Executive Civil & Structural Engineer
Executive Civil and Structural Engineer Devi Lakshmanan is involved in a diverse range of projects in Singapore. She discusses her “zest for challenge” and how her dream job makes it possible for her to experience the “joy of discovery” on a daily basis.
As a child, did you imagine that you would be an engineer as an adult?
The science behind how a structure is constructed has fascinated me ever since I was presented a Lego set by my parents. I relished every activity involved in it, from collecting different shaped- and coloured- pieces to making a whole house of my own design.
A few episodes on mega structures on the National Geographic channel kindled my interest in the challenging task of engineering a building. My zest for challenge urged me to learn the fundamentals and this created respect for the field of civil engineering. I started visualising the possibility of being in the shoes of a successful engineer.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It is the only field where work can be seen and felt directly by the senses and where anything done stays forever for credit. We use logical thinking and critical analysis to solve real world problems. My creations are tangible and highly visible, and that makes me feel like flying.
What are the hardest things about your job?
Even though it is my dream job, like any career it has its downside. In my case, managing the profession and academics together is a big task. However, with the support of Calibre, it is managed.
In what ways does Calibre help you to overcome some of those challenges?
Hailing from India, this was my first job in another country. Calibre provided me the perfect platform to instill in me good values and work ethics. The well-reputed management team and engineers have helped me to accomplish the goals I have set.
Calibre provides seminars and workshops in authorised educational institutions and training centre to enhance our skills and professional development.
What is the most interesting project you have worked on?
The design of Airborne Training Facility (ATF), which includes a Parachuting Training Facility (PTF) and Rappelling Training Facility (RTF). It has an indoor segment where night-training can be conducted during the day by cutting off light into the facility. The design includes an impressive 22 metre freestanding slender column which supports the gigantic space frame.
For you, what’s the best thing about working at Calibre?
Calibre wants employees to continue their self-development and further their education. It has helped me to pursue a graduate programme in Civil Engineering at the National University of Singapore. I am able to maintain the right balance between professional work and academics.
Is there anything that has surprised you during your time at Calibre?
It’s all about liking the people you work with, having a good manager and feeling like you belong. At Calibre, all expat employees are treated the same as the local employees. We are happy at work when we do great work together with great people.
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