A Conversation with the "ACES Young Consulting Engineers of the Year 2022" winners from CPG Consultants

ACES Young Consulting Engineers of the Year 2022
(From Left) “ACES Young Consulting Engineers of the Year 2022” winners Kristian, Jaime, Geoshua

Conversation With… is a series of articles featuring personalities within CPG Corporation and its diverse partners who inspire.

As the Built Environment (BE) evolves, we are finding ways to engineer change so as to improve the industry. It is heartening for the industry to see an increased talented pool of professionals adapting to the changing times, finding ways to value-add to the BE industry and contribute to the world that we live in.

Over the years, CPG Corporation has nurtured numerous talents who have achieved significant milestones in the industry. The good work put in by our colleagues did not go unnoticed by industry associations. In recent years, several of our talented colleagues have been awarded for their work. In 2020 and 2021, young engineers from the Civil & Structural Engineering Division of CPG Consultants: Lim Mee Mee, Muhammad Fahizul bin Mansor, Lee Pei Yu, and Tan Kok Hoe Jason won the “ACES Young Consulting Engineers of the Year” award. This award is given out by the Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore (ACES), to engineers who have demonstrated good project leadership, performed a substantial role in the team and worked on a challenging or ground-breaking project.

This year, three of our promising engineers: Geoshua Tan (Civil & Structural Engineering), Jaime Doan (Civil & Structural Engineering) and Kristian Tung (Mechanical & Electrical Engineering), were awarded the ACES Young Consulting Engineer of the Year (2022) for their contributions to the industry.

We sat down with Geoshua, Jaime and Kristian to find out more about their views on this ever-changing industry, their source of inspiration, and their take on how CPG’s corporate culture aids them in their career developments.

Editorial: First and foremost, Geoshua, Jaime and Kristian, congratulations on winning the award! Could you tell us what winning this award means to you? 

Geoshua: I am very honoured to receive this award and truly thankful to CPG for the opportunity to work on many interesting projects, as well as all my supportive colleagues who have helped me along the way. This award means a lot to me as it is a strong validation of all my hard work and dedication as a Civil & Structural engineer in the built environment.

Kristian: By clinching the award, I feel that my efforts and contribution are being recognised. I would not have been able to achieve this award without the close guidance from my senior engineers and subject matter experts. Additionally, I would also like to thank the judging panel for conferring me with this honourable award. 

Jaime: Different from Geoshua and Kristian, I am a Civil Environmental engineer specialising in hydraulic engineering, and that is not a very common field in the industry. As with anything in life, there are obstacles, but there is also a sense of accomplishment and pride. I think that this award validates my efforts and helps to spur my enthusiasm and diligence.

Editorial: How long have you been in the industry and what excites you as a young professional in this field?

Geoshua: I have been in this field for eight-and-a-half years. I am excited to be able to see my structural design works come to fruition when the project is completed. As I am mainly involved in infrastructure and building works, there is a sense of satisfaction seeing the completed product impacting and improving people’s daily lives. I also find excitement in handling technically challenging problems and a sense of achievement when I provide a better solution or resolve an issue. [Watch Geoshua's interview with BCA in the "Hello Engineer" series here.]

Jaime: Being able to continue to learn about other fields of engineering is what has kept me constantly excited even after five years in the industry. By learning new skills, I can take on bigger and more challenging multidisciplinary projects where we design, optimise, and deliver sustainable water and wastewater solutions for Singapore. [Watch Jaime's interview with BCA in the "Hello Engineer" series here.]

Kristian:  Like Geoshua and Jaime, I also enjoy problem solving as an engineer but what delights me the most is the opportunity to observe professional engineers and gain a deeper understanding of how to achieve the best balance between fulfilling commercial contract duties and preserving statutory obligations. This is key to being a responsible engineer in our field. [Watch Kristian's interview with BCA in the "Hello Engineer" series here.]


Editorial: Describe a day in the life of an engineer in your discipline

Jaime: As engineers we are constantly faced with technical challenges while working on projects with various milestones to achieve. As each project is different, there is no set formula, we must be adept at our work, be prepared for anything and listen to experts from different areas in finding best practices.

Geoshua: Yes, to illustrate on what Jaime said, I think I can speak for us, in a single day, we could be working on calculations seated at the desk to inspecting construction sites in some remote part of Singapore. Some other days, we could be working on a structural analysis model sitting comfortably at the desk to then giving a project presentation to a lecture hall full of stakeholders.

Kristian: I think the misconception is that an engineer’s life is monotonous, but if you were to look at our daily agenda, it is never set in stone. In this way, things are never stagnant, which allows us to apply and learn new skills constantly.


Editorial: How do you think the work environment at CPG Consultants has helped you in clinching this award?

Geoshua: I am fortunate to be in an environment where my senior colleagues and peers are committed to improving ourselves and guiding others. Everyone at CPG Consultants is inspired to grow and all of us have many opportunities to do just that. This culture has helped nurture me to become a Professional Engineer (PE) at age 30, with a little over five years of experience. Last year, I was also appointed a Young Leader for BCA’s Built Environment Young Leaders Programme.

