Thursday, October 26, 2017

Engineers are 'unsung heroes' of societys

Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/engineers-are-unsung-heroes-society
By Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, 26 October 2017 at 06:00 am


 (From left) IES president Edwin Khew, Mr Liew Mun Leong (receiving the IES Lifetime Engineering Achievement Award 2017) and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, at Tuesday night's event.
PHOTO: (From left) IES president Edwin Khew, Mr Liew Mun Leong (receiving the IES Lifetime Engineering Achievement Award 2017) and National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, at Tuesday night's event.
PHOTO:INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS, SINGAPORE
Picture posted by Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper on 26 October 2017 at 06:00 am

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xmWdiKxqKXs/WfHZG25z18I/AAAAAAAAoV0/an_Id1IWgDESv4f7e26i7Xkd3s5yvxlEgCLcBGAs/s1600/NP_20171026_JILIEW26_1648522.jpg
http://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl680/public/articles/2017/10/26/NP_20171026_JILIEW26_1648522.jpg?itok=y1EXLcLH
http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/engineers-are-unsung-heroes-society



To keep our public infrastructure projects going, Singapore will need 1,000 more engineers every year for the next few years.

But interest in the profession has been sliding - something that, if not addressed, will be detrimental to Singapore, said Mr Liew Mun Leong, the chairman of Changi Airport Group and Surbana Jurong.

"We have first-class apartments, bridges, roads, airport, harbour and MRT.

"If we don't have enough engineers, or only have second-grade engineers, who is going to do all those things?" the 71-year-old lamented.

He was speaking to TNP before receiving the IES (Institution of Engineers, Singapore) Lifetime Engineering Achievement Award 2017 on Tuesday night.

"Maybe, in a way, awards like this are interesting because they (bring to) surface people like me who do what I do," he said.



Margaret Hamilton, who wrote Apollo spacecraft guidance software, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom. [2]
PHOTO: Margaret Hamilton, who wrote Apollo spacecraft guidance software, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom. [2]
Forty-seven years ago, humans first set foot on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. That success would not have been possible if not for the team of 400,000 people who worked to ensure the success of the mission and the safety of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. One of those 400,000 people was Margaret Hamilton. On November 22, 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Hamilton the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution that led to Apollo 11's successful landing.
Credits: Courtesy MIT Museum - Margaret Hamilton stands next to a stack of Apollo Guidance Computer source code.
Picture posted by Andres Almeida on 23 November 2016

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-d2H_RIGYcBI/WfHZIHT-RLI/AAAAAAAAoWA/HXQyhc2PYkYq2Dz5uALdm15aBg1tEdJEACLcBGAs/s1600/margaret_hamilton5.jpg
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/margaret_hamilton5.jpg
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/margaret-hamilton-apollo-software-engineer-awarded-presidential-medal-of-freedom



"The students read only about bankers who make millions of dollars, or the people who have glamorous jobs.

"But engineers are invisible. I call them the unsung heroes in society. How do you make them sing louder about the profession?" he wondered.

One way could be to arrange for students to visit construction projects to "put life into subjects".

Mr Liew said: "If you want to convince people to go into shipbuilding, then take them to a shipyard to see what is happening there... To build it is really another story you could interest the students in before they choose a course."



One way could be to arrange for students to visit construction projects to 'put life into subjects'.
PHOTO: One way could be to arrange for students to visit construction projects to "put life into subjects".
Mr Liew said: "If you want to convince people to go into shipbuilding, then take them to a shipyard to see what is happening there... To build it is really another story you could interest the students in before they choose a course."
Picture saved by David Butler to Engineershttps://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FcvvkYTt5io/WfHZGuHVR_I/AAAAAAAAoVw/8YDbhd_pRHEj13Ows4nV-iFGLVUU6MlywCLcBGAs/s1600/eb0b478741adbf8e154b11a14068efe7.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/eb/0b/47/eb0b478741adbf8e154b11a14068efe7.jpg
https://za.pinterest.com/pin/294352525635405128/



The veteran engineer's own path was inspired by his late father, a lathe turner in a shipyard who had looked up to his British engineering boss.

