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Student Scholar: Athena Chew Yee Jun

Dr Pratik Chattopadhyay 

One of those who deservedly received the Nanyang scholarships in the new school year is a bright freshman, Ms Athena Chew Yee Jun. She tells us about the various programmes for active-minded freshmen at NTU EEE which attracted her to study in the School.
“NTU EEE is indeed one of the best schools in the world for electrical and electronic engineering! NTU has several corporate laboratories on campus, such as the Rolls-Royce corp lab and the ST Engineering corp lab, which provide students with opportunities to experience first-hand what it’s like to work in a corporate lab!

NTU EEE also has programmes to facilitate hands-on learning. An example is Garage@EEE which I am currently participating in. Garage@EEE gives students an opportunity to propose an idea and develop it into a product under the guidance of a mentor. There are no academic units and no grades for this programme so “no pressure” and students can learn at their own pace! In addition, the school organises various workshops for students to attend so that they can pursue their interests outside of the curriculum. For example, there was a robotics workshop at the beginning of semester 1 and there was also recently workshops on Arduino as well as programming on android. All these learning opportunities definitely help enrich the learning experience at NTU EEE and provide a more well-rounded education.

I chose to study at NTU EEE because I believe that not only would NTU EEE provide me with a solid foundation in theoretical knowledge but also provide me with several opportunities to gain hands-on experiences to prepare myself in advance for the working world.”

We learn more about some of the programmes that this Nanyang scholar get to be involved in and also experiencing hall stay in NTU:
“Firstly, it is an honour to be studying under the Nanyang scholarship. As a scholar, I am given many opportunities to participate in various leadership programmes and which have allowed me to meet plenty of new people and make new friends. A few examples are the EEE Leadership, Enrichment and Development (LEAD) programme that took place earlier this semester, as well as the EEE LEAD Summer Overseas Community Involvement Project. The teambuilding exercises during these programmes were engaging and I enjoyed them tremendously.

Scholars are also given an accommodation grant if they live in hall! I am currently staying in hall and it is a valuable and interesting part of my university experience. Not only do I get to meet new people, I also get an opportunity to participate in the various hall activities.”

We find out more about Athena’s academic background and why she ended up choosing NTU EEE:
“I was from Anglo-Chinese Junior College and I studied Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Economics and H3 Modern Physics at NUS. I also took part in a H3 research project at NUS.

I have always had a passion for physics and how things worked. In my secondary school, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, I took part in the Young Scholars' Academy where I was taught advanced physics that was not in the syllabus. Though frustrating at times, it was also an interesting and rewarding experience. In Junior College, I continued to pursue my passion in physics and hence also took H3 Modern Physics at NUS. The concepts of relativity and quantum mechanics were fascinating and it was an eye-opening experience. Through these experiences, I realised that I wanted to know how these laws of physics were applied to the things around us such as printers and computers. As a result, I applied to NTU EEE to learn more about electronics and how they work!”

We find out some of the things Athena is really looking forward to as an undergrad student of NTU EEE:
“I look forward to making new friends and the complete hall life experience. As a university student, having more freedom and becoming more independent is something I look forward to as well. I am also excited about the Overseas Programme and would like to study overseas in an exchange programme if given the opportunity. It is one thing to visit a country for a vacation but quite another to study there and I really look forward to the experience.”

What Athena does in her free time:
“I am currently a member of the NTU Aikido Club and I practice aikido in my free time. When I came to NTU, I decided to join the aikido club and try something new. Not only is practising martial arts a great way to keep fit, it also helps to inculcate numerous values such as discipline and restraint in the practitioner.

During the holidays, I bake and knit. I find these activities relaxing and are a good outlet for stress relief. When baking or knitting, there is a lot of room for experimentation and creating new items. While experimentation requires a lot of patience through repeated trail-and-error, the sense of satisfaction when you finally succeed is well worth it.

In a way, this creation process is similar to engineering. When you bake, you have a recipe; when you knit, you have a pattern and in engineering – you have blueprints. Initially, you follow the instructions left behind by your predecessors in order to learn the basics but eventually, you make small modifications or improvements to the original design. You then test the new design to see if it works…if it does not work, you go back to the drawing board and try again. The sense of achievement I get when I am successful in making something new is one of the reasons I chose to study engineering!”



Published on: 15-Dec-2016