13 Sep 2021
The journey to self-improvement and enrichment can be long and challenging, but for Head (Range Safety and Weapon Effects) Yuen Ming Fatt, it is also one filled with immense satisfaction. We caught up with the newly certified Chartered Engineer – the title being one of the most recognisable international engineering qualifications – to hear how he did it.
Ming Fatt’s story began some time back, when there was a recommendation for DSTA staff to apply for memberships with relevant professional societies and seek professional registration to enhance their professional development.
That was something that Ming Fatt could not agree with more. He explained: “Such a membership would allow me to stay updated with the latest tech advancements in my domain, and becoming a Chartered Engineer would be a demonstration and recognition of my commitment to my field of work. So, I started to look into how I could become one.”
As part of the application, which required membership with a professional institution, Ming Fatt first joined the Institute of Explosives Engineers – a key member of UK’s explosives industry – where he was able to engage and exchange ideas with other professionals from various European countries.
The application also required Ming Fatt to demonstrate the ability to tap his engineering knowledge to optimise existing and emerging technology, as well as showcase how he has applied appropriate methods to analyse and solve engineering problems. It even touched on his leadership and interpersonal skills, personal commitment to professional standards and to the society at large, and even to his profession. It was essentially the culmination of his 15 years of work with DSTA!
Ming Fatt and his team with range safety experts from the US and Sweden visiting SAF ranges in 2019. Such visits and collaborations facilitate the exchange of perspectives to improve the safety measures of live-firing ranges.
It certainly helped that Ming Fatt has a lot of experiences to draw from. Over the years, he has been involved in a variety of projects. These included ensuring that the SAF’s live-firing ranges meet the necessary safety requirements, acquiring naval guns for the Navy and the Police Coast Guard, as well as assessing new anti-tank guided missiles for the Army.
He recalled: “My time at DSTA has been full of highlights. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to present my work to an international range safety meeting. Now, I continue to derive a lot of meaning from my work, knowing that the decisions and assessments I make for live-firing exercises will help keep our soldiers safe.”
Ming Fatt and his colleagues.
Besides being able to beef up his application with the range of unique projects he has worked on, Ming Fatt also credited DSTA’s culture of continuous learning for enabling him to meet the academic qualifications necessary to become a Chartered Engineer. In addition to the numerous learning opportunities provided by DSTA such as workshops, courses, and conferences, Ming Fatt has also received Master degrees in mechanical engineering and applied physics through further studies with the DSTA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
Now with the title of Chartered Engineer as the latest feather in his cap, Ming Fatt appreciates the recognition of his breadth and depth of experience, as well as his professionalism. He said: “This is an important validation of my capabilities and a huge milestone in my career.”
To others who may be still undecided about their applications, he added: “The process may be long and tedious, but the rewards will be sweeter because of it.”