Mr Po’ad Mattar, NUS Pro-Chancellor
Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS President
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. I am pleased to join all of you at the Commencement Ceremony for the School of Design and Environment, Faculty of Engineering and Temasek Defence Systems Institute. My heartiest congratulations to the class of 2017!
2. I would like all graduating students to take this moment to fully appreciate yourselves for this accomplishment, and the pride and joy you bring to your parents and family. Please also appreciate the support that they have given you over the years, as well as the support from faculty members, fellow students and friends.
3. I hope your student journey has been a memorable and fulfilling one where you have established great friendships and build meaningful connections.
4. Upon graduation, it is the start of a new journey in life for many of you who head out seeking to build careers. Whatever path you take, there is more than just the scroll you receive. It not only signifies the skills and knowledge that you have acquired but also the process of developing analytical thinking and personal attributes within yourself.
Continuing with lifelong learning
5. You may be graduating in the midst of changing times with economic and geopolitical uncertainties where businesses and industries are going through a period of transformation and restructuring. But as engineers, project and facilities managers, I hope you will be the ones to bring solutions as Singapore develops the future economy.
6. Today, technological advances are changing the way work is done in almost every profession, across almost every sector. The changing nature of work is making the need to embrace lifelong learning more important than ever. Let me give you some examples in my industry, the construction sector.
7. The Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is providing us new solutions and methods for designing, constructing and operating buildings with its ability to virtually prototype, refine and improve the building before committing to the actual construction.
8. The use of prefabricated, prefinished volumetric construction, or PPVC, enables us to construct buildings like a manufacturing process, one with greater efficiency, less waste and improved safety. In addition, materials such as mass engineered timber, or MET, are also emerging in response to the need for greener construction options. There are even trials in 3D printing and robotics in construction as part of the fourth industrial revolution.
9. As part of the Committee on the Future Economy, or CFE’s recommendations, an Industry Transformation Map, or the ITM for the construction sector is being developed, with the aim of creating a resilient and future-ready sector. The ITM will address areas such as productivity improvement, skills development, innovation, and internationalisation to promote growth and competitiveness.
10. These are new and emerging trends that are evolving. They present exciting challenges for you, the future generation whom I hope will lead the way in breaking traditional ways of doing things.
11. Technology is always evolving, but the effort to keep yourselves updated and continually stay relevant will go a long way towards keeping your career going.
Role in society
12. The community is the essence of every building in existence. It is the core reason why buildings are constructed, for the health, comfort and wellbeing of every individual. Moreover, most of the time are spent in the buildings that you study, work and live in. Besides buildings, infrastructure facilities such as roads, bridges and railways are an integral part of the community to provide connectivity and accessibility.
13. With the drive towards environmental sustainability, companies are making greater efforts to minimise the negative environmental impacts and working to align its environmental and financial goals by identifying sustainable measures for building and maintenance.
14. As building professionals, each of you can play a part to improve the wellbeing of the community be it through the maintenance, repair and improvements made to new and existing buildings or in the planning, design and supervision of construction buildings.
15. In conclusion, every company has a set of winning attributes it considers when making the decision to hire. Beyond knowledge, employers today are seeking for applicants who demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, with initiative to go the extra mile and the adaptability towards unexpected circumstances.
16. I would like to encourage all of you to pursue your passion, keep abreast of the changes and sustain your intellectual curiosity, and most importantly, prevail against the odds. At the same time, be
cognisant of your role in society as future managers and leaders. Today’s ceremony does not stop here. It is but just the beginning.
17. On this note, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Thank you.