Day 1 with Sunseap's New Solar Technologists
Mr Frank Phuan, Sunseap Group Co-Founder & CEO, welcoming the new Solar Technologists
By Jeffrey Selamutu & Athena Hair
August 5, 2021
On the first day of July, we welcomed 39 new Solar Technologists to the Sunseap family. These 39 Singaporeans had answered the call to join Sunseap and they were ready to learn and play their part in achieving Sunseap's sustainability goals.
The day started at 8am with the new batch of Solar Technologists gathered at the 3rd floor cafeteria in the Sunseap's office building. Everyone was excitedly waiting to collect their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and get fitted for their safety shoes. There was a buzz in the air and the excited voices and pockets of laughter just added to the atmosphere on that Thursday morning. But first, they needed to 'suit up'.
The new Solar Technologists being briefed on safety protocol & procedures.
And then we spotted her. Ms Nur Adlina was the proverbial rose amongst the thorns - the sole female Solar Technologist in this first batch of new hires. We had to find out more.
Can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Nur Adlina, I'm 23 yrs old this year. Before this, I was working in engineering at a data centre facility, focusing on facilities management.
How are you feeling today?
I'm feeling quite nervous, and excited for what's to come.
What made you decide to apply to be a Solar Technologist?
I wanted to learn more about solar panels, as I first learnt about them when I was in ITE. I find the technology behind solar panels interesting, and now, it's become more relevant in Singapore.
New Solar Technologist, Nur Adlina (third from right)
What are you interested in, and what do you hope to achieve in this role?
I’m interested in the design aspect of the Solar Technologist job. When I was in school, I learnt more about autoCad, and I hope to apply that knowledge in this role. I hope to know more, from how they are installed and how they have to be maintained.
My family is really supportive of me getting this job. I will challenge myself to go further and compete with the rest as a trained Solar Technologist.
What would you say to women who might still be deciding if this job is right for them?
This job is open to any Singaporean who is willing to put in the work and become part of the new generation of solar energy specialists. The work will require you to break a sweat and get your hands dirty, but so what if it's tough? If you believe in gender equality, then this job is a good start to put your words into action. Challenge yourself, go further.
After several safety briefings later and lunch, it was finally time for a site visit. Clad in their PPE, each attired with a yellow safety vest and white hard hat, everyone boarded chartered buses and headed to Clementi. After a final safety briefing, the group made their way up the apartment block, climbed up the cat ladder and stepped on to the rooftop, under the scorching sun.
The rooftop of the Housing & Development Block (HDB) block was filled with solar panels, which is part of the Solar Nova project led by the HDB and Economic Development Board (EDB). Sunseap had won the tender for Phase 4 of the project, which will involve installing more than 170,000 solar panels on rooftops of HDB blocks in Singapore. The installed PV systems will generate up to 70MWp of solar energy which can power over 60,000 four-room HDB households, and more importantly, potentially offsett about 42,152 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The team leader explained each part of the solar panel to the new Solar Technologists and they all listened intently, excited about the prospects of starting their new jobs. All curious to learn, they huddled around and had many questions to ask.
After everyone was safely back down from the rooftop, the team had a debrief and prepared to head back to the Sunseap office. Despite being tired and sweaty from climbing up and down the HDB blocks, they still chatted happily amongst themselves about their experience on the rooftop.
As Day 1 came to a close, we spoke with another one of the new Solar Technologists to get his thoughts on the programme.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Yong Sheng and I’m 27. I have a diploma in Chemical Engineering, and I'd like to do my part to impact the environment and society in a positive way. Solar energy is an important aspect of sustainability in Singapore. I am excited to be part of the mission to protect the environment, I am definitely happy to be a Solar Technologist.
New Solar Technologist, Yong Sheng
What made you decide to join Sunseap as a Solar Technologist?
Before this job, I was in sales, working in electricity retail. After about 2 and a half years of working in sales, it's all about money and it didn't resonate with what I wanted to do. I feel that money alone doesn't motivate me, and that is why I wanted to do something that is more hands on, and under the sun. I find it interesting and meaningful and I feel like I'm contributing to something bigger. I think Sunseap's goal to reduce the carbon footprint, and focus on being sustainable is very meaningful.
How did you find your first day?
Yesterday, I couldn't sleep because I was so excited about the programme, and I was right. I'm really excited for what's next, and what struck me the most was the environment and the people. Sunseap gave us this card that said 'Grow with us', and I do feel like I can truly grow with this team and this company.
What do you hope to achieve, and what would you like to say to future batches of Solar Technologists?
I hope to be part of the team, and to become someone that is valuable to the company and the people around me. I think that can be achieved with Sunseap in the long run. I would tell them that it's not going to be an easy job, but you will find that your hard work will pay off in time to come.
As we were about to call it a day, we caught up with our intern, Athena, who had helped with the day's proceedings.
What's your take-away from today's activities?
Seeing the Solar Technologists work under the hot sun made me grateful for people who work hard to help Singapore become a greener place for all of us. This job may not be for everyone, but it is definitely meaningful. If you're reading this and you're still considering if this job is right for you, I hope you will take the leap of faith and be part of the new plan to a greener and more sustainable Singapore.
We wish all our new Solar Technologists the very best as they embark on this new adventure of discovery. We look forward to catching up with them in the near future.