For Mr Mohamad Imran Anang, 40, seeing the systems on which he expended so much effort put into operation to benefit countless commuters, gives him a feeling of immense satisfaction.
“The challenges and experience I encounter vary with every new project I undertake,” says the principal engineering officer with the Land Transport Authority or LTA, the statutory board overseeing Singapore’s land transport needs.
The division Mr Imran works for is responsible for the signals, communications and control systems in Singapore’s rapid transit system and road tunnels.
Mr Imran, who has been with LTA for almost 15 years, lends his expertise in various areas — from writing project technical requirements and reviewing system design to supporting project implementation and testing and commissioning control systems.
His is not your typical deskbound job, and his workplace varies from an office environment to various sites. “My work environment depends on the activities and phase of a project, so it varies between being office-based and working on site which can be an operational MRT station, depot or construction site,” he explains.
He has to juggle the different needs of the various projects at any given time and certain activities have overlapping deadlines and schedules to be met.
His job also requires him to attend meetings as part of the project life cycle, with a wide range of stakeholders — contractors, consultants, rail operators, other government agencies and various engineering disciplines within LTA.
“I work with a wide range of people — colleagues within the same division or across divisions or engineers from the contractors or MRT operators. The working culture here is positive as everyone works towards a better land transport system for Singapore.
“At times, it can be quite hectic depending on the demands of the project and its schedule and may involve irregular hours as most works can be carried out only after train revenue service,” he adds.
Mr Imran chanced on the job vacancy at a job fair where he learnt about LTA’s role and became interested to be part of its team to build a world-class land transport system in Singapore.
He recalls a particular challenge he had to overcome when he joined LTA and was involved in implementing the rail travel information system that displays train arrival times on LED panels and plasma TV sets.
“I was assigned to look after the section along the Changi Airport line. Being very ‘green’ in LTA, I had to quickly pick up the knowledge and skill set to manage the complex interfacing work during the installation, testing and commissioning work. I think I proved myself as the project progressed smoothly and was successfully completed,” he says.
To excel in his work, good problem-solving skills and the ability to remain focused under pressure are essential qualities. A keen interest to learn the trade and a sense of perseverance are equally important, says Mr Imran.
To upgrade his skills and for better career advancement prospects, Mr
Imran pursued higher qualifications and in 2002 graduated from the Open University (in collaboration with Singapore Institute of Management) with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
A well-structured career path within LTA that recognises performance encourages staff to put in their utmost effort and perform well. They are rewarded accordingly and considered for higher appointment, according to Mr Imran.
“In addition, a tailored annual training route map is used to enhance my skill sets, which includes among others, leadership courses to hone my abilities for greater responsibilities,” he says.
Even though the job can be hectic with occasional irregular working hours, Mr Imran is thankful that the five-day work week gives him enough time with his family and friends.
He says the opportunities in the industry offer good career prospects.
“With the continuous expansion of the MRT network, the opportunities to work in this sector is growing, not only in LTA but also in firms that are contracted by LTA to deliver the systems,” he adds.