Xiaya Liu What made you choose a career in Construction?

When I was a child, I was very interested in Lego bricks and always wanted to build something new and interesting. So civil engineering was my dream direction and luckily I could choose it as a subject at university. This led me to choose a career in construction and I have never looked back.

Why did you choose to work for a consultancy rather than a main contractor?

Well, I always like to challenge myself in solving complex technical issues and creating economical designs for my clients. This can show my strong professional and technical skills. If I was to work for a contractor I only need to follow the drawings rather than create them.

Describe your typical working day

Firstly, I go to my office and check if there are any urgent issues that need my help. Then I start my design work, the heart of what I do. I will also check in with other team mates to review their designs, make design suggestions/amendments and check whether the project is progressing well. I am also regularly attending meetings with clients which can include site visits.

What is the most impressive engineering project you have worked on?

I would say Fort Siloso Skywalk at Sentosa Island. This is the first project in Singapore that needed to check horizontal vibration induced by pedestrians; a very new skillset.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

To create an economical design without compromising on safety. For both my team and I.

What advice would you give to someone at the start of their engineering career?

Keep reading educational books in your spare time. Keep asking questions to someone more senior than you. And always keep thinking of something unknown.

In an alternate universe, if you were not a design engineer, what would you be doing?

Accounting maybe. I am a human-calculator :)

How do you see the Singapore construction market evolving over the next 5/10 years?

I expect to see more and more infrastructure. This is the biggest need in Singapore and Asia. The biggest client will be government, like LTA and PUB.

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