Giving back to the nation

A childhood encounter with a PUB officer sparked a passion for a lifetime.

“When I was a kid in the 80s, a PUB officer came to my grandmother’s house because there was a problem with the water output,” recalled Gabriel Sim, 33.

As an impressionable young boy, he was awed by how the man restored the water service in her house with diligence and professionalism.

“It then occurred to me that there is an organisation that works tirelessly to ensure a continuous supply of clean water for all in Singapore. From then on, I’ve always wanted to be part of PUB,” he
said.

After serving his National Service, Gabriel went on to complete his degree in Mechanical Engineering from NTU in 2008. He joined PUB, the national water agency, immediately after attainment of his degree and is happy with his decision.

PLANNING AHEAD: For Gabriel, prevention is better than cure when it comes to ensuring the ready supply of clean water.

PLANNING AHEAD: For Gabriel, prevention is better than cure when it comes to ensuring the ready supply of clean water.

Garbriel started as an engineer with the Water Supply Network Department, taking care of the network services in the eastern part of Singapore.

“Our customers normally call in when there is a problem with the water supply to their homes,” he said.

For him however, being able to mitigate and rectify faults before they occur is the ideal scenario.

“The best way to know that we’re doing a good job is when our call centres have quiet days,” he said.

Six years on, Gabriel now heads the department as an Ag Principal Engineer. He spends most of his time not only managing PUB’s networks, but also mentoring the younger engineers that work under him.

“I find my role fulfilling as I get to pass on the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years to fellow engineers who are as passionate as me,” Gabriel said.

Apart from that, Gabriel is also involved in other projects; one of the more exciting projects involves the implementation of a sensor monitoring system for PUB’s water networks around Singapore.

This system makes use of sensors to detect fluctuations in water pressure within PUB’s network.

“When the sensors pick up a change in pressure, this might indicate the possibility of a leak in the system,” he explained.

This would then allow PUB to rectify any fault to ensure that the customers will not be affected by it.

“Prior to the implementation of the system, PUB had to rely on customer’s feedback to detect for faults, which in our view could have been rectified if the fault was detected earlier.” Gabriel said.

The system has already been put in place in Singapore’s city center and is now being implemented in the heartlands.

Giving back to the nation

A key motivation for Gabriel in fulfilling his role in PUB is the thought that he is actively contributing to the nation.

“Having a sustainable source of clean water is something that we should be proud of,” he said

“But we should remain diligent regardless. After all, when saving water, we all have a part to play.”

Written by Nazri Eddy Razali © The Nanyang Chronicle
Photo Credit: Tang Hao
Reproduced with thanks from The Nanyang Chronicle.

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