Throwback to Class of 1992
School of Engineering Published on 13 Apr 2017

Back in 1992, the first day of school was nerve wracking for one young man. David Lau was then a 28-year-old, and had enrolled himself in the pioneer class of electronic engineering at the then brand new Nanyang Polytechnic. It didn’t help his nerves that he was acutely aware that he’d be the oldest person in class.


David recalled: "I remember I was very overwhelmed on my first day. Most of my classmates were almost an generation younger and I had been out of school for a long time, I was very concerned that I would not be able to catch up."


Prior to signing up to hit the books, David had actually been working as a technician in Singapore Technologies Kinetics. But he was beginning to find his work becoming very difficult. "At that time, my work involved operating a wide range of advanced electronic instruments and equipment. I lacked knowledge in electronic engineering, hence, I had experienced challenges in carrying out maintenance and repair work.”


"My former colleagues and I tried self-teaching by buying textbooks and reference books but the progress was slow and discouraging. Returning back to school after a long break wasn’t easy but I knew it would be beneficial for me in the long run."


So David signed up to go through a formal training at NYP.


Eventually, he found his stride, and made great friends with his course mates – whom he is still in touch with 25 years later.


David also aced his course and was the inaugural awardee of the Lee Kuan Yew Award, which is presented to outstanding graduates from the engineering and technology courses.


The current Deputy Director of Marketing at Advanced Materials Technologies, a manufacturing company that specialises in metal injection moulding, overcame a steep learning curve to complete several challenging assignments and projects. He was thankful to dedicated lecturers and support from his peers, who had helped him in his three years of studies.


David shared: “The rigorous NYP curriculum had helped me build a strong foundation in engineering and more importantly, prepared me to take on challenges and adapt to changes easily. Looking back, I feel that my experience in NYP had given me the confidence to try new things and excel in my demanding work environment.”


Another takeaway from his course of studies in NYP was that learning does not stop after graduation. As a believer of lifelong learner, David took up a part-time course called ‘Financial Management Skills for Non-Accountants’ in 2013. The course had helped him understand and analyse financial reports of companies, which is important for business dealings at work.


This year, he’s coming back to grace NYP’s graduation ceremony as an invited guest. When asked what he remembers about NYP 25 years ago, he quipped: "I miss my classmates in NYP. Although there were more than 100 of us, we had many opportunities to work and learn together. Of course, I will never forget the many soccer matches that we played together despite incurring all sorts of injuries.”


But what he truly is proud of is the fact that his alma mater has kept up with the times and continues to produce stellar graduates.