SINGAPORE: Twenty-three women received their engineering certificates on Saturday (Nov 11), joining the small but growing pool of female professional engineers in the country.
There are currently about 240 female professional engineers in Singapore - 6 per cent of the total number of professional engineers.
The 23 women were part of the 145 new professional chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineers who received their certificates at the Professional Engineers Board's (PEB) Day of Dedication on Saturday.
It was the highest number of professional engineers certified since 2007, according to PEB president Ho Siong Hin. There are now 3,937 registered professional engineers in Singapore and 220 specialist professional engineers.
One female recipient was 33-year-old engineer Choo Li Fen, who received a professional engineering certificate in chemical engineering. The process safety manager with Shell Chemicals has held a variety of portfolios in the field over the past 11 years, including a three-year stint in Amsterdam.
"I do see more female engineers now in my workplace, and I think it is good that we also see in the industry that there’s an increase in the number of female engineers getting their PE certification," Ms Choo said. "It’s good because it reinforces the importance of diversity and hopefully it will encourage more females to be chemical engineers.”
The professional engineers registered this year were also younger, with their average age at 39 years old, compared with the average age of 54 for practising professional engineers, Mr Ho said.
A record 97 specialist professional engineers were also registered over the past year, 95 of whom were in the lift and escalator, crane, access platform and pressure vessel engineering branches, which were introduced by the PEB in January.
MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
At the event, Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee spoke about the need for strong engineering capabilities in the construction industry.
"We can expect greater demand for greener and more sustainable urban developments, as well as an inclusive built environment to accommodate our silver population," said Mr Lee, who is also Minister for Social and Family Development.
"At the same time, older infrastructure will need to be maintained, augmented or even replaced so that our city can age gracefully but at the same time, continue to rejuvenate and renew itself."
The recently launched Industry Transformation Map for the construction sector targets to train 80,000 professionals by 2025, in the areas of design for manufacturing and assembly, integrated digital delivery and green buildings.
In light of this, the Government will work with the industry to offer more opportunities for fresh entrants and existing professionals, Mr Lee said.
Growing regional infrastructure demand will also offer "tremendous opportunities" for local professional engineers to offer their services and expertise, with Southeast Asia estimated to require US$3 trillion (S$4 trillion) in infrastructure investment from now until 2030.
A total of 15 Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) chartered professional engineers were presented with certificates on Saturday, allowing them to tap regional opportunities by practising in collaboration with professional engineers in those jurisdictions. There are currently about 250 ASEAN chartered professional engineers in Singapore.
A statutory board under the National Development Ministry, the PEB registers and regulates the professional engineering profession. Applicants must have relevant qualifications and practical experience, and must pass examinations and an interview before they can successfully register as a professional engineer.
The PEB ceremony aims to recognise the role and contribution of professional engineers in the development of Singapore’s built environment.