School of Engineering
Other awards:Biomedical Engineering Society (Singapore) Gold Medal & Prize Diploma with Merit Equip Medical Prize Smitech Prize
Having a father who fixed his electronic gadgets and household appliances was what inspired Tey Ming Chuan to pursue a career in engineering.
“Whenever things are spoilt, my father has always been there to repair them. I was also fascinated by the engineering tools and control systems that he brings home to work on. My interest for engineering was ignited from a young age,” said Ming Chuan.
With also a strong interest in biology, Ming Chuan decided to then pursue the
Biomedical Engineering course in NP. “I wanted to explore the seemingly limitless possibilities in integrating biology and engineering,” he said.
Ming Chuan’s opportunity came in his final year when he undertook a project in collaboration with the National University Hospital. He and his team mate worked on a new innovation to aid in administering liquid food to patients with swallowing difficulties. Instead of tapping on traditional x-rays to trace the internal placement of the feeding tube, the project utilises air pressure from an electromechanical pneumatic system which is a safer, simpler and cheaper method.
The project took six months, as well as numerous hospital visits for collecting feedback, to come to pass. The team’s efforts were recognised, as the project received a Merit Prize at the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award and a Bronze Award (Polytechnic Category) at the Biomedical Engineering Society’s 11th Scientific Meeting.
Ming Chuan also counts his internship as another memorable milestone of his Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) journey. He was attached to medical device company Karl Storz where he helped to manage their inventory at Academia, a medical training institute. “The most interesting part of my internship was preparing the instruments and setting up workstations for the surgeons’ cadaveric workshops. It was a rare and eye-opening experience,” he said.
Despite his often busy workload, Ming Chuan found time for volunteerism. He was the International Service Director of the Rotaract Club, volunteering during events and organising exchange trips between Taiwanese student volunteers and NP students. As a member of the Mentoring Club, he also tutored primary school students.
Graduating at the top of his cohort, Ming Chuan has come a long way from his secondary school days, where he was consistently placed near the bottom of his class. “Being ranked 36th out of 38 students in my class woke me up. It made me reconsider what I was doing and I was determined to pick myself up,” he said. “That resilient attitude has carried me through polytechnic life, especially when I was stressed or felt like giving up.
“By the time I enter the workforce, I hope to be involved in the world of technology, and use my technical skills and knowledge to develop a new innovation which can benefit the community in future,” he said.