Forging a Collective Purpose
28 Jul 2017

At the inaugural Defence Scholarship Awards Ceremony on 24 July 2017, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented scholarships to more than 60 recipients. They included 29 recipients of the DSTA Scholarships and four recipients of the new Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security.

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Recipients of the PSC Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security and DSTA Scholarship with the guests-of-honour, including Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Maliki Osman.

Held at the Istana, the event marked the first time that six defence scholarships – the SAF Scholarship, PSC Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security, SAF Merit Scholarship, SAF Engineering Scholarship, Defence Merit Scholarship, and DSTA Scholarship – were presented in a combined ceremony.

In his speech, Dr Ng explained how the new scholarship and combined ceremony reaffirmed the SAF’s commitment to harness its assets and manpower in tandem with technology. He said: “To build and sustain this type of Next Generation SAF will require field commanders to work with engineers and scientists as one… Whether as soldier, engineer, scientist or administrator, it is the common purpose of a strong national defence that must bind you all.”

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To illustrate his point, he spoke of how technology has been crucial in enhancing the SAF’s defence capabilities, highlighting examples such as the Island Air Defence system and the Unmanned Surface Vessel that keep Singapore’s skies and sea lanes safe respectively. He also cited DSTA engineers who have contributed to these projects.

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Both the PSC Scholarship (Engineering) – Defence and Security and the DSTA Scholarship will serve to enhance the talent pool in the Defence Technology Community.

Ong Ray Yi, 19, is one of four PSC (Engineering) Scholarship – Defence and Security recipients who will be starting their stint at DSTA after their studies. The scholarship she has received will allow her to pursue a degree in Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

Aspiring to create programmes that tap artificial intelligence to help soldiers in their operations, she shared: “Through an internship with DSTA, I gained a deeper understanding of defence engineering and how the work of defence engineers has everyday applications for soldiers on the ground.”

Another scholarship recipient, Chew Yong Soon, 22, will be studying Computer Science at the National University of Singapore. Speaking of his interest in defence technology, he said: “While studying at a polytechnic, I developed a keen interest in coding and machine learning, which I think are areas that have immense potential in the defence sector. I took up the DSTA Scholarship so that I can be at the forefront of such emerging technologies, and learn to apply them for our nation’s defence.

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