We are also encouraged not to limit ourselves and pick up new skills. Starting as a structural engineer specialising in bridges, I have picked up other skill sets within the Civil Engineering discipline, such as Geotech, drainage catchment hydraulics, sewer design, and civil and road works. 

Jaime: My supervisors always motivate me to pursue this path of engineering. Even though I did several internships before working full-time, my internship with CPG Consultants (while short) was my most memorable. Assisting my supervisor during the internship made me realise that my passion is in hydrology and hydraulic engineering, and that realisation led to my current career decision.

I am fortunate to have found my calling. With opportunities to upskill in the company, I have picked up new knowledge and skillsets such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), geographical information system (GIS) and coastal engineering. This has led me closer to my aspiration of becoming a well-rounded engineer so I can continue transforming Singapore, my second home, into a better and more sustainable place.

Kristian: Geoshua and Jaime hit the nail on the head. The open communication in CPG Consultants allows me to speak to my senior colleagues freely to gain feedback on projects. The various insights allow me to see things from different perspectives and work on a macro approach. Moreover, my supervisors, senior colleagues and peers are also very helpful and encouraging.  Their support has allowed me to improve immensely and deliver projects with more confidence. I am thankful to be in an environment where all feedback and new ideas can be surfaced because this cultivates a positive team culture. 


Editorial: What are some of your personal interests and how do you think that serve as an advantage to your day-to-day work?

Kristian: I enjoy reading and learning about various topics, including current affairs, architecture and interior design. I believe that by reading, we broaden our mental horizons and gain much knowledge about the world. Being an avid reader has benefitted my work, as I can further my interest of many projects, having acquainted myself with a diverse range of topics. I can put myself in the shoes of the developer, architect and contractor and consider things from a macro perspective.

Geoshua: When I was younger, my sibling and I really enjoyed playing with Lego blocks. It sparked my interest in understanding designing and building structures. When I was a little older, I watched documentaries and read illustrated books related to engineering and construction.

Since I started work, I gained an interest in photography. I enjoy taking pictures of complex and interesting structures, as they inspire me to analyse the engineering intricacies of the buildings.

Jaime: I enjoy playing video games and it helps to cultivate various skills. For example, having to communicate with fellow gamers and sometimes the need to devise creative ways to win the game helps to train my communication skills and adaptability. I find that this translates well to my work, as it makes me adopt the “never say die” attitude, pushing me to find a solution to different work problems.


Editorial: What is the most interesting project that you have worked on in CPG and what type of project would you like to work on in the future?

Geoshua: For now, the most exciting project I have worked on is the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 project, as it has underground structures and tunnels as deep as 50 metres below the ground surface. Being there to experience the 50 metres depth in person was an inspiring moment for me.  Seeing the design drawings on paper compared to seeing the actual thing in person was indeed an eye-opening experience.

In general, the types of projects that I would like to work on are large-scale mega projects that would have a substantial positive impact on our society.  The more technically challenging the project, the more motivated I would be.

Jaime: Like Geoshua, I also enjoyed working on the DTSS Phase 2 project. I am the principal hydraulic engineer providing the hydraulic modelling and design for the hydraulic structures and tunnels. High incoming flows at great drop heights made it a design challenge to convey the flow effectively without impacting the structure. Still, we developed and optimised the hydraulic design to dissipate energy from the falling flow and manage air entrainment. It is fascinating to see a design on an A3 paper transform into mega structures 50 metres underground.

I am interested in hydrodynamic modelling and coastal engineering, so I look forward to working on more multidisciplinary projects where coastal and inland measures are integrated to combat climate change.

Kristian: In CPG, we value the client’s input to design optimal systems not to obstruct their operational needs. This requires me to not take a cookie-cutter approach to all my projects but rather approach them by understanding the intrinsic needs and purpose of the building and catering to our clients. As such, I find training facility type of projects most interesting as they typically have a strong focus on engineering, and it is imperative to scrutinise each detail to ensure that the user’s requirements are met.

I am excited to see what the future holds and hope to undertake projects such as healthcare facilities and renewable energy infrastructural projects.


Editorial: As a young engineer, what are some skills that you think will enable one to grow in the BE industry?

Geoshua: Rather than skills, I believe the focus should be on one’s mindset. My advice is always to seek to improve oneself. Do not shy away from problems and face them head-on; problems are opportunities for people to grow. Always be curious and pursue the answers you seek; you will be able to learn much more along the way. Try to communicate with others to understand their problems, as that will broaden one’s thinking.

Kristian: To add on to Geoshua’s point, in my opinion, both hard and soft skills are crucial to an engineer today. The soft skills that an engineer would need are to communicate effectively, be open to new ideas, and have the ability to forge good interpersonal relationships with colleagues. As for hard skills, engineers must be technically sound, cognisant of the latest industry trends, and regularly upgrade their skills.

Jaime: I believe that passion and a good attitude towards your work are vital to one’s growth in the BE industry. My love for the industry drives me. Civil engineering is general, and you can specialise in any subfield that interests you. Eventually, I picked hydrology and hydraulics as my specialty because my interest fuels my work. On the other hand, I agree with Geoshua that one must have a good attitude and not be afraid of challenges. One must be willing to broaden one’s knowledge and put in the extra effort to think critically instead of taking shortcuts.


By CPG Editorial Team