Passion for engineering keeps octogenarian going

Passion for engineering keeps octogenarian going
Engineering professor Lee Seng Lip was recently given a lifetime achievement award for having a “profound impact on the industry”. One of the structures he helped to build was Changi Airport’s control tower. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Professor Lee Seng Lip still goes to the office up to four times a week, plays golf twice a week, attends functions and swims.

He is 88, yet the veteran engineer maintains a busy schedule and keeps his mind occupied.

"I do not teach any more but I go to engineering events and I still read," he said. "I make sure my brain remains active."

Prof Lee has given more than four decades of his life to the profession.

He has worked in infrastructural engineering here, both in education and practice, and is also an expert in structural, geotechnical and construction technology.

The sprightly octogenarian, who has almost perfect eyesight, attributes his longevity and perseverance to passion.

"I like the discipline. I like the job, I like what is involved. I like studying to improve myself."

He earnestly claims he has "never been stressed" by his job.

"People are stressed by things they cannot do. I never let myself be in that position," he said, explaining that he treats every structural or construction engineering problem that he comes across as a positive challenge.

These days, he works as a consulting engineer. The emeritus professor can either be found in his office at the National University of Singapore (NUS) or out giving his expert opinion on an engineering project.

For all his accomplishments, he was recently presented with the inaugural Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) Lifetime Engineering Achievement Award.

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