Ramesh Singh has come a long way ever since he started working as a technician in the aviation industry 28 years ago. In 1993, he began working on small engines (Auxiliary Power Unit) as a technician in Honeywell Aerospace Singapore Pte Ltd. In 2002, he moved to Singapore Aero Engine Services Pte Ltd (SAESL), where he was a Technician who prepared Trent aircraft engines for testing, and later on became a trainer working alongside with another colleague where they led a team of 8 staff. Since January 2019, Ramesh has been working as a Principal Test Engineer in Rolls-Royce Singapore at Seletar Aerospace Park. How did he get from a Technician to a Principal Test Engineer?
It all began when Ramesh wanted to pursue higher education in order to stay updated on various subjects such as engineering, maintenance and manufacturing systems. He felt that it was important to keep pursuing new knowledge and expanding his skill sets. “Engineering is getting more and more sophisticated with developments in technology,” he explained.
Thanks to his friends who told him that the instructors in PSB-IPT (currently PSB Academy) were good and knowledgeable, he decided to enroll in their Certificate in Industrial Engineering course in 1997. Besides the constructive interactions he had with the instructors and fellow students, he enjoyed the school curriculum.
“The topics I love most was Quality Assurance, Total Quality Management (TQM) and Wastage,” recalled Ramesh. “From Quality Assurance, I learnt how to come up with investigation procedures and follow up with teams to make sure there are no repeated incidents of engine defects or malfunctions. TQM taught me to monitor closely all incidents, taking note of how many times and in which line each incident occurs. In terms of Wastage, I learnt to address defects per unit (DPU), in order to make sure that not much time is wasted on each defect from each section.”
Ramesh attributed part of his success in career progression to his Diploma in Industrial Engineering, which he achieved in 1999 upon his graduation from PSB-IPT. “The subjects in this Diploma course that helped me when I was in Honeywell were Ergonomics and Advanced Manufacturing System. I was involved in Six Sigma, whereby our workplace was being upgraded for us to work more easily with less movement,” he said.
“The Diploma has helped me move to SAESL where there was a lot to do in the workplace in terms of set-up,” he continued, “It gave me to opportunity to put into practice the subjects that I have learnt, such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Facility Planning, Quality Assurance and Work Measurement techniques. After I became a Trainer and took on more responsibilities.”
Ramesh moved to Rolls Royce Seletar in 2011. “After becoming a principal test engineer in January 2019, I am now getting a fairly comfortable salary,” he said. “The situation in Rolls Royce was like that in SAESL because we were the pioneers and found all the knowledge that I learnt in my Diploma course valuable then. I have also gotten help from Derby UK Trainers who were with Rolls Royce SATU during the initial stage. We did Work Combination Charts for Rig, Test and Derig (RTD), where I was guided by my studies on Method and Value engineering and Work Measurement techniques and received help from the Manufacturing Engineering department. Also, Quality Assurance helped me prepare for audits and put all documents, risk assessments (RA) and standard operating procedures (SOP) in place.”
“When I first started working in Rolls Royce as a Work Team Leader, I led a team of 7 Technicians,” Ramesh added. “After the setup of the RTD Rig/Derig area at Rolls Royce Seletar Assembly and Test Unit (SATU) plant, I switched to my new role as a Test Engineer, where I would test 4 to 5 aircraft engines per week. In January 2019, I took on the role as a Principal test engineer, where I led a team of 12 test engineers who tested the Trent engines that are used on Airbus (Trent 7000) and Boeing (Trent 1000) aircraft. In addition, I also worked closely with 27 rigging staff who prepared the engines for testing.”
Upon looking back as a graduate of PSB-IPT, Ramesh was grateful for the knowledge that he acquired from the Diploma course, which he applied in all the aforementioned roles in the companies. “The useful knowledge I gained is mostly about how to reduce waste and improve time spent on the aircraft engine tests,” he recounted. “In addition, not only have I learnt leadership skills to train people and develop them, I have also learnt to tackle problem-solving skills in Rolls Royce SATU. I just can’t imagine how much I have come a long way. It was fun learning back then, and I’m glad I have also become a Trainer and Assessor, thanks to the PSB Academy instructors’ motivation.”