With Singapore’s electronics output growing by an impressive 27 percent last year, expanding the country’s pool of highly skilled engineers is a key area of focus for companies. Micron Semiconductor Asia Pte. Ltd. (MSA), a leading name in the business, is championing the endeavour by setting up the Micron Scholarship at the NUS Faculty of Engineering (FoE).
Starting from Academic Year 2011/2012, the Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving First Year student for four years of study. This is the first time that Micron has set up a non-bonded scholarship in Singapore.
Explaining the decision, Ms Sim Cher Whee, Director, Human Resource, Shared Service Center, MSA, says, “We would like to attract the best brains and see top-notch engineers being developed. And, in the true spirit of the Micron Foundation, which is committed to the advancement of education and local communities, we want to support the development and growth of young talent. Once you’ve nurtured a student, he or she will make an impact in whichever field they choose to enter.”
As Ms Sim, an engineer and an NUS alumna, emphasises, “The experience and training that engineers acquire stand them in good stead as they move up the career ladder. It provides a strong foundation upon which to build your career and it gives you skills that you can depend on, whatever your job function. I have definitely benefited from my training in engineering.”
In setting up this Scholarship, Micron hopes to inspire a passion for engineering among students. Ms Sim says, “We would like to see them make engineering a career. We want them to use their engineering training to make a difference in their work place. The students should understand that engineers create a better world. They innovate. They bring about new ways of doing things.”
Micron is committed to nurturing the next generation of engineers and shares NUS’ vision of developing talent, says Ms Sim. Their belief in the University is backed by MSA’s employee figures – about 35 percent of their engineers and managers are NUS alumni. “We are keen to partner NUS in developing engineers who stay relevant to the work place and deliver high-quality results.”
To meet the needs of today’s work place for engineers who not only have a strong foundation in their area of expertise but can also work and problem-solve across disciplinary boundaries, FoE offers the Design-Centric Curriculum, a flexible and innovative alternate learning path for engineering students. The best engineering students can also avail of the Global Engineering Programme, which offers the opportunity to receive a Bachelor of Engineering degree from NUS and a graduate Engineering degree from an overseas partner university, all within four years. For the entrepreneurially minded, the NUS Overseas Colleges offer internship opportunities at start-ups located in leading entrepreneurial and academic hubs and the chance to study entrepreneurship courses at prestigious partner universities. And soon, NUS University Town, opening in August 2011, will be offering residential-college learning, a first in Singapore, which will be foster cross-faculty dialogue and thought, with an emphasis on communication skills, which are key skills for success in the work place. NUS’ increasingly broad-based and flexible programmes are redefining Singapore’s education landscape.
Ms Sim says, “The training, exposure and network that the University gave me have helped far beyond my university days. The cross-faculty interaction will increase the relationships that students develop.” Speaking about the need for companies to give to education, she says, “In the spirit of continuous development, companies should help to grow the next generation. This will ensure a continuous flow of people into the talent pool.”
Electronics was the largest manufacturing contributor to Singapore’s GDP in 2010. The semiconductor industry, which made up 62 percent of last year’s electronics manufacturing output, grew by an impressive 49.8 percent, boosted by an increasing interest in consumer electronics, like smartphones and tablet PCs. Recently, the industry attracted one of the largest investments in Singapore when Intel Corp and Micron Technology opened a US$3 billion (S$3.7 billion) fabrication plant of their joint venture, IM Flash Technologies. .
For more information on making a gift to NUS, please call Ms Ho Yuen Kwan at 6516 5755