian University, Xi’an.

He has an Honors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and a Postgraduate certified diploma in accounting and finance from ACCA, United Kingdom.

Supporting Organisations:

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Explore-Eng Endress+Hauser http://ielstaging.net/explore-eng-endresshauser/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 22:11:17 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=3245 NUS students and staff in a group picture with Endress+Hauser staff during the visit 28th February 2017 Instrumental to the World Explore-Eng Endress+Hauser   “People for Process Automation” – the motto of instrumentation company Endress + Hauser was well evidenced in that many of the company’s top-brass were present to interact with 17 NUS Engineering […]

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NUS students and staff in a group picture with Endress+Hauser staff during the visit

28th February 2017

Instrumental to the World

Explore-Eng Endress+Hauser

 

endress+hauser

“People for Process Automation” – the motto of instrumentation company Endress + Hauser was well evidenced in that many of the company’s top-brass were present to interact with 17 NUS Engineering students during a learning visit to the company. The visit was part of the NUS Institute for Engineering Leadership’s Explore-Eng series, which gives students an opportunity to visit engineering companies to find out more about their work, innovation in companies and possible career opportunities.

Facilitating the session was Mr. Lim Khay Guan, CEO and Managing Director at Endress+Hauser (S.E.A.) and NUS alumni. Mr. Lim kicked off the session with an insightful presentation of the company’s work and culture. Mr. Lim explained that despite being a multi-national corporation, Endress+ Hauser remains a family business and thus its motivations are more long-term as compared to publicly-listed companies. This business ethos encourages the development of deep and long-lasting relationships with their customers ensuring a good understanding of the industries in which they engage. In Endress+Hauser, soft skills are regarded to be as important as technical skills as “people problems” can be as difficult to solve as technical problems.

The Center of Competence for South East Asia works on very complex problems and develops custom-designed solutions based on the needs of its clients.  One such example in which this was evident is the case of custody transfer Mass Flow Meter (MFM), where the company developed solutions to help the bunkering industry enhance transparency of the bunkering process and reduce the chances of bunker malpractices and disputes. Moreover, compared to the conventional sounding method, using the MFM system for bunker delivery allows ships to enjoy up to 3 hours or 25% time savings per bunker delivery. With greater efficiency in bunkering operations, the bunker craft operators can also optimize the turnaround time of their bunker tankers to bunker more vessels. The students were given an insightful introduction to the problem and the physical solution during their visit.

The bunkering solution, and several of the other examples shown in the showroom highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of the instrumentation industry. Engineers from varied backgrounds (chemical, mechanical, electrics, civil) are required to provide innovative and safe solutions in a range of industries (food & beverage, oil & gas, life sciences, chemicals etc).

Following the sharing by Mr. Lim and other staff members, students were taken on a tour of the office and facilities. Students visited the showroom where Endress+ Hauser’s products were displayed, including the bunkering solution. Innovative solutions were explained giving a good understanding of the innovation timeline of solutions. It was highlighted that while in the past several different meters were required for a given function, these functions can now be carried out with a single meter.

The company was also an early adopter of wireless technology, adding in such modules to its meters from the mid-1990s which allowed data to be centrally collected and analyzed.

To round up the visit, Mr. Lim introduced all the attending Endress+Hauser staff and gave them the opportunity to explain their current job responsibilities and backgrounds. All of them had engineering backgrounds but could also be found in varied functions such as Finance, Marketing, HR and Product Management. The staff emphasized that their engineering knowledge & skills formed the foundation of their competencies, and are essential to them doing their current jobs well even if they are in non-engineering functions. Understanding the engineering perspective behind a product’s marketing campaign or the engineering costs of a product is crucial in communicating effectively with their customers and in developing products that best meet their needs. In this way, strong relations are built with their customers.

Michael Ow, a third year Industrial and Systems Engineering student said that the visit helped him learn more about the company’s product line and job opportunities. He said: “I also learnt that many engineers sometimes do not use much of what they learn (in university) in their jobs, and have to keep learning on the job”. The immersion into a real-world environment was thus an eye-opener to the students allowing them a different perspective of the type of skills they need to build before entering the job market and for them to adopt a continual learning mindset.

The students left with great exposure to the instrumentation industry and new insights on how their engineering backgrounds can lead to many exciting opportunities.