Mr Liew became one of the pioneer engineers behind Changi Airport's first runway in 1975.

He was involved in the construction of Terminal 1 and later headed the construction of Terminal 2.

Little wonder, then, that those years made up some of the more memorable moments in the earlier part of his career.

Said Mr Liew: "With some modesty, we are the most awarded airport in the world.

"I am proud that my initial time as an engineer was spent on this project. So obviously when you have done something like this, which is world class, it will be memorable."

Even as he moved on to the corporate world, Mr Liew never veered too much from his field.

CAPITALAND
For a few years, he managed a specialist engineering company, before moving on to found and lead real estate giant CapitaLand. His technical expertise as an engineer meant he knew how long it would take to build a mall, for instance, and how much it would cost.

"And you probably understand quality better than a non-technical person," he added.

Being analytical, logical, numeric and pragmatic - an engineer's attributes - became second nature in his management style too.

"More importantly, engineers do things with paranoia in mind. That enriches my analytical skills and thinking philosophy.

"People ask me, 'Why are you so paranoid?' I tell them it is because things can fail," he told TNP.

This "paranoia" extends to his personal life.



Rihanna - Paranoid
PHOTO: Rihanna - Paranoid
Kanye West, Paranoid feat. Rihanna. Directed by John Christopher Pina
Picture posted by Miniac Films on Friday, 01 August 014 at 7:11 PM EST

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5KqsxIMYu4M/WfHZG8Vqd2I/AAAAAAAAoV4/z3QVNuqvEgE2X9XyC0ltbpWB0pIXisAFwCLcBGAs/s1600/484372869_1280x720-2.png
http://i.vimeocdn.com/video/484372869_1280x720.jpg
https://vimeo.com/102373795



For the past 30 years, Mr Liew has made it a point to arrive at the airport two hours before his flight. He also accounts for a traffic jam in his travel time, most recently using Google Maps.

He said: "I do all these things to make sure I am never late. As an engineer, you think through the whole working process."

After a slight detour, Mr Liew is now back at Changi Airport as its chairman, working on Singapore's largest development project.

"Have you seen the Terminal 4? It is beautiful," he said of the airport's latest addition, which will open on Tuesday.

"From the time you take your tickets for your seats, to the baggage, to security, then entering the plane - all these are seamlessly done through technology. That is one of the biggest breakthroughs in airports in this part of the world," Mr Liew said proudly.

So far, the man with many hats has not entertained any thoughts of retiring.

"Why should it be that when you reach 60 or 65, you drop down the cliff of emptiness and do nothing? I don't subscribe to that idea.

"Society has invested so much in you, your education, career, and everything," he said.

"If you stop thinking, you will get dementia. Your brain needs to think. If your brain stops, you are finished."



If you stop thinking, you will get dementia. Your brain needs to think. If your brain stops, you are finished.
PHOTO: "If you stop thinking, you will get dementia. Your brain needs to think. If your brain stops, you are finished."
Picture posted by Richard St.Onge
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ugwxj4oioas/WfHZHvbC5JI/AAAAAAAAoV8/x21zWkUhRzM9bpUp9BOa-kjVRQOCBqUgACLcBGAs/s1600/ext.jpg
https://media.licdn.com/media-proxy/ext?w=800&h=800&hash=ivvqkkUkyIcyRV5M88pGyoEiqJQ%3D&ora=1%2CaFBCTXdkRmpGL2lvQUFBPQ%2CxAVta9Er0Vinkhwfjw8177yE41y87UNCVordEGXyD3u0qYrdf37pKMTXKuCjuQ4QeiQclAJnLPL6RWHoD8bpLNnmKY1xj5_scI27dA4BYBI3iSdF_NQ8 - (ext.jpg)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-st-onge-b9435b70


By Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, 26 October 2017 at 06:00 am



Reference
[1] Foo Jie Ying, Reporter, The New Paper, Engineers are 'unsung heroes' of society, posted on 26 October 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/engineers-are-unsung-heroes-society

[2] Andres Almeida, Margaret Hamilton, Apollo Software Engineer, Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom,  posted on 23 November 2016, https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/margaret_hamilton5.jpg