Dedicated engineer and leader by day, adventurous dad by night

This Father's Day, we speak to Preetpal Singh, who shares more about how he juggles his role at our Singapore Chemical Plant and daddy duties.
Preetpal's life is a blend of technology and tenderness: With a drive to solve complex problems at work, and the passion to create unforgettable experiences with his daughters.

What motivated you to choose an engineering career?

It started with an interest in the wonders of science principles, and how the concepts translated to real life. So I pursued a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering. 

I wanted a career path that allowed me to innovate, implement and scale up technologies, for a good cause. That’s why I was drawn to the energy and petrochemical sector.

Many don’t realize how critical this sector is in supporting many industries, and things we use in our everyday life.

What has kept me going in the last 10 years is seeing how my colleagues and supervisors actively work on ideas and initiatives towards a lower-carbon future too, even in the manufacturing site. 

Tell us more about your role as a Business Team Lead (BTL)

Very simply put, I am responsible for several units (polyolefins) at the Singapore Complex.

I lead and work with an extended team of more than 150 colleagues and experts across our process, technical, maintenance and engineering services teams. 

Our key focus: The safe and reliable operations of the units.

This means making quality products that are shipped and delivered to our customers.

We also implement initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through efforts such as flare reduction, among others.

As there are many variables in manufacturing, we collaborate very closely across teams to meet the objectives and goals of the wider integrated Singapore Complex.

How do you balance your career and parenthood?

It’s tough, and there is no magic formula to it.

I’ve been working in a manufacturing environment for the last decade, where the units run 24/7.

My wife Yi Fang continues to be the main pillar of support, for me and our two girls.

Though she’s also working, Yi Fang understands that my job nature may require me to respond at short fuse. 

Regardless, I make it a point to set aside quality time with our girls. For example, I drop them off at school every morning. Our conversations during the commute are precious moments that I share with them. It also helps me better understand how they’re doing.

On weekends, I ferry them to classes, take them swimming and ensure I’m fully engaged during family meals.
(P.S. Try to put away the phone for that hour or two).
Father's Day serves as a reminder that I am blessed to be a dad to two awesome girls.

I wish nothing but the best for them as they grow up and explore the world we live in.
Preetpal Singh, Business Team Lead

What lessons from fatherhood have you been able to use in your career?

Patience, the effect of my response to uncontrollable factors and caring for others.

If you were to ask Yi Fang, she’d remember the Preet of yester-years as an impatient individual, who could get snappy if things weren’t moving per plan. 

Having the two girls has “forced” me to accept the need to slow down and remain calm in situations that are out of my control. I hope my family and friends have noticed the change in me over the last few years!

It’s also applicable to the dynamic environment in manufacturing. As a BTL, my reaction and response to a situation directly affects my team, especially during stressful periods. 

There is a strong culture of care in the manufacturing site, which I’m proud of. I’m thankful to have had, and have, supportive supervisors and colleagues who understand when there is a need to work flexibly. It helps that many of them are parents too!