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The various Endress+Hauser representatives who graciously took time out of their day to give a unique insight in Endress+Hauser’s culture and solutions

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Daring to ask questions and a spirit of adventure http://ielstaging.net/daring-ask-questions-spirit-adventure/ Sat, 18 Feb 2017 22:37:01 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=3261 Ms Aw sharing with students during the session 18th February 2017 Saturday Sharing Session organised by Institute for Engineering Leadership Daring to ask questions and a spirit of adventure Aw Kah Peng With 22 years in the public service at the Economic Development Board and as CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board, it may be […]

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Ms Aw sharing with students during the session

18th February 2017
Saturday Sharing Session organised by Institute for Engineering Leadership

Daring to ask questions and a spirit of adventure

Aw Kah Peng

With 22 years in the public service at the Economic Development Board and as CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board, it may be hard to believe that Ms Aw Kah Peng is in fact trained as an engineer – she graduated from the National University Singapore in 1990 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. During a sharing session with students, she shared her experiences during her career and as a leader.

Being ‘Kaypoh’

Ms Aw’s unusual career path elicited a question on uncertainties in planning for a career. As a student in junior college making decisions for a university course, Ms Aw was not sure what she wanted as she interested in many things, such as music (She plays the piano) and different languages. Her father advised her to be practical, even though she was unsure of what she was getting herself into.

Her career at the Economic Development Board (EDB) came about precisely because of her curious nature. One day while at work at a small laboratory dealing with polymer technologies, there were several Japanese visitors led by an EDB representative. She chatted with them, and several days later received a call from the EDB representative. This eventually led to a job despite that her initial motivation for meeting the representative’s boss was the free lunch, she said in jest.

Giving advice to students on mapping out their career path, she said: “There’s no magic formula, ask questions. Companies know you don’t know anything fresh out of school, and the only thing you can and should do is to talk to people.”

She encouraged students to be curious. She said: “(In my experience) The ones who are curious and engage people, they go far compared to those who sit on a desk in front of a computer.”

A Spirit of Adventure

Ms Aw also encouraged students to have a sense of adventure – “if something sounds interesting, go for it, and if you don’t be prepared to make a change.” It was in this spirit that saw Ms Aw accept overseas postings to Chicago and London during her time in EDB, as well as her move to become CEO of Singapore Tourism Board (STB). She said: “I didn’t know anything about tourism, but I told myself that I would learn.”

Even though she found her time in public service particularly meaningful, she later realised that “while governments can enable, it is companies that create jobs”. She got a call from Shell, not unlike the call she received from EDB as a fresh graduate. Yet it was not the same – “This time it was different, out of school you can pretend you don’t know anything, after 22 years it is a different conversation. You have to be clear about what you’re looking for. For me, it was that I wanted to know how to run a business.”

While only four years into the job at Shell, she is already into her third job, running a business worth about three billion dollars. She said: “I am learning every day how to run a multi-billion-dollar business, (and) the one thing I take from all these years (of experience) is, how do I…inspire them (my team) to do good things.”

Motivating People

She also responded to a question from a student who asked how she would inspire her team, especially when morale is low. She said: “First you must ask yourself if you have the passion, and why you are passionate. Talk to your team about it, but they have to make choices for themselves, you cannot make it for them”. Even though not everyone would stay on, move on with those who do decide to do so.

Ms Aw also shared about learning to ‘read’ people – having an opinion about other people, even if you don’t share with them. Over time, this becomes instinctive and you learn how to best build on the strengths of a team. She shared an anecdote of a colleague she works with remotely and whom she only meets in person a few times a year. Yet when they do meet, they discuss things outside work, sometimes even meeting his family. In doing so, she builds good relations and rapport with her colleagues by getting to know them on a personal level.

Staying Anchored

Through her long and illustrious career, Ms Aw shared that it was her family who has kept her anchored. She said: “My husband moved with me when I was posted overseas, and every time I moved, he needed to find a new job. Your family, loved ones that will help you to anchor. It’s not a bad thing, they won’t hold you back. There are things you will do for the people around you, who will invite you to think about your choices.”

Finally, she shared what has driven her throughout her career. She said: “After 22 years in public service, the one thing I take away is the mission that creates jobs for my country that drives me. You can keep moving, and every day you’re busy. But the purpose for me is that I’m creating good jobs for my country, (and that has been) very meaningful.”

