Ho Quan Hui

Ho Quan Hui

Defence Researcher

My company and my job

DSO is a forward-looking national defence research and development (R&D) organisation which pushes the boundaries of science and technology across multi-disciplinary domains to deliver technological innovation that sharpen the cutting edge of Singapore’s defence and security capabilities.

My day-to-day responsibilities in the organisation involve R&D of robust communication systems and technologies. These include ad-hoc mobile networks, software-defined radios, secured communications and datalinks.

How I got my job

I did my internship in DSO, which gave me a snippet of working life. It was an honour to be mentored by leading scientists who had been on the frontier of the national defence research. This memorable experience drove me to apply for DSO’s SpOnsorship for Aspiring Researchers (SOAR), an award scheme for undergraduates and graduates.

There was one round of interview for SOAR which assessed my technical skills and knowledge, as well as interest and passion in the area of research by the board of directors and an HR personnel. I think what set me apart from the rest was my passion and strong interest in the area of networking.

The highs and lows

The most challenging aspect of this job is troubleshooting uncalculated problems as most of our systems are multi-disciplinary, and the root of the problem could be hidden in any of these disciplines, ranging from radio frequency to software design.

What I enjoy most about my job is that there is always a new problem waiting to be solved every day and that pushes me to grow as a versatile person. It also helps to have friendly and approachable colleagues who are more than willing to lend a helping hand!

My happiest moment at work

The most memorable moment I had so far was with my first project, where we were tasked to develop a new network protocol for the Singapore Armed Forces. Due to the precarious nature of a battlefield, our protocol must always be robust and reliable. After much blood, sweat and tears put into the rigorous R&D, we were able to produce a protocol that met all of the complex requirements.

Our project was later showcased at an internal knowledge sharing event, where each division exhibits some of their latest projects. The showcase meant a lot to me and gave me a huge sense of achievement as I felt that my efforts were being acknowledged and recognised.

Training and support

DSO is big on training their staff and we are provided with a comprehensive and well-rounded range of professional and personal development courses. On top of that, we are each assigned to a mentor and a buddy during our early days to help us better assimilate to our jobs and the organisation’s working culture.

Work-life balance

I achieve work-life balance through health initiatives organised by the organisation, which include, the monthly distribution of healthy food products and weekly sports hour. These have helped me to stay healthy, and I have even shed some weight since I joined!

Also, DSO practises flexible working hours where we can choose our start and end time within the core working hours. The organisation provide a very warm and friendly culture and environment, where there are little to no boundaries between senior and junior staff and where colleagues treat each other like family.

Some advice

Pursue your passion and you will be rewarded.