The BCAA graduates of 2020 tasted the sweet success of achievement at their graduation ceremony on 28 November 2020.

BCAA 2020 grads upbeat about BE industry’s future

20 Jan 2021


Despite the disruption and challenges of 2020, you’ve all adapted and conquered the adversities to continue learning. With that, your achievements today are even greater and more meaningful.  
- Ar Leong-Kok Su Ming, Managing Director of BCAA

Uncertain about his choice of career path after completing his basic education in 2015, then 17-year old Terry Ong decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. His dad, 47-year old Calvin Ong, works as a facilities manager at NTUC Foodfare. 

Terry explained: “After I completed my O-levels, I wasn’t sure which course of study to pursue. Since my dad was in facilities management (FM), he suggested that I check out BCA Academy (BCAA). I looked through their courses and found FM, with its focus on building management and operations, interesting.”

Coincidentally, Calvin who had just embarked on a new career in FM, also decided to go back to school to reskill and acquire new knowledge about the sector. Father and son ended up as schoolmates in BCAA’s Diploma in Facilities Management course which is offered on both full-time and part-time basis.   

“We ended up taking the same exams on the same days at the same place. It was like, wah, father so old already still studying with the son! So, I had mixed feelings about it,” laughed Calvin.

Not only did this intrepid father-and-son team learn together, both aced their courses and graduated with awards together with BCAA’s 2020 cohort.

img2-bcaa-2020-grads-upbeat-about-be-industrys-future-v2Calvin Ong (left) and his son Terry Ong (right) both graduated with awards from BCAA’s Diploma in Facilities Management course.

BCAA graduates upbeat about BE industry opportunities

Set up in 1984, BCA Academy has been offering a suite of academic and non-academic programmes to meet the diverse needs of the built environment (BE) industry professionals. Its rigorous and practice-oriented academic curriculum include nine diplomas and 13 specialist diplomas. Its diplomas are three-year studies in different areas of engineering, design and facilities management, while its specialist diplomas are offered as flexible, modular certificates in specialised areas like Building Information Modelling (BIM), Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DfMA) and Virtual Design & Construction (VDC). Learners could hence select the learning areas needed to fit their own professional requirements. 

With 2020 being such an eventful year for both BCAA students and the built environment industry alike, many of them had to juggle the demands of their jobs together with their coursework. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they had to adapt to the change in learning format when courses went online.

Ar Leong-Kok Su Ming, Managing Director of BCAA paid kudos to the tenacity of its1,234 newly-minted graduates at the Academy’s virtual graduation ceremony on 28 November 2020. She told them: “Despite the disruption and challenges of 2020, you’ve all adapted and conquered the adversities to continue learning. With that, your achievements today are even greater and more meaningful”. 
img3-bcaa-2020-grads-upbeat-about-be-industrys-future-v3Valedictorian for BCAA’s diploma cohort Mohamed Shabaruddin s/o Abdul Malik is one step closer to his dream of becoming a professional engineer.

In the face of the on-going global health crisis, many BCAA graduands remained upbeat and optimistic about the future of the BE industry. Valedictorian for the diploma cohort Mohamed Shabaruddin s/o Abdul Malik, who graduated with a Diploma in Construction Engineering, is one of them.

Determined to realise his dreams of becoming a professional engineer, the 23-year old took a leap of faith to go back to school. Where his peers had already started building their careers in their respective fields, Mohamed Shabaruddin had to juggle working part-time with his studies and family commitments. 

Describing his academic journey as “no walk in the park”, he shared: “I was offered a scholarship during my studies and am now serving my bond as an Assistant Engineer at KTC Group after graduation. This shows that the industry recognises the diploma graduates of BCA Academy are equipped with practical skills and are industry-ready”.

More crucially for Mohamed Shabaruddin, his time at BCAA – aided by dedicated lecturers and fellow students – had taught him the values of time management and self-discipline. Both are life skills which will stand him in good stead as he forges ahead to achieve his goal of being a professional engineer.

Staying relevant in a fast-changing industry

Giving young graduands like Mohamed Shabaruddin a good run for their money are industry veterans who, despite their years of working experience, had decided to head back to school. Many of them opted to pursue specialist diplomas on a part-time basis at BCAA so that they could balance work with learning.
img4-bcaa-2020-grads-upbeat-about-be-industrys-futureValedictorian for the specialist diploma cohort and general manager of Kay Lim Construction & Trading, Thomas Voon can now leverage his knowledge in Construction Productivity and DFMA to help his organisation maintain a competitive edge in the BE sector.

Valedictorian for the specialist diploma cohort, Thomas Voon, 55, completed two specialist diplomas – in Construction Productivity and DFMA. He has been in the BE sector since 1991, and is currently the General Manager at Kay Lim Construction & Trading Pte Ltd. 

Despite already holding tertiary qualifications and a top management position in his company, Thomas saw the need to upskill to help his organisation maintain a competitive edge in the fast-changing BE sector. 

He said: “Over the last few decades, I have witnessed how the sector evolve from one which was filled with manual activity to a transformed industry that embraces game-changing technologies such as DfMA and IDD (Integrated Digital Delivery) that could result in faster, safer and more reliable and productive processes”. 

Armed with the requisite knowledge, he is now confident to share with his colleagues about adopting advanced construction technologies and implementing productivity enhancement initiatives to their on-going projects.    

Supporting the pathfinders of the future

Equally proud of the current batch of BCAA graduates are their employers, many who were the sponsors of their employee’s specialist diploma studies. To many BE companies trying to stay in the forefront of an increasingly digitalised industry, BCAA’s training programmes are crucial in producing much-needed talents for the sector. 

To Mr Rysuske Kojio, Senior Design Manager at Takenaka Corporation, his staff Annalisa Bulasa Requierme’s recent achievement of a Merit Award in Specialist Diploma in Virtual Design and Construction meant a lot, as the company specialises in IDD. He said: “We’re busy with several projects and consider our overall BIM team to be increasingly aggressive”.

Similarly, Mr Sean Smith, Director of Schindler Lifts Singapore’s New Installation Business, said: “We selected Adi (Adi Danial Mazlan), an up-and-coming project engineer at Schindler Lifts Singapore to take up the Specialist Diploma in Construction and Productivity because we believe the future in Singapore’s construction is all about becoming more productive and effective on construction sites”.

To BCAA’s Class of 2020, Chairman of BCA, Mr Lee Fook Sun had this to say: “You have proven yourself to be one who is technically competent, one who possesses problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills. I have no doubt that you will have a role in transforming our built environment industry. We will come out of this Covid crisis stronger together”. 

For more information on BCA Academy’s courses, please visit


The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) champions the development and transformation of the built environment sector, in order to improve Singapore’s living environment. BCA oversees areas such as safety, quality, inclusiveness, sustainability and productivity, all of which, together with our stakeholders and partners, help to achieve our mission to transform the Built Environment sector and shape a liveable and smart built environment for Singapore.