 

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Launch of TechLaunch Module 2017 http://ielstaging.net/techlaunch/ Sun, 01 Jan 2017 04:41:01 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=3184 The post Launch of TechLaunch Module 2017 appeared first on Engineering Leadership - Institute for Engineering Leadership.

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Students present ideas at InnoVenture IdeaLaunch http://ielstaging.net/students-present-ideas-innoventure-idealaunch/ Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:21:25 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=2770 Students at InnoVenture IdeaLaunch presenting their ideas to company representatives   25th October 2016 The hard work that InnoVenture teams have been putting in culminated in an IdeaLaunch session held on the 25th of October. The stakes were high as the seven teams sought to move into the second phase of Innoventure, where they will […]

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Students at InnoVenture IdeaLaunch presenting their ideas to company representatives

 

25th October 2016

The hard work that InnoVenture teams have been putting in culminated in an IdeaLaunch session held on the 25th of October. The stakes were high as the seven teams sought to move into the second phase of Innoventure, where they will receive prototyping grants and will continue to develop a real prototype based on their pitched solution accompanied by a viable business plan.

The teams each presented their proposals to a panel of judges comprised of representatives from the companies that provided the problem statements, as well as members of the Institute for Engineering Leadership team. They were judged based on four criteria – customer desirability, technology novelty and creativity, technological feasibility and business viability. A wide range of solutions were proposed, for example, Team UNO which was working on the National University Hospital (NUH) problem statement, which concerned the tracking of nurses’ efficiency in the wards, proposed a data tracking system using Bluetooth transmitter. The group emphasised not just the data logging aspect, but also the processing of data in a meaningful way through machine-learning. They team suggested that their product would only cost a quarter of what NUH now pays for their current system.

Other teams had similarly innovative ideas. Team Innov8tion worked on the PSA problem statement. They developed a system to monitor truck drivers’ alertness in an effort to prevent accidents, emphasising early detection of drivers’ fatigue. This is achieved through a system of eyelid and head tracking, ocular movement, eye blink parameters monitored by cameras and sensors in the truck cabin.

Some solutions were simpler but no less creative; TrioblazerS, which worked on the Nestle problem statement came up with a simple way of detecting spoilage in food products such as yoghurt. It proposed a customised pH meter costing just $0.02 for a sticker which could be attached to food products packaging.

Following their presentations, the teams’ ideas were scrutinised by the company representatives, who quizzed participants on their technology, business models and the viability of their proposals. In the end, four teams progressed to the next round who can surely breathe a sigh of relief that their hard work had paid off. Teams who have progressed to the next round will move into phase two, where teams be supported by Innoventure and IEL as they develop a working prototype and a validated business plan. This culminates in DemoDay which will take place next year, where they will present their prototypes and refined business strategies.

Dr Goh Wei Ping, Senior Resident Physician at NUH who attended the IdeaLaunch, initially came with some scepticism as the problem statements were extremely challenging. He was pleasantly surprised by the ideas the groups came up with. He said “I love how the participants injected fresh perspectives to the problems and came up with innovative ideas to address them. This is an ideal platform for different industries to come together and share their own experiences and expertise.”

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Tiny chips, huge potential http://ielstaging.net/tiny-chips-huge-potential/ Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:15:59 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=2765 A group pictures with staff of Infineon, representatives from IEL and NUS students   Explore-Eng Infineon Technologies 2nd November 2016 We often take the technology around us for granted and fail to realize the complex systems at work. At the heart much of these technology are powerful semi-conductors such as those made by Infineon Technologies. […]

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A group pictures with staff of Infineon, representatives from IEL and NUS students

 

Explore-Eng Infineon Technologies
2nd November 2016

We often take the technology around us for granted and fail to realize the complex systems at work. At the heart much of these technology are powerful semi-conductors such as those made by Infineon Technologies. As part of the Explore Engineering series, 30 students from NUS had the opportunity to visit Infineon’s ‘shop floor’ first-hand, and learn more about the company during a visit to the regional headquarters located off Kallang Way.

infineon

Infineon has operations worldwide and about 35,000 employees, and while its semi-conductors are not produced in Singapore, the Singapore office specializes in testing Infineon’s most advanced products. It was this that students got to see during the visit to the ‘shop floor’, a three-level facility in which chips are put through testing machines to ensure that they have been built to the highest standard and that they would continue working even in extreme conditions. Examples of applications of such semi-conductors include battery management chips found in mobile phone to monitor battery use, and identification chips found in passports.

