Nurturing Next-Generation of Environment, Water and Food Security Champions

17 promising individuals received the National Environment and Water (NEW) Scholarship from Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, at the NEW Scholarship Award Ceremony this afternoon. The recipients will be pursuing studies in engineering, environmental, food and science-related domains, that will allow them to contribute to important initiatives to mitigate climate change and other increasingly complex environmental challenges while safeguarding Singapore’s water and food security.​​​

The scholarship holders were selected from a pool of over 800 scholarship applicants. This is also the first time the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is joining the two agencies under the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources – national water agency PUB and the National Environment Agency (NEA) – to offer scholarships since its formation in April 2019. ​​​

The NEW Scholarship seeks to groom and nurture young talent who are keen to develop a career in the environment, water or food security sectors, in a related field of study in a local or overseas university. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipients will embark on an exciting career with either PUB, NEA or SFA.

They will have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions through a diverse range of roles including mitigating climate change, encouraging energy efficiency, developing Singapore’s water resources, fostering industry and technology development. A total of 171 NEW Scholarships have been offered since its inception in 2008.​​​

Ahmad Taufiq Bin Rohaimi, 21, who will be pursuing a double major in Chemical Engineering and Systems Engineering in the National University of Singapore, was one of the recipients for this year’s NEW Scholarship from PUB. Taufiq shared, “I have always aspired to contribute back to the betterment of society in a job which combines both my love for the sciences with technical knowledge.

My internship with PUB’s Technology Department gave me a first-hand appreciation of Singapore’s water supply, and the importance of having sustainable water supply. I am grateful that this scholarship allows me to play a meaningful part in Singapore’s water future.”

“Our continued ability to ensure water resilience and sustainability is a cornerstone to Singapore’s survival and economic prosperity. We are pleased to welcome our NEW Scholarship recipients to join us in PUB’s mission of supplying good water, reclaiming used water and taming stormwater, as we work towards securing Singapore’s water future”, said Mr Ng Joo Hee, Chief Executive, PUB.​​​

Bryan Ooi, 23, graduated with a Diploma with Merit in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Intrigued by the wealth of science experiments and projects which he embarked on during his studies, he chose to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, to equip himself with the current trends and advancement in science and technology.

Being awarded the NEW Scholarship means that he is able to make a positive impact on the quality of lives nationwide through the wide ground that NEA covers. He shared, “A well-planned waste management system and environmental resource monitoring programme are fundamental requirements of urban cities. I am excited to pursue a career with an organisation that works hard towards the betterment of society and the personal fulfilment from the tackling of environmental issues.” ​​​

Mr Tan Meng Dui, Chief Executive Officer of NEA said, “NEA is happy to welcome this year’s batch of NEW scholars into our ranks. They all share one thing in common, which is NEA’s vision of creating a clean, liveable and sustainable Singapore. The work of environment sustainability is a never-ending one, and an existential issue for a small city state like Singapore.

These scholars have chosen not only a challenging and exciting career, but ultimately one that is meaningful and impactful, as what they do will contribute to safeguarding of Singapore’s environment and future for the generations to come.”

For Lau Kai Kiat, 20, who has been awarded a scholarship to pursue Food Technology in Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands next year, he looks forward to use the knowledge acquired from his future studies to contribute to Singapore’s food security.

“The cultivation of food science knowledge coupled with our strong technological infrastructure can give rise to innovative food solutions. I am grateful for the chance to be part of an organisation which works towards ensuring our food security, while establishing Singapore into a food hub for others to look towards for solutions,” he said.

Mr Lim Kok Thai, Chief Executive Officer of SFA said, “The NEW Scholarship is an avenue for grooming future leaders with multi-disciplinary expertise who are ready to seize opportunities to turn our food challenges into strategic advantages. We look forward to our NEW Scholars contributing to various spheres of work within SFA to ensure safe food for all.”​​​

Under the NEW Scholarship, NEA and PUB offer both undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, while SFA offers undergraduate scholarships. These present opportunities for both undergraduates and fresh graduates to pursue a Mid-Term and Masters scholarship.

PUB focuses on students pursuing engineering disciplines, mainly in Civil, Electrical, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering; while NEA focuses on environmental-related disciplines such as Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Management, as well as Sciences such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Sciences and Meteorology, amongst others.

SFA focuses on science disciplines such as Agricultural Sciences, Aquaculture, Chemistry, Food Science and Life Sciences.​​​

This article was first published on 2 August 2019 on NEA site:

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