THE growing importance of the aerospace industry in Singapore has resulted in many job opportunities and Mr Tevin Teo, 36, departmental manager with Thales Solutions Asia, is excited to be part of the booming sector.

“The decade ahead for commercial aerospace appears to be full of optimism and growth,” he says.

“Aviation should continue to grow, bolstered by the growing middle class in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. The surprisingly strong recovery of commercial aviation underscores the essential role that aviation plays in the global economy.”

Mr Teo is in charge of managing Thales’ Industrial Engineering department in Singapore, where he is responsible for the technical and engineering support of the products used in the sustenance operations of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and production facilities.

The department conducts and supports the interfaces and technical negotiations for test means realisation, including setting up the test means and tools required for pilot lines, production lines and the avionics, inflight entertainment and electrical systems MRO workshops.

Mr Teo is also actively involved in the specification, production and acquisition of manufacturing and repair test means and tools, establishing the maintenance strategies and contracts, and managing the investments and expenses budget.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow with first class honours in Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Mr Teo started work in product engineering for the semi-conductor industry. The communication skills he gained there serves him well in his current position.

“The ability to effectively communicate with people of different nationalities and cultures is critical to get the job done, especially in a multinational corporation,” he adds.

“My past experience of managing product transfers from cradle to grave manufacturing provided me with complete and fully engaged engineering, analytical and management skills and knowledge. The manufacturing environment trained me in carrying out my work with urgency to meet production schedules and increase production yield to make more profit. It inculcated a prompt and responsible work attitude in me.”

His engineering training equipped him with analytical and troubleshooting skills, alongside the computer architectures and programming knowledge, which came in useful in his avionics work on mission-critical computer systems.

Learning never stops, given the vast amount of product knowledge he has to acquire in his line of work, as Thales’ product range is broad.

Mr Teo explains: “I need to train myself with adequate product knowledge and the test means and tools associated with these products, in order to make good decisions and to guide the department to provide a good level of engineering support.”

Satisfied with the many opportunities to work on radically different engineering projects, involving state of the art flight avionics, Mr Teo advises those seeking a career in the aerospace industry to maintain their curiosity and adopt an attitude to learn.

“Grasp any opportunities to enhance your knowledge, be innovative and engaged in all your tasks. Persevere and be result oriented,” he adds.

Mr Teo intends to progress in the technical managerial path, honing his engineering and people management skills. He is in the midst of pursuing a Master of Engineering and Technology Management with the University of South Australia to further enhance his knowledge.

“The outlook of the aerospace industry certainly looks promising in the near future. Job security is buffered by the backlogs of aircraft deliveries. The need for companies to produce under budgetary constraints for competitiveness, the need to be innovative, leaner and more productive does not escape the aerospace original equipment manufacturers,” says Mr Teo.

With Singapore identified as the hub for Thales’ operations in the Asia Pacific and Australasia region, he is ready to meet the increased level of expectations for his department.