A highlight of the visit was seeing Infineon’s latest technologies in use as part of their ‘smart factory’ initiative, in which processes are being increasingly automated in an effort to increase efficiency and productivity at the company. It is also to ensure the welfare of staff, who may have difficulty carrying out physical tasks as they grow older. An example of innovation is a transport and storage system throughout the facility. In the past, operators had to manually cart around heavy and bulky boxes of chips that are to undergo testing. However, there is now an automated conveyor belt and storage system with a capacity of 9000 crates which delivers the right boxes to the testers at the machine, eliminating the need for staff to physically move around these boxes.

Another example is an automatic-loader system for the testing of chips. While staff previously had to insert chips into a testing board manually, a tedious and delicate process, it has now been automated with the help of customized machines. Even so, more technology is on the way to being implemented including autonomous guided vehicles that will operate in the facility.

Sebastian Shen, a graduate student in Supply Chain Management, especially enjoyed the tour to the testing facility. He said “I’m from the software industry so this is my first time entering a manufacturing line. It’s great to see the adoption of technology in within the factory floor and how they are helping the aging workforce.”

Students also had the opportunity to hear from the experiences of company staff, including experts from the Development Centre during a panel discussion. They shared on their work in the company as well as skills that university students would need as they graduate into the work-force. Staff from the Human Resources department also shared with students possible opportunities within the company including internships and leadership programs. Carrie Lin, a Chemical Engineering undergraduate, said: “The panel discussion was helpful in helping us better understand the right attitudes (required for the job) and (hearing about) the work, life and health balance of Infineon’s employees was pretty encouraging.”

The students left with a new-found knowledge of the workings of the company, and a great appreciation for the tiny chips inside such ubiquitous devices and technology.

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Students dressed in smocks during the visit to the ‘shop floor’

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The ‘External Closed Innovation’ Model of Innovation at Rolls-Royce http://ielstaging.net/external-closed-innovation-model-innovation-rolls-royce/ Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:01:08 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=2758 Professor Ric Parker, CBE, FReng Director of Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce plc (retired) with members of the audience.   IEL Distinguished Speaker Series, 25th October 2016 By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter Our world today is becoming increasingly open. This extends even in corporate innovation with open innovation practices becoming increasingly adopted. In open innovation, companies […]

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Professor Ric Parker, CBE, FReng Director of Research and Technology, Rolls-Royce plc (retired) with members of the audience.

 

IEL Distinguished Speaker Series, 25th October 2016

By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter

Our world today is becoming increasingly open. This extends even in corporate innovation with open innovation practices becoming increasingly adopted. In open innovation, companies tap on external ideas as they look to advance their designs & technology to compete in markets that are rapidly changing.

It was thus illuminating to see that Rolls-Royce is doing the exact opposite, in what Professor Ric Parker, the recently-retired Director of Research & Technology terms the ‘external closed innovation’ model. In an insightful evening sharing with engineering students and industry veterans, at the 10th Lecture of the IEL Distinguished Speaker Series, Professor Parker shared his take on how innovation could result in both social good and wealth creation.

Professor Parker highlighted the importance of innovation, which he described as both “a process and an outcome”, as having the potential to solve global issues. He did so through a sharing of his experiences with Rolls-Royce on different aspects of innovation. Professor Parker discussed various models of innovation, which he explained through the use of a matrix giving examples of different strategies. For example, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works which develops top-secret military hardware, would be considered a closed internal model of innovation, whereas 3M where Arthur Fry invented the 3M’s Post-it Note®, would be considered an example of an open internal model.

 

The ‘external closed innovation’ model is one where technology is developed exclusively for Rolls-Royce, but one which focuses on partnerships with external parties to facilitate the development. In the case of Rolls-Royce, the company had made a conscious decision not to build its own research centre and decided to work with universities instead, fostering an intimate relationship between the two.

It now has a network of University Training Centres (UTC) all around the world, each focusing on a specific area of R&D. The model has worked well for Rolls-Royce, which highly values these mutually-beneficial partnerships. Aside from universities, it also works with government agencies for funding & support for infrastructure and to attract top researchers. In this way, Rolls-Royce is able to develop technology strategies that stretch from five to 20 years depending on the scale of development.

