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Never Settle for the Tried and Tested

Huang Liyan
Huang Liyan

Senior Manager, Commercial Business Unit, ST Aerospace

Q: Tell us more about yourself and your work at ST Aerospace.
After graduating in 2004, I joined the Engineering Development Centre (EDC) as a software engineer working on UAVs and fighter aircraft. In 2011, I moved over to the commercial business unit with a focus on cabin interior reconfiguration programmes. My current job scope involves program management, marketing, preparation of proposals and vendor management.

This job has allowed me to travel quite extensively to meet with customers and vendors and helps me appreciate different work cultures. The interaction with the various parties from technicians to engineers and the customers themselves has broadened my knowledge and appreciation of the work that ST Aerospace does.

Q: What motivates you at work?
The satisfaction of getting the job done and seeing the code or engineering drawings actually come to fruition on an aircraft gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment. The excellent camaraderie within the team ensures that we are able to work together to find a solution to each problem encountered even when we are under extreme time pressure to deliver the aircraft on time.

The job is never mundane and never desk bound. There are plenty of opportunities to “get your hands dirty” both figuratively and literally. To see all the pieces come together before your eyes and knowing that the aircraft will be used to ferry many happy passengers is what drives me to get the job done.

"Always look at ways to improve the process and not be confined to the fact that the processes have been tried and tested and thus do not need to change."
Huang Liyan, Senior Manager, Commercial Business Unit, ST Aerospace

Q: What is it like being a female engineer?
One might think that it would be stressful to work in a male-dominated environment but interestingly, in ST Aerospace, there are a fair number of female engineers. When it comes to getting the job done, it is really independent of gender. More important is the ability to understand the facts and tackle each and every problem systematically and logically.

Q: Any advice for new staff?
Do not be afraid of challenges or be discouraged by setbacks. Treat them as learning experiences so that we will not make the same mistakes again. Always look at ways to improve the process and not be confined to the fact that the processes have been tried and tested and thus do not need to change.