From a young age, Vhora Shrayans Suresh would dismantle items that his parents had discarded – like an electric standing fan, calculator and blender – to see how they functioned. It was this curiosity plus the innovative spirit of US business tycoon Howard Hughes, portrayed in the movie, The Aviator, which propelled Shrayans to take up a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
His three years at NP have been nothing short of an enriching and memorable journey. “I love studying how machines are made. I’m also fascinated about applying the laws of physics to produce something useful,” he said. “At NP, I found the joy of learning as well as teaching my peers who needed help. I’ve also had lecturers who constantly encouraged me. All this inspires me to want to come back to NP in future to be a lecturer.”
Wanting to experience poly life to the fullest, Shrayans kept a hectic schedule. He took up squash in his first year and joined the School of Engineering Rangers, going on to become its President in his final year. However, his leadership stint was initially fraught with challenges.
“I was a Master Sergeant in National Cadet Corps in secondary school. So I used the same top-down style with my EXCO members in the Rangers and infuriated them, big time. Thanks to my seniors’ mentorship and my own daily reflections, I slowly become a more consultative leader,” he recalled. This willingness to learn and grow, even outside of his course, earned Shrayans strong bonds with his EXCO members.
Besides the close-knit relationships he gained at NP, Shrayans is thankful for his final-year project. It involved setting up a solar panel system to power an office for the Waterways Watch Society (WWS).
“Initially, my team and I struggled with this project – we felt it was neither revolutionary nor complex,” said Shrayans, who enjoys being put in situations that make him think out-of-the-box. “But when we saw the fruit of our labour six months later, we felt a strong sense of achievement. The solar-powered office has become part of WWS’ efforts to create an eco water park. It showcases how clean energy can be harnessed to meet daily needs,” he concluded.
After furthering his studies in Mechanical Engineering, Shrayans aims to gain industry experience before returning to NP to teach.