Celebrating One NDP Spirit
09 Aug 2020

Behind the scenes of the National Day Parade (NDP) was a DSTA team working tirelessly to create a memorable event.

We spoke with

  • Senior Engineer (Building and Infrastructure) Dave Lee from the Infrastructure and Decoration Committee;
  • Senior Engineer (Advanced Systems) Kelvin Ang from the Public Address and Sound Committee;
  • Senior Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Kenrick Hor from the Power Support Committee;
  • Project Manager (Systems Management) Kurinchi D/O Pugazhendhi from the Fireworks Committee; and
  • Senior Procurement Manager Rachel Chan from the Procurement team


How did you support NDP 2020?

Dave: We supported infrastructure and decoration requirements at the Padang, National Gallery Singapore, The Star Vista, and heartland areas along the mobile column routes.

Kelvin: To help ensure a good audio experience for the audience, we deployed public address and sound systems, comprising speakers, microphones, and timecode systems at the Padang and The Star Vista.

Kenrick: The committee provided power support at different parts of Singapore, with the Padang and The Star Vista as the two main sites.

Kurinchi: Our engineers reviewed the safety assessment of the fireworks for all the display sites.

Rachel: We helped to acquire key essentials and services for the Parade and Show.

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The Infrastructure and Decoration Committee (left) and the Public Address and Sound Committee (right) at work!

What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

Dave: This year’s NDP format was unprecedented. With major changes due to COVID-19, we had to reorganise multiple efforts at decentralised locations, and work with the evolving COVID-19 Safe Restart criteria for the construction industry. To meet the infrastructure requirements, our committee initiated discussions to gather and synergise the cardinal requirements within a week. We also reviewed and designed the infrastructure, including the central dais, for a simple but appropriate parade at the Padang.

Kelvin: It was challenging to ensure support at different NDP sites. What made it possible was the close working relationship of the team and good partnership we had with the sound designer, our colleagues and SAF counterparts to resolve on-site deployment constraints and requirements that surfaced from the NDP rehearsals.

Kenrick: The change in the show concept meant that we had to work at multiple new sites. This required us to study the existing infrastructure at each location to ensure that the overall power grid was designed as intended. We collaborated with multiple parties to understand the infrastructure available, and customised the electrical design for each location. We also narrowed down the exact period when power supply would be required and reworked the plan to optimise output with available resources.

Kurinchi: Fireworks were brought to the heartlands for Singaporeans to enjoy the display from their homes. We derived safety templates of the fireworks based on international best practices and detailed computer simulations, and we also reviewed the fireworks design, set-up and environmental conditions.

Rachel: Due to COVID-19, there were many changes to NDP. We quickly approached the various NDP committees to work with them on the necessary procurement and kickstarted the process once the changes were firmed up.

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The Power Support Committee (top left), the Fireworks Committee (top right) and the Procurement team (bottom) also provided key support for many aspects of the NDP.

Any wishes you’d like to share with everyone?

Dave: We hope that NDP 2020 brought all Singaporeans together, and encourage everyone to stay optimistic for the future.

Kelvin: I am heartened to see our systems deployed and the various committees working together to make the celebration a success. Happy birthday Singapore!

Kenrick: We are proud to have overcome challenges and implemented a robust and reliable power system for the entire NDP event. We hope everyone enjoyed the show!

Kurinchi: It was an incredible honour for us to be involved in NDP 2020. We would like to wish Singapore a happy birthday! And to our fellow Singaporeans, stay safe, stay healthy!

Rachel: I wish for all colleagues and Singaporeans to stay safe and healthy. Let us continue to help one another in this time of difficulty, and emerge stronger together!