I’m semi-retired now, but I used to work as a consulting engineer, specialising in building structures.
When I started up my company we had a small team of only seven or eight staff, but it grew with team, and at its peak we had more than 30 people on our team.
What’s the most memorable project you’ve worked on?
I’d say it’s Far East Plaza. We first started on the project in 1978, and there was quite a lot of buzz surrounding the building when it was constructed. One feature of the building that stands out is that the plot of land it is on is not level—there was a height difference of nine metres towards the back of the building. To overcome the problem, what we did was to build a retaining structure on the site.
Have you considered letting your children follow in your footsteps, or take over your business?
I think most parents wouldn’t want their children to follow after them if they were working in construction and engineering (laughs). It depends on each person’s interests—my line of work is more technical and might be boring to people. My wife is more inclined towards artistic and creative things, and I think my daughter takes after her in that regard.
What’s an interesting travel experience you’ve had?
Scandinavian countries are some of my favourite places that I’ve been to. I generally prefer to visit cities and more modern places, but they don’t have the bustle of Singapore and cities like Beijing or Shanghai so it’s quite a different experience. I like to travel in comfort, whereas my daughter is more outdoorsy—that’s another thing we differ on. (laughs)
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to young people just starting out on their careers?
Besides having a knack for design in my field, learning how to socialise and make connections are also skills you should have, as you might meet future clients that way. At the end of the day, the quality of your work is the most important, so you need to take time to build up experience and be willing to put in the hard work.