Jay Wong

'I was able to gain valuable practical experience and interpersonal skills...'

  • Jay wong

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Chemical and Process Engineering

Process Engineer, Renewable Energy Corporation, Singapore

‘There has rarely been a dull moment’ for Jay while studying his Engineering degree at UC. ‘The lecturers, who are capable and humorous, made the course enjoyable, and I also enjoyed the labs,’ he says. ‘I love the great feeling of understanding how the things around us – like the refrigerator – work.’

Hailing from Singapore, Jay was keen to study overseas, and New Zealand appealed partly because of its lifestyle and environment but also because of its strength in the renewable energy industry.

‘The fact that New Zealand is planning to depend more on renewable energy sparks my interest,’ he explains. ‘Chemical and Process Engineering is the branch of engineering which utilises knowledge of physical sciences and life sciences in conjunction with mathematics and economics. This knowledge enables chemical engineers to design, build and operate plants which can convert raw materials into useful products such as petroleum and renewable fuel.

‘During my career, I would like to gain experience in dealing with technical problems and providing economical solutions. Later on, I hope to venture into the field of renewable energy to help meet society’s increasing energy demand.’

Jay already had the opportunity to experience working life as an engineer while at UC, through an internship at a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant run by Keppel Integrated Engineering.

‘The work I did included lab work, process monitoring and some basic administrative work. I was able to gain valuable practical experience and interpersonal skills.’

Jay also had the exciting chance to participate in a number of national Engineering competitions, including Engineering Without Borders in 2013 winning third place and a win in a water feature design competition within the Chemical Engineering department in 2012. Jay was also the club president for the Merlion Singapore Society at UC in 2014.

He also joined the International Student Ambassador Programme to help promote UC and Chemical and Process Engineering to potential students as an international student.

‘I liked to share my positive experience here as I felt I have gained a lot from my study here in UC and Christchurch. Through this program, I also gained the chance to improve my network, charisma, leadership and time management skills.’

Jay’s interest in engineering is largely down to his father’s influence. ‘He taught me that engineering builds character as it makes one’s mind sharper and improves one’s ability to think both logically and out of the box. I’ve always been interested in chemistry, and basically chemical engineering takes test tube reactions and scales it up massively – how exciting!’

Jay’s attention was drawn to UC as the place where the great scientist and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Rutherford studied, and on further research he was impressed with the University’s reputation for Engineering.

‘I loved studying here and I have never regretted leaving my comfort zone in Singapore for Christchurch,’ he says.

‘It is much less stressful than life in Singapore. I am thoroughly enjoying the company and all the interesting events held at UC. Some of these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I would never experience in Singapore. Furthermore, I’ve made lots of friends from around the world.’

Jay hopes to eventually return to study at UC for a master’s degree, but for now he currently works as a Process Engineer for Renewable Energy Corporation, a role focused on the solar industry.

‘My job requires me to make sure the processes are running smooth and monitoring the power output. I had the opportunity to travel a lot during my work; working overseas is actually very tiring, however it gives me good exposure and stretches me out of my comfort zone.’

Jay has a sound philosophy of ‘work hard and play hard’ and in his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors, ‘skiing, snowboarding, skating or just strolling around in parks’.

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