Elevating expertise in materials science and engineering by gaining certification


Ronnie Lim Chee Khiam

Business Development Executive at Hai Cheong Plastics Pte Ltd
Pursued courses stackable to FlexiMasters in Materials Science and Engineering

Please share with us your professional life’s journey and at which point in your career did you aspire to pursue this FlexiMasters?

I was working in an oilfield equipment company as a materials and process specialist. My job was rewarding until the oil price plunge in 2016 made my role redundant. Even though I was devastated to lose a decade-long career overnight, I was also heartened that a few ex-business associates continued to have faith in me. They would call me for my technical opinions and even invite me to their company meetings whenever they are exploring new alloys and processes. I decided not to let down their support in me by taking up courses stackable to FlexiMasters in Materials Science and Engineering in 2020 to elevate my expertise to a more advanced level so as to best assist them in their expansion plans, while also allowing myself to stay active in this industry.

Could you share with us some interesting facets of the FlexiMasters you enrolled?

Being able to draw on my years of job experience into this certificate are both intriguing and fulfilling. Since I was being exposed to various materials and coatings in my previous engineering role, several ideas quickly conjured up in my mind when I was given an assignment project during the CET785: Fundamentals of Electron Microscopy course that required us to pick any material of our interest for conducting research on the material’s structure-property relationship. Executing this assignment was indeed a reminiscing task for me.

What were the challenges you faced when trying to complete this FlexiMasters?

Juggling working life with my studies was the biggest challenge since I have a full-time job, especially the fact that this certificate is almost irrelevant to my current job. Staying up late until 2 to 3am and waking up around 6am for work became my new norm during the academic term. It took time to readjust my biological clock to have decent sleeping hours during the academic break before a new academic term starts soon.

Please share with us your future plan on continuing your education upon completing this FlexiMasters.

Upon completing this certificate, I may consider pursuing short courses that specialise in certain industry such as renewable energy and climate sustainability domain. The concerns on global warming are gaining traction globally including our Singapore Green Plan 2030. This certificate equip me with the advanced foundations on materials nanostructures and analyses, which will come in handy when I am resolving challenges such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) system, batteries technology, hydrogen fuel and others.

Will you recommend PaCE@NTU’s programmes to your friends and family?

For most working adults with time constraints, PaCE@NTU’s Stackable Certificates are optimal choices to move our credentials up a notch in our current expertise. If we are looking to equip ourselves with new skills and knowledge to complement with our main forte, we can also take up courses stackable to Specialist or Graduate Certificates.