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LEE KUAN YEW AWARD &
NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Mervin Tan Yen Leong
School of Engineering
ST Aerospace Gold Medal & Prize
Diploma with Merit in Aerospace Electronics
Rockwell Collins Prize (For 'Aircraft Electrical & Instrumentation Systems')
Mervin Tan Yen Leong has always been an aircraft enthusiast with a strong passion for military history and aviation, spending hours watching documentaries in this genre. He dreamt of becoming a pilot.
However, while doing his diploma in Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Aerospace Electronics, he became enthralled with the technical aspects of an aircraft. He now dreams of a career as an engineer in the exciting aerospace sector where he hopes to make a name for Singapore on the international stage.
Mervin’s final-year project enabled him to integrate and apply the knowledge he had gained over three years. His team built a flying car, which was entered for a competition in South Korea. “The competition was cancelled because of the MERS outbreak, but the sense of achievement we got from making our machine work was immense,” said Mervin.
A highlight of his poly life was going to Copenhagen Business School in Denmark for three weeks on the Overseas Merit Fellowship award. The experience exposed him to a plethora of concepts and ideas. “I was bowled over by how the university used history to teach business concepts. Ironically, I also learnt more about Singapore and its policies while I was there, such as why a welfare system might not work for us,” he said.
An avid dancer since the age of nine, Mervin put his talent to good use in NP’s BBoys Club for breakdancers. Starting off as an instructor, he became its Vice President in his final year, charting its direction from being a recreational club to a competitive one.
Coming from a single parent family, Mervin cites his beautician mother as his role model, saying: “She single-handedly raised my sister and me. I really appreciate what she’s done for us and the sacrifices she’s made.”
Speaking of sacrifices, he recalled another trip to Laos as part of NP’s The Christiera Programme to build a school and conduct English classes. “It was crazy hard work mixing cement by hand under the hot sun. However, I pressed on as it meant building something meaningful for the kids,” he shared.
Mervin aims to build a career in the military as an aerospace engineer as this will allow him to marry his patriotism with his love for aviation.
Lee Kuan Yew Award
was first presented in 1992. It is awarded to the most outstanding graduate from a technology course in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The award is funded by the late former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee donated the honorarium that he received from various speaking engagements and from the funds raised from a special edition of his memoirs.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Outstanding Achievement Award
is a premier award for all-round excellence. It is presented to a select group of five to 10 top graduates from each graduating batch of more than 5,000 students. The award was presented for the first time in 2010. This year, five Ngee Ann Polytechnic Outstanding Achievement Awards will be given.