Through this model, Rolls-Royce has been at the forefront of technology development in engine propulsion systems, powering record-breaking and highly innovative aircraft including the Boeing 787, the Concorde and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Professor Parker also discussed how innovation could result in other benefits for society. He shared on the Clean Sky project, which is concerned with developing new technology to make aircraft more environmentally friendly. Rolls-Royce is a major partner of the project, where it works closely with 600 other partners from all over the European Union.

In concluding, Professor Parker emphasised that innovation was “vitally essential” to turn bright ideas into wealth in Singapore, and elsewhere. He added that innovation was also a means for engineering solutions to tackle some of the big problems the world is facing.

Following the talk, participants were invited to field questions. In response to a question on how universities can help students to become more innovative, he encouraged students to go back to basics and ‘make stuff’ instead of just sitting in front of a computer, and in doing so, reignite a passion for creating and discovering.

In his words – “innovation is fun and exciting”!

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Leadership Lessons from Mr Quek Gim Pew, Chief Defence Scientist, Ministry of Defence http://ielstaging.net/leadership-lessons-mr-quek-gim-pew-chief-defence-scientist-ministry-defence/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 23:42:36 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=2745 Leading with Purpose By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter Leadership Lessons from Mr Quek Gim Pew, Chief Defence Scientist, Ministry of Defence @ the Saturday Sharing Session on 22nd October 2016   Adapting and Learning Mr Quek was inspired by his secondary school teacher, and as a student, was deeply interested in physics. Following his graduation […]

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Leading with Purpose

By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter

Leadership Lessons from Mr Quek Gim Pew, Chief Defence Scientist, Ministry of Defence @ the Saturday Sharing Session on 22nd October 2016

 

Adapting and Learning

Mr Quek was inspired by his secondary school teacher, and as a student, was deeply interested in physics. Following his graduation from university, he was keen to do R&D in the Ministry of Defence, but was posted to do programme management. In spite of this, he made great effort to learn as much as he could, taking time to read up on the material when his bosses were away during the first 2 weeks of his posting. It proved to be a great learning experience on systems and multi-disciplinary technologies. He realised that the posting was in fact a blessing in disguise as it helped him to find out what he was in fact good at – system design and thinking. He would not have had the opportunity to learn systems if he had insisted to do R&D. He felt that one lesson he learnt from this was that one should be open and be prepared to explore new areas as one enters the workforce.

Throughout his career, Mr Quek has faced numerous challenges. He shared that he was appointed CEO of DSO National Laboratories a few years after it was corporatised. The impact of corporatisation was quite significant. One downside was that DSO took on more projects than it was quite ready to do. Mr Quek saw to the morale of staff, and worked through the issues to ensure that the organisation continued growing even in a time of crisis. To do so, he had to adapt his management style, realising that a style that may have worked before may not meet the needs of a more complex and diverse organisation.

His advice for students was to build a strong foundation while at NUS. During his time at DSO, he had to deal with a wide range of areas covering multi-disciplinary subjects beyond his training in Electrical Engineering – life sciences, computer science, mechanical and aerospace engineering for example. He encouraged students to go deep in their chosen specialisation while at the same time, to build a strong understanding of the fundamentals in the sciences, IT and engineering stating that this will help us adapt and learn even in areas we may be less interested in or familiar with.

 

Learning from Mistakes

Mr Quek highlighted the importance to learn from mistakes, in particular the ability to abstract and transfer the lessons learnt from one situation to another.

He shared his own failures to illustrate this. He related how a system for the Army was contracted to a company that had been working mainly with the Air Force. While the system performed well, the company failed to understand the difference between how NS men in the Army and regulars in the Air Force handle their systems. The NSMen operated in outdoors, in the mud and the rain, while the Air Force personnel operate in large, well-equipped hangers.

He said that prior to this, there was another project which was hampered by the different culture of the two teams that he brought to work together.

In both cases, the underlying problem was cultural – in one case it was cultural differences between teams, and the other, cultural difference between the contractor and the user. He said that we can learn a lot from mistakes and it is important that we can abstract out the lessons and apply the real lessons across different scenarios.

Mr Quek wryly commented that if he had had a choice, the next stage of his career would have been as an internal consultant for DSO to share all the lessons he had learnt. Case studies detailing successes were many but he opined that there was more future engineers and leaders could learn from mistakes.

 

Going Beyond the Constraints of an Engineering Training

Engineers by training are supposed to be problem-solving oriented. Their training is geared towards solving problems given certain set parameters. Mr Quek felt that while such training and mindset were invaluable in solving problems, engineers have a tendency to set limits too early. In contrast, physicists were trained to delve into the unknown and make sense of it. His advice to young engineers was not to set constraints too early when given a problem and to be willing to put these aside in order to explore new alternatives and venture further.

 

Finding Purpose

Above all, Mr Quek encouraged students to find purpose in their work, and in doing so, become better equipped to deal with challenges that would come our way. He recalled that early in his career, he had a boss that he had difficulty working with, but one who also made him question why he was doing what he was doing. He realised that what motivated him – public service, working for Singapore’s national security and defence – was far more important than the difficulty he had with the immediate boss. Mr Quek said “You must ask what your purpose is, you must identify with the role you are playing.”

In closing Mr Quek shared with the class what he tells his new staff during their induction programme – that how fast they rise in an organisation was dependent on their knowledge & skills, but how far they go depends on their values as an individual. He said “Expertise and knowledge can be trained, but your values and what drives you, are intrinsic and will allow you to go far in your career and life.”

group-photo

Class Photo with Mr Quek Gim Pew, Professor CC Hang – Executive Director of IEL, and module lecturers Associate Professor Foo Maw Der and Adjunct Associate Professor David Kwek

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No slow-down in investments despite economic downturn, say venture capitalists http://ielstaging.net/no-slow-investments-despite-economic-downturn-say-venture-capitalists/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 22:46:34 +0000 http://www.pisteuomedia.com/nus/?p=2723 Roundtable on “Venture Capital Financing in Global Economic Slowdown “ 26th October 2016 By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter   Despite the prevailing economic slowdown, venture capital firms are still looking to invest in good, innovative ideas. That was the message of five venture capitalists (VCs) who spoke at a roundtable event entitled Venture Capital Financing […]

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Roundtable on “Venture Capital Financing in Global Economic Slowdown

26th October 2016

By: Andre Theng, Student Reporter

 

Despite the prevailing economic slowdown, venture capital firms are still looking to invest in good, innovative ideas. That was the message of five venture capitalists (VCs) who spoke at a roundtable event entitled Venture Capital Financing in Global Economic Slowdown organised by students of the MT5911 Venture Funding module. Over the course of the semester, the class has been exploring the venture funding process through case studies, project work and guest lectures. The five panellists at the event were all investors with illustrious careers and diverse experiences in their respective areas.

There was good news for students in the module, who learnt that periods of economic downturn do not deter VCs from containing making investments. Dr Alex Lin, Head of Executive Team, Infocomm Investment Pte Ltd, said “From a VC perspective, this is a good hunting period. Many people who cannot find a job will do a start-up.”

Ms Carmen Yuen, Senior Executive Director, Vertex Ventures agreed with Dr Lin, explaining that value propositions become all the more important in periods of downturn, as investors seek to maximise their investments.

The panellists shared on different stages of the funding process, and that the topic can only be answered by asking exactly what kind of funding would be affected by the downturns. Mr Leslie Loh, Management Director, Red Dot Ventures explained that while late-stage funding would be particularly affected due to the large amounts involved, early stage seed funding would continue. Many deals outlast downturns, and as such, VCs would continue to seek ideas regardless of the prevailing economic situation.

They also shared on how the start-up and innovation scene is one that is fast-paced and constantly changing. Start-ups today are changing the world and disrupting incumbents in a big way. Mr Leslie Loh, Management Director, Red Dot Ventures was of the belief that “the start-up movement is going to become mainstream” as more people are encouraged to innovate.

The students gained practical advice from the panellists. Mr Michael Lints, Venture Partner, Golden Gate Ventures gave this advice to students making pitches. He said “Tell a true story. A pitch to a VC is something like a marriage, and the first pitch like a first date.” He encouraged students to be honest in their pitches and to share personally, as VCs would be interested in their stories and their inspirations as entrepreneurs.

In closing the session, Adjunct Associate Professor Tan Kim Seng, the course’s lecturer, advised students to start networking early instead of approaching investors when they needed funding. A/P Tan added that a good time to start was immediately after the session – where students had the opportunity to speak with the panellists present over some refreshments.

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