Many of our alumni have gone on to rewarding careers. We feature some of our alumni to share their career highlights which show how our Science Transformative Education has opened unlimited opportunities.
The Faculty of Science’ Special Programme in Science (SPS) was first established in 1996 as a premier talent development programme for a select group of Science undergraduates with an intense passion and strong aptitude for science. It admits about 40 students each year, who undergo a comprehensive and integrated curriculum that provides rigorous training of mind and character. In the course of completing the programme requirements, these students are introduced to broad areas of contemporary scientific research through an interdisciplinary approach; this has been a key cornerstone and hallmark of SPS over the years.
Today, SPS has produced many successful graduates who have progressed to Science-based and Science-oriented careers, here in Singapore and at many renowned universities and institutions around the world.
As SPS celebrates its 20th Anniversary, we feature below, several of its alumni and what they feel about their SPS experiences in the context of their careers.
Dr Bernard Leong Chung Wei
B.Sc., Physics, 1998
Head of Post Office Network & Digital Services
Singapore Post Ltd
Dr Bernard Leong is an experienced senior executive with extensive business and technology management background in the digital and retail space (consumer Internet, social media & mobile). His skill sets include building, managing and motivating teams with strong leadership to achieve positive outcomes.
He is presently the Head of Post Office Network and Digital Services at Singapore Post Ltd., and has recently graduated from Global Solutions Program 2016 at Singularity University in the United States. With his extensive background as a startup entrepreneur, angel investor and a connector to the Asia Pacific entrepreneurial ecosystem, he is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD Business School’s Singapore campus. His personal passions include founding and growing Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast on technology, business and media with notable industry players and thought leaders from all over Asia.
In recognition of his accomplishments and contributions, Bernard received NUS’ Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 2007 and the Young Professional of the Year award from the Singapore Computer Society IT Leader Awards in 2010.
The SPS program has been a very instrumental part in my career development from my Ph.D days and subsequently to other areas of my career, be it a startup or in the corporate world. The business, technological and societal challenges in the 21st century require a multi-disciplinary approach and an open mind to meet and resolve challenges and problems; I strongly believe the mindset taught and promoted in SPS prepares its students for this brave new world.
Goh Hock Leong
B.Sc. (1st Class Hons), Physics, 1998; M.Sc. 1999
Deputy Principal (Academic)
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Making it to the Dean’s List in every semester of his undergraduate years, Goh Hock Leong was also among the first students to migrate to NUS’ modular system. When he was in his third year of studies, he heard about and signed up with the pioneer batch of students in the newly introduced Special Programme in Science (SPS). He credits his SPS experience for the excellent performance in his studies, graduating with first class honours in Physics, topping the class and receiving the Institute of Physics Silver medal and the Jurong Shipyard Book Prize. A year later, he also obtained a M.Sc. in the Accelerated Masters Programme at NUS. He continued his association with SPS when he was appointed as the first Alumnus-Head Mentor of the Programme.
Hock Leong’s passion for Science then led him to excel in his choice of career as an educator. With increasing recognition from superiors and peers alike, he took on more responsibilities, leading project teams, conceptualising and introducing new initiatives/programmes and representing the school or the ministry of Education on the boards of charity organisation. Some notable accomplishments are the spearheading of the inaugural Singapore International Science Challenge (SISC) in 2007, the inaugural Singapore International Mathematics Challenge (SIMC) just a year later, his appointment as delegation leader on a study tour of high schools and universities overseas that specialise in gifted education and his appointment to the Secretariat for the Temasek Education Foundation in 2011.
Hock Leong was a winner of the National Iron Science Teacher Competition in 2006, and received an honorary prize for his sci-fi work in the Science.06 Sci-Fi Creative Writing Competition.
I was in the first cohort when NUS introduced its modular system and admittedly benefited from the new curriculum. However what really touched me to this day are the lessons learnt in SPS. It was SPS that rekindled my passion in science; it allowed me to work on interdisciplinary research projects. The constant interaction and learning with faculty members and peers from other disciplines made me very comfortable and versatile with any scientific discipline. When I was approached to join NUS High School in 2007, I agreed largely because I wished to pay forward for what I received in SPS. I want to play my part to inspire future generations